34515404213_2534b32437_oAs the house lights dimmed at The Bitter End and all eyes were attuned to the stage, students from 18 local modern band ensembles waited eagerly to show-off their hard work. More than 200 students from around New York City came together at NYC’s Jamfest 2017 to celebrate the end-of-the-year in true rockstar fashion – and lived up to the persona!

The audience was electrified by student performances of popular music favorites from artists like John Lennon, Adele, Ed Sheeran, and David Bowie. Four bands featured student composed original songs – Frederick Douglas Academy VI High School led by Steve Underhill, The Equity Project Charter School led by Alan Davis, Grover Cleveland High School led by Brett Green, and the Academy of Software Engineering led by Mike Delfino.

At Jamfest, young musicians of all ages – from elementary to high school – get the chance to express themselves through the music they know and love for an audience of their peers, teachers, and communities.

“I’m glad that we have a concert like this today, without music we’re lost souls without a 34515433043_e5d875d827_ovoice,” said Naquan Brown, a student from Frederick Douglas Academy VI High School in Far Rockaway, after performing an original composition, “Have You Forgotten.”

For these student performers, it’s about much more than the music. It’s about self-expression and creativity – and making friends.

“I didn’t even talk to these guys at all before, now after playing music with them and starting a band, now we’re close”, said the guitarist from Code Blue 414 at the Academy of Software Engineering.

Watch the PS 182 Tigers’ performance [PS 182 Samantha Smith Elementary School in Queens]

Whether this was their first time on a public stage, or they’re a seasoned performer, every student lit up the stage. Beyond their own excitement, students were so supportive and encouraging of their bandmates and the other groups – and not lacking inspiration.


Peter Mole, the music teacher at I.S. 93Q in Queens, said “My students found the [Jamfest] experience enjoyable and rewarding. I think they were inspired by some of the other acts.”

  • The Equity Project Charter School
  • P.S. 69 Queens
  • P.S. 205 Alexander Graham Bell School
  • Robert H. Goddard M.S. 202Q
  • Grover Cleveland High School
  • P.S. 243X West Bronx Academy for the Future
  • P.S. 102 Queens
  • Kappa International High School
  • I.S. 93Q
  • 071K Juan Morel Campos Secondary School
  • Frederick Douglas Academy VI High School
  • PS 182 Samantha Smith
  • Harlem Village Academy West Elementary
  • NYC iSchool
  • Academy of Software Engineering
  • East New York Middle School of Excellence