Rick Weil here. I'm a sociologist at LSU in Baton Rouge & partnering with the Roots of Music. I know a little about music, but not like the other folks! I do know something about sociology & communities, and I think this program is great! It's going to make a huge contribution to the communities it touches and to New Orleans' recovery.
We were privileged to attend a rehearsal of the pilot program yesterday at Tipitina's. The instructors, Lawrence and Shoan, do an amazing job with the kids - keeping them engaged and building a team. And Derrick has the whole thing humming, with tons of people contributing their talents & efforts.
I took some pictures of yesterday's rehearsal, to give you a feel for what it's like to be there. Here's a slideshow ...
Oh by the way, it was Derrick's birthday yesterday ... Happy birthday, Derrick! - Rick
You can see the full slideshow and other pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/rootsofmusicnola/RehearsalAtTipitinaS.
And you can see how some of my sociology work connects with the Roots of Music at http://www.lsu.edu/fweil/KatrinaResearch ... including the page on RoM at http://www.lsu.edu/fweil/AfterSchoolMusicProgram.htm.