Church Starts Arts Academy

By Jennifer Taylor

Trombonist and jazz musician Stan Wilkerson has played with Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin. This fall he’ll be leading the Academy of the Arts at Common Ground Christian Church (Tampa, FL).

Common Ground launched the academy this fall to provide lessons in piano, guitar, drums, woodwinds, and brass. Students may choose private or group lessons at reasonable prices, and older students also receive opportunities to play in jazz combos, ensembles, and recitals.

The academy also emphasizes music as worship; students may share their music as part of weekend services at Common Ground.

“We are excited to invite our community and friends to pioneer a new adventure into the arts,” says Common Ground lead pastor Danny Schaffner. “No other medium transcends culture and life as music can.”

Wilkerson says future plans for the academy include development of dance, drama, visual art, spoken word, and recording arts programs.


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