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ClassACTS! Connecting Students To A World of Culture

At the Harris Center for the Arts, we know that students who actively engage in the arts through a variety of experiences gain multiple benefits that contribute to academic achievement and personal success. Our school matinee series is designed to provide a program that will entertain and inspire your students through multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary performances. Select performances will include a study guide that is linked to the K–12 California Content Standards.

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The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College offers a variety of programs and educational opportunities for students and schools to experience the arts. Be the first to hear about the most current arts education news and events!

For questions or more information, please contact us at ArtsEd@harriscenter.net.

ClassACTS! Matinee Program Highlights

Made Possible By Support From:

County of Sacramento, California


Benny Goodman


Clarinetist Ken Peplowski & His Jazz Quartet
Friday, January 19, 2018; 10:00 am
Length: 1 hour (approximate)
Recommended Grades: 4–12
Price: $5 per student
One-Page Info Sheet (PDF)
Presented in partnership with Capital Public Radio.

This concert celebrates Benny Goodman, the King of Swing. But what is Swing?

It’s a noun. It’s also a verb. It describes an era, and yet it’s timeless. Swing is hard to define, but you know it when you feel it, especially if you’re on the dance floor! Benny Goodman was known as the King of Swing in the 1930’s, as popular in his day as Elvis or the Beatles were in theirs. Goodman drove the country’s dance craze with his swinging big bands, heard coast to coast on remote radio broadcasts.

Meanwhile his small groups were breaking other ground. Goodman was among the first leaders to employ both white and black musicians in his groups, performing together on the same stage. Racial integration was one of the hallmarks of Goodman’s famous 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall, which Capital Public Radio and the Harris Center will commemorate with an 80th Anniversary concert on Friday, January 19th at 7:30 p.m.

In this special matinee presentation just for students, headliner Ken Peplowski will share insights about Benny Goodman’s impact on music and society, while performing selections from the Goodman repertoire with a top-notch small group. Ken and company will demonstrate elements of swing and improvisation and explain how Goodman’s small groups helped build a bridge from big band swing to modern jazz.

Video: Benny Goodman Quartet 1937 (YouTube)

Legends of Hawaiian Music


Keola Beamer and Henry Kapono
Friday, January 26, 2018; 10:00 am
Recommended Grades: 3–12
Price: $5 per student

Keola Beamer & Henry Kapono are two legends of Hawaiian music. Each became an icon in the 1970s, at the creative forefront as Hawaiian music reinvented itself. Keola explored the roots of slack key guitar and then launched a statewide revival of the tradition. Henry forged a new sound of laid-back contemporary rock. Since the "Hawaiian Renaissance" of the 1970s that brought language, music, hula, art, and all aspects of Hawaiian culture back to their central place in the life of the Islands, they have continued to lead the way for over four decades.

Video: "Makee 'Ailana", Performed by Keola Beamer (YouTube)

Ten Dancers From ElevenPlay

ELEVENPLAY from Tokyo, Japan

Art at the Intersection of Technology & Dance
As Seen on America's Got Talent
Wednesday, January 31, 2018; 10:00 am
Recommended Grades: 3–12
Price: $5 per student

Featured in Season 11 of America's Got Talent, Japan's ElevenPlay is a dance company that incorporates advanced technologies directly into their performances, including drones, iPads, lasers and other digital technology. "The three dancers and their accompanying drones put on a mesmerizing and eerie display...The result is stunning," writes Hyperallergic. Nerdist put it simpler: "...pure talent, ingenuity, and beauty."

Video: ElevenPlay on America's Got Talent (YouTube)
Video: ElevenPlay "Cube" (YouTube)

Parsons Dance


From New York City
Tuesday, March 6, 2018; 10 am
Recommended Grades: 3–12
Price: $5 per student
Study Guide

Exuberant & Virtuosic. With remarkable athleticism and stunning ensemble work, Parsons Dance brings exuberance, joy and passion to the stage, flawlessly fusing the movements of modern dance with the precision of a classical dance company. Founded in 1985 by Artistic Director David Parsons (who the New York Times calls "one of the great movers of modern dance") and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley, the New York City-based company is today internationally recognized as one of the world's leading modern dance companies.

Study Guide for Parsons Dance

St Patricks Day


Friday, March 16, 2018; 9:30 am
Recommended Grades: K–6
Price: $5 per student

An authentic St. Patrick's Day celebration, with "rip-roaring" traditional music, song, and dance of Ireland.

Video: Overview Preview (YouTube)

Treasure Island


Panto Company USA
Friday, March 23, 2018; 9:30 am
Recommended Grades: 3–7
Price: $5 per student

An action-packed, fun-filled tale of piracy, a mysterious treasure map, and a host of characters with bad intentions who meet their match and are foiled in their attempts. As seen through the eyes of Jim Hawkins, the cabin boy of the Hispaniola, this thrilling Robert Louis Stevenson adventure tells of a perilous sea journey across the Spanish Main, a mutiny led by the infamous Long John Silver, a scramble for buried treasure on an exotic isle, and the message that good wins over evil every time.

5 Folsom Lake College Dancers


Folsom Lake College Dance Department + Area Dance Schools
Friday, May 4, 2018; 10:00 am
Recommended Grades: K–6
Price: $5 per student

In this introduction to dance, Folsom Lake College's Dance Department, together with area dance schools, will showcase an array of dance styles including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary and Musical Theatre!


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