I spent yesterday morning with the Jazz Band Track watching a Master Class session led by Sammy Kestenholtz.

During his session, he surprised his students by Skyping in Rich Redmond, Jason Aldean’s drummer. To no surprise, Redmond has studied both jazz and classical music most of his life and holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. Sammy Kestenholtz thought Redmond would be a good role model to our campers here at the Summer Symposium since he took the time to become a trained percussionist and is now famous all over the world. 

Redmond was so full of energy and you could easily recognize his passion for music education. During the session Redmond gave advice to the Jazz Band Track drummers to “take the gig,” because learning to play with other people will only make you better. He told the kids that even with a Master’s Degree he played for tips when he first started out. Redmond emphasized that he got where he was today from hard work, a sincere personality, and an original style. 

After Redmond was done speaking about his experience, the students attending had the opportunity to ask him questions and interact with him, making this master class truly unique. From music questions to advice about the personal life of being a professional musician, Redmond made sure to provide some invaluable insight.

Sammy Kestenholtz does a great job relating to his student campers. Hopefully the kids understood the message to “take the gig” and to let very few opportunities to play pass them by.

Thank you, Sammy and Rich! You are truly making this camp a positively life changing experience for our campers!

Keep following our camp coverage at https://www.musicforall.org/what-we-do/summer-camp/2015-symposium-coverage.