Christina Campbell is only 11, but already she has a knack for interviewing people.
Her talent is evident in her interview with drummer, author and educator Ulysses Owens Jr., Savannah Music Festival Jazz Academy’s artistic educator in residence. That interview earlier this year was during the SMF Jazz Academy spring virtual concert.
She showed her talent again on her own podcast, called “The Entertainer,” in her interview with her SMF Jazz Academy melodica instructor Naledi Masilo.
This rising sixth-grader at Godley Station K-8 School in Pooler continues to impress in the variety of interviews she features on “The Entertainer”.
What’s readily apparent in her podcast conversations with Savannah teachers and SMF Jazz Academy musicians is Christina’s curiosity about music and playing instruments. Her love for all things Harry Potter and movies also shines through.
Before starting SMF Jazz Academy in the tumultuous 2020-21 school year, Christina played piano, as well as some trombone and a little acoustic guitar. She was interested in music.
Musical excellen:Savannah Arts Academy elite Skyelite Jazz Band keeps music alive
But after taking part in SMF Jazz Academy, that interest turned into a passion.
Christina started playing the melodica in SMF Jazz Academy, which is Savannah Music Festival’s tuition-free, year-long program for Savannah-Chatham County Public School students in grades fifth through 12th.
The free after-school program is designed to empower students by instilling life-long skills of academic, social and musical achievement. It was offered virtually last school year. The goal is for it to be in-person for 2021-22.
Christina decided she was definitely a music person when during the virtual school year she was playing melodica under the tutelage of Masilo, a vocalist, composer, teacher artist and arts administrator who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Christina envisions that music will always be a part of her life, no matter which of the various instruments she now plays becomes her forte.
The best part of SMF Jazz Academy for Christina was being around other kids who were serious about playing music.
“You can tell all the students and teachers really enjoyed playing music,” said Campbell, whose family includes parents Nicole and Glen, as well as brother Ray, 19.
Not surprisingly, Christina’s involvement with SMF Jazz Academy helped spark her to start her podcast, which focuses on Christina’s three loves: music, movies and books.
Her favorite part of doing the podcast is inspiring others, much like SMF Jazz Academy inspired her. A few of Christina’s loved ones have gone on to start their own podcasts because of hers.
“I like knowing something I did was able to reach other people,’’ Christina said.
Her dream interview guest on “The Entertainer”? Christina’s favorite Marvel superhero actor Scarlet Johansson.
Chances are Christina could just make it happen.
To listen to the podcasts, go online to anchor.fm/theentertainer.
Student applications open
SMF Jazz Academy is accepting student applications. The academy is open to students at all music levels. With SCCPSS planning for in-person student majority attendance for 2021-22, the academy plans to follow the district’s lead.
“We’re eager to see our students in-person again and to offer rehearsals in a face-to-face environment,” said SMF Jazz Academy Manager Jessica Messere. “As always, our goal is to expose as many students as possible to the freedom of creative expression through jazz.”
All students in the program will have at least one rehearsal a week and one private lesson on their instrument. Students will also perform at the end of each semester, participate in monthly jam sessions and work with local jazz musicians in masterclasses.
The academy is accepting beginning, intermediate and advanced students in grades five through 12. Previous musical experience not required with free instrument rentals available.
SMF Jazz Academy
Enrollment: Aug. 2-22
To apply, more info: savannahmusicfestival.org/jazzacademy
Contact: Jessica Messere, firstname.lastname@example.org, 912-234-3378 x107.