PAHOKEE — Local homegrown scholar Kayla Burgess, current eighth grade student at Pahokee Middle High School and recipient of two Excellent Awards at Concert Band Music Performance Assessment and a Superior Medal award at Solo and Ensemble MPA has been accepted into the prestigious Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts in West Palm Beach for instrumental music.
In addition to the amazing achievement of being admitted into one of the most competitive music programs in the nation, Kayla has also been awarded a professional clarinet ($4,000 value) which was donated by Music Man, Inc. and personally delivered by John Jarvis, the owner of Music Man, Inc.
“I wanted to make sure Kayla had the tools to continue her hard work and determination to achieve success for the rest of her life,” said John Jarvis. Against all the odds and despite the pandemic, as well as a band program no longer being offered at her school, Kayla continued reaching for her dreams with the support of her parents and Alain Goindoo. Kayla continued practicing and taking private clarinet lessons with professional clarinet instructor Katie Thompson, who has provided lessons to Kayla since 2016 after working with her at the annual Hope Symphony Summer Band Camp at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a free of charge summer band camp for students in the Pahokee, Belle Glade, Canal Point, and South Bay communities as well as Title 1 students across Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach.
“It takes a village!” said Mr. Goindoo, Kayla’s previous band director and graduate of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. “I am beyond proud of Kayla’s hard work and dedication, her success is a testament that when our children our given the tools, resources, and opportunities, they can succeed and compete at the highest levels.”
Thanks go to the community of Pahokee, Mayor/City Commissioner Regina Bohlen, Teamwork USA, H.E. Hill Foundation, Music Man, Inc, John Jarvis, Katherine Thompson, Paul Destito, The Honda Classic Cares, Paul Bremer, The Hope Symphony, Inc, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and the Palm Beach Symphony for providing instruments, lessons, equipment, uniform repair, food, facilities, and summer camps for our Glades Area children.