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Manchin receives award for backing music education

March 20, 2013
  • Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., receives the Support Music Award today for his support of music education in West Virginia. The award was presented in a Capitol Hill ceremony attended by the Shepherdstown Middle School jazz ensemble (shown at left), musical artists and other advocates for music education.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., received the Support Music Award Wednesday for his support of music education in West Virginia. The award was presented in a Capitol Hill ceremony attended by the Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Middle School jazz ensemble, musical artists and other advocates for music education.

The West Virginia leaders were each honored by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), VH1 Save The Music Foundation and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for their leadership of the statewide rebuild of West Virginia music education programs.

“Having access to music education opens so many doors for our children in West Virginia,”  Manchin said in a news release. “I am so proud of our Shepherdstown Middle School students for their outstanding performance today. It is unfortunate that every time states face budget cuts, funding for the arts seems to be targeted. The skills our children learn from music and art classes challenge them to think creatively and express themselves. I am thankful for the extraordinary work VH1’s Save the Music Foundation has accomplished in making sure schools in West Virginia have the resources to provide music education to our kids.”

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Manchin also was treated to a rare joint performance by the Shepherdstown Middle School jazz ensemble and advocate-artists former N.Y. Yankee and guitarist Bernie Williams and Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who performed their spirited rendition of St. James Infirmary, a well-known jazz standard.

They started with a trombone solo in the style of early New Orleans jazz, then moved into a more contemporary style arrangement. Singer/songwriter/musician Vanessa Carlton saluted the students and Senator Manchin with remarks.

The Shepherdstown ensemble is a 2012 VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant recipient.

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