Kicking off “Fine Arts in Education Month”, Walton County School District joined Okaloosa County with over 3100 students as guests of Sinfonia Gulf Coast for the Carnegie LinkUp Concert “The Orchestra Swings!” The students joined the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Orchestra and Jazz Band in an interactive performance, singing, dancing and playing recorders. The Emerald Coast Conference Center was filled with energy and excitement as the students performed with the orchestra on tunes that included “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Aint Got That Swing), “I Got Rhythm”, and “When the Saints Go Marching In!” 
The Carnegie Link Up program “The Orchestra Swings” explores elements of swing and jazz in a year long curriculum that includes hands-on activities, choreography, audio and video resources, concert repertoire, and exploration of musical elements of singing, playing recorder, rhythm and melody. 
Walton County students are grateful to the St Joe Community Foundation for a grant that provided the recorders for this curriculum, and to Sinfonia Gulf Coast for the opportunity to participate in this exciting event through their collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute! 
Submitted by Keitha Bledsoe