The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that nearly half of American schools have zero full-time arts teachers, while 1.3 million elementary school students don’t have access to music classes.
But starting tonight, The Rustic in Uptown will recognize National Music in Our Schools Month with a series of concerts performed by up-and-coming musicians in the Dallas music scene.
“The Rustic’s ability to host live musical acts gives us the opportunity to provide a platform that local musicians can use to develop their talent,” says Kyle Noonan, co-owner of FreeRange Concepts, creator of The Rustic. “We are excited to extend this platform to student musicians in our area and look forward to raising money for local organizations as well.”
For each performer, this concert series holds a special purpose.
To kick off the week’s concert series, Frankie Leonie is thrilled to be playing one of the biggest venues she’s played to date.
"Being able to share the same stage that other artists I admire in the area, like The Texas Gentlemen, Charley Crockett and Medicine Man, have played helps me realize this dream of mine," she says.
Parker Twomey, a Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts student who will play his brand of alt-country Americana Wednesday night, shared Leonie’s excitement for joining the ranks of Dallas’ burgeoning musical community. “To me this event is a glimpse into the future of the Dallas music scene," he says. “Something really special is cooking up, and I’m confident that in the next few years, Dallas is going be happening musically.”
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The central performance will feature musicians from the Dallas Chapter of the School of Rock Band. What better band to play the Friday night show than a band founded in the ideal that music education can save lives by building confidence, learning teamwork and achieving excellence?
Luke Nassar of Dallas indie-pop band Blue Apollo, who will open Saturday night’s show, spoke of the profound affect music education had on the band.
“Our band started as a result of music education," he says. "It’s vastly important, and we would not be here without it, and we’re stoked to see a venue like The Rustic take part in honoring music in schools. As young musicians, it’s really important to have that support to help you grow and hone your craft, and The Rustic has been such a source of support and growth for us as artists, so to be able to participate in a show like this is awesome.”
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Closing the series Saturday night will be 14-year-old Remy Reilly, who you may have heard recently on KXT. Like all the other artists invited to join this series, Reilly sees the importance of supporting The Rustic’s endeavors.
“Being a part of the music in our schools celebration is amazing,” Reilly says. “Being a young artist, it makes me happy to help out other young artists. I'm excited to be a part of this event. I have been a part of Prestwick Stem Academy band in Little Elm and have benefited immensely from the instruction and my percussion teacher Mrs. Hernandez.”
To show their commitment to local music and music education, The Rustic and Oskar Blues Brewery will donate $1 to support local student music organizations for every Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale and Mama’s Little Yella Pils sold during Music In Our Schools week.
Whatever you might be doing this week, stop in at The Rustic for a Dale’s Pale Ale or Mama’s Little Yella Pils — the great future of our growing music scene may well depend on it.