By Pat Loeb
MEDFORD, Nj. (CBS) — A Medford, New Jersey man is doing his small part to try to make up for public school budget cuts that have eliminated music programs. His jazz band offers young musicians a chance to perform and proceeds go to music education. The band played at a street festival on Sunday, in Medford.
“It’s so much fun playing with the guys,” said 11-year-old Eme Eskaros, who tore up the keys at Medford’s art, wine and music festival. “A great experience.”
“The guys” are the M-town Jazz Jam, formed by guitarist Dave Bermingham and other parents distressed about the elimination of music education in Medford’s elementary schools.
“I just thought it was such a shame because Medford has a very strong music program, it was one of the reasons I actually moved here,” said Bermingham. “I wanted the best education for my kids, so I was very disappointed to see that feeding program at the elementary school be cut off.”
Bermingham figures M-town can make up for some of the decreased performance opportunities and he hopes to offer scholarships for music lessons, though he says those are small repairs.
“Is it going to encourage a kid in 4th grade to practice for the next six years because he might get a scholarship?” he added. “Probably not, but we can do something.”