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Stax Music Academy partners with Gibson Gives for kickoff of 2023-24 after-school program

The Stax Music Academy is calling all middle and high school students with an interest in music to audition for and enroll in its 2023/2024 SMA Afterschool Program.

The call is in conjunction with a new partnership with Gibson Gives, the philanthropic arm of the iconic American instrument brand.

Located at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis, Stax Music Academy provides training, classes, rehearsals, ensembles, and more in vocals, instrumentals, music theory, production and audio engineering, songwriting and music business, videography, choreography, and more.

The school pairs its music education with equal parts mentoring, offering social and emotional growth learning, professional mental wellness counseling, and college preparedness training.

The academy has traveled around the world as Memphis Music Ambassadors to places such as Italy, Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and its most recent outing, playing the July 12 Summer for the City Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City with legendary Stax artist Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the M.G.’s.

Of particular interest in the upcoming year is the new partnership with Gibson Gives, which is offering assistance to guitar players via the Skip Pitts and Albert King Gap Funds for students in need of tuition assistance in the program of the SMA. 

Albert King was an American guitarist and singer signed to Stax Records. King is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential blues singers of all time. He is perhaps best known for his popular and influential song “Born Under a Bad Sign” (1967). Pitts, who was Isaac Hayes’ longtime guitarist, played the famous wah-wah riff on the Academy Award-winning “Theme from Shaft.”

“Both SMA and Gibson Gives recognize the importance of investing in growth and development of youth through music,” said Stax Music Academy Executive Director Isaac Daniel. “We are very excited about this new partnership for the Soulsville Foundation.” 

The SMA Afterschool Program is designed to help students earn music scholarships to college and result in civic-minded, socially conscious, successful adults.

“The new partnership with Gibson Gives will only strengthen what we already do,” added Daniel.

(To set up an audition or find out more about the Stax Music Academy, email smaprogramming@staxmusicacademy.org.)


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