Clarinetist brings classical music to children in New Orleans

Posted on: August 21, 2012

“An activist with a clarinet, Darryl Durham works to lead the children of Treme to a better life through the program he directs, Anna’s Arts for  Kids at St. Anna’s Episcopal Church,” writes Annette Sisco in Sunday’s (8/19) Times-Picayune (New Orleans). “Anna’s Arts is a year-round program of tutoring, art, nature and community service.” For the classically trained clarinetist and former executive director of the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City, it all started when he “came to New Orleans to gut houses with Acorn after Hurricane Katrina.” Durham “started showing up to play his clarinet at Wednesday night musicians’ services at St. Anna’s….  Durham is well-known in the neighborhood, setting out in the afternoons to collect children from bus stops and walking them home when the day’s activities are over. Many of the students have relatives who are in prison or dealing drugs…. An important part of Anna’s Arts is exposing children to museums and classical music, Durham said. The Treme neighborhood, as the home base of New Orleans’ Creole society, once had a thriving classical arts scene. Although the brass band and parading culture is ubiquitous, children in Treme seldom experience other aspects of their musical and artistic heritage, such as traditional jazz and symphonic music, he said. When they do, it’s a hit, Durham said.”

 

Philadelphia Orchestra photo by Zach Mahone

Posted August 21, 2012