Jazz it up in New Orleans with Collins

Assistant News Editor

This spring students at County College of Morris will be able to earn three credits toward a college degree while experiencing jazz music and exploring the history of New Orleans.

The class, conducted by music professor Todd Collins, takes place during CCM’s first summer session held June 6-16 and is open to all students at CCM.

The trip, a special topics class, is not a regular course. Students who participate in this opportunity will be able to complete a humanities elective or a diversity course, according to Collins.

“New Orleans is one of the greatest musical cities on earth,” Collins said. “It is a great and affordable opportunity for students to feel, hear and discover the story behind the music that makes up that culture.”

Students will step aboard a cruise on the Natchez River-boat, attend the Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival, where they can taste New Orleans cuisine, and take a bike tour into various parts of the city.

“We will visit the Presbytere, Cabildo and the United States Mint State Museums, along with the Backstreet Cultural Museum, which is located at the Tremé neighborhood,” Collins said. “The Tremé neighborhood is a known place because a lot of great musicians came out of that area. It is an important part of the culture of New Orleans.”

On the bike tour, students will head uptown to the Garden District, Sculpture Garden, and check out the famous Tiptina’s club, where jazz artist Professor Longhair performed in his late years.

The students will watch a concert at Preservation Hall in which Collins is hoping, he can secure the Paulin Brothers Brass Band to perform a private concert for the students again.

“Students called the [concert the] highlight of the trip,” Collins said. “They are one of the famous musical families of New Orleans. Their father, Ernest Paulin, started a band in the 1920s and he played until his death. His sons are carrying on the tradition.”

Chelsea Carlson, aspiring singer-songwriter and early childhood education major at CCM, stated that her experience in New Orleans was unlike any other.

“If you think New York City is a melting pot of cultures, you definitely have never seen New Orleans,” Carlson said. “What I liked was that the trip didn’t cover only jazz, but all kinds of music, as well as the music business.”

Carlson’s favorite moments included visiting Café Du Monde, the Oyster Festival and Bourbon Street.

“The entire city seems stuck in another time,” Carlson said. “I learned so much about music, art and culture. It really gave me insight to creativity. As a musician myself, it really opened my eyes on how to share music with people and really appreciate each other’s work.”

Collins encourages students to register early; as there are only 10 student spots available. The deadline to sign up is Feb. 29. Any interested students are asked to contact Professor Collins at tcollins@ccm.edu.


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