Correia’s pupils were benefiting from the “Artist in Residency” program, which brings professional musicians to the school to teach, inspire and perform with them.
The Correia Instrumental Music Association (CIMA) and Glen Fisher’s First Friday Music Club partner to raise funds to bring professional local musicians to Correia.
Marc Dwyer, the school’s band director and Glen Fisher collaborate to choose musicians and organize the workshops and performances. Delfeayo Marsalis, Bill Watrous and the Dallas Brass are among the list of musicians the “Artist in Residency” program has brought to Correia Middle School in past years.
In addition to being a member of the music faculty at Grossmont College, Cannon is also a member of the jazz studio faculty at San Diego State University. He teaches music theory, jazz improvisation, elements of jazz, and he is the founder/director of the Afro-Cuban Ensemble at Grossmont College.
He has performed with such musical greats as Natalie Cole, The Four Tops, Clark Terry and The Temptations and at The Montreaux Jazz Festival in the Switzerland, The Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy and the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada.
Cannon found the Correia students to be attentive and appreciated their ability to remember what he taught them.
“They are sponges, just absorbing everything,” Cannon said.
Cannon is familiar with the Correia band, having judged them in competitions before and commented that the program is a great experience for the students.
“Having a music program like this is invaluable for the students and rare for a middle school,” he said.
The students spent several half-days working with Cannon and performing for their school.
The residency culminated with a public performance at Sufi restaurant in Clairemont, where the students played with Cannon, Fisher and other professional musicians. The students said they found their sessions with Cannon “challenging.”
Seventh-grader Andrew Johnson said Cannon taught students to “listen to each other better when we play.” He said the young musicians also liked performing solos and “getting better.”