Vail Jazz Goes to School Sextet performs student compositions at year-end concert

The Vilar Performing Arts Center was alive with toe tapping, knee smacking and head bobbing this week, as Tony Gulizia and the Vail Jazz Goes to School Sextet performed a trio of concerts for local fourth- and fifth-graders to wrap up the latest season of the Vail Jazz Foundation’s Jazz Goes to School program.

Gulizia took students on a historical tour of jazz, from the funeral dirges of early 1900s New Orleans, through Fats Waller and Duke Ellington in the 1920s and ’30s, hitting a crescendo with Dizzy Gillespie’s 1940s be-bop — complete with three-conch shell harmony — and then dialing it back with the “cool jazz” of Miles Davis in the 1950s.

“Your mom’s got some soup on the stove and it’s boiling over,” Gulizia said of the torrid bop of the ’40s. “Well, she turns it down to simmer and boils it off a bit and we have a new style of jazz called ‘cool jazz.’”

The Sextet strolled through Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island,” sizzled on Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” and jammed on Grover Washington Jr.’s pop classic “Just the Two of Us,” as the young audience clapped along, occasionally air drumming or throwing up a finger trumpet, cheeks puffed out like Gillespie.

Decade by decade, Gulizia introduced the tunes with a bit of background about each style of jazz and each musician who helped to make it famous, from the first jazz song that was ever written down on paper — W.C. Handy’s “The Saint Louis Blues” — to the heyday of New York’s Cotton Club to the advent of electronic instruments in the 1960s.

The tour came to an end with Louis Prima’s rendition of “Jump, Jive and Wail,” part of the resurgence of swing in the 1990s.

“Back about 10 years ago, or a little more than that, all of a sudden came a revival of what they called jive music,” Gulizia said. “You’d see kids just a little bit older than you doing the jitterbug and dancing and having a good time.”

FIRST-TIME COMPOSERS

As a new edition to the program this year, fifth-graders who participated in Vail Jazz Goes to School were challenged to write their own lyrics in sync with the jazz chord progression they had learned known as the 12-bar blues.

Gulizia and his fellow musicians concluded each of the three performances by playing a handful of the submitted tunes and, ultimately, crowning a trio of winning songs, rewarding the songwriters with gift cards to Sugar Bar candy store in Edwards.

He sang of run-away dogs, the cool, clear water of a summer swimming pool and making lemonade when life gives you lemons before launching into the first winning composition on Tuesday morning.

“Oh sweet candy, I need you the most,” Gulizia sang, as students craned their necks, searching the audience for the chosen songwriter. “Oh sweet candy, I need you the most. I’m going to win this contest, but I don’t want to boast.”

Excited murmurings shot through the crowd as Faith Sandoval, a fifth-grader at June Creek Elementary, recognized her song, embellished by Gulizia’s blues crooning.

“When I heard it, I was like, oh my god,” she said. “I was proud of myself that I worked so hard on it.”

After learning about the 12-bar blues, and the potential reward of a sweet treat for winning the competition, Faith said she was inspired to write on the theme of candy.

“I really like making up beats of songs, and what made me think of the candy, I really wanted to inspire little kids to keep on going to do this,” she said.

MORE 12-BAR BLUES

Tuesday afternoon brought a songwriting duo to the stage to collect their winnings. Maddox Fitzgerald and Keegan Collins, of Edwards Elementary School, wrote their song “Home Run” about America’s favorite pastime.

“I started with a conclusion,” Maddox said. “I really wanted to do that conclusion, and he came up with the baseball theme and he came up with the middle part, and then together it took us a while to figure out the middle part.”

Keegan said he was speechless when he heard Gulizia sing the first few lines.

“I didn’t think it was ours at the very beginning,” he said. “I thought it was some else’s because I thought we called it something else.”

“I heard the ‘Home Run’ and I was like, that could be ours or it could be someone else’s,” Maddox said. “I wish I could do that again, write another song again.”

The final winner was called to the stage at the third concert on Wednesday morning. Sammi Boeke, of Red Hill Elementary School, said her song “Springtime Blues” was inspired but the current weather in the high country, starting with chirping birds and growing gardens and concluding with “crazy snowing.”

“I was really surprised,” she said when she found out her composition had been selected, adding that she wouldn’t be keeping her candy winnings to herself. “I’m going to share it with my brothers.”

Vail Jazz Goes to School returns with a sweet reward in store

Vail Jazz Goes to School, Vail Jazz’s music education program for fourth- and fifth-graders, returns to schools in Eagle County starting today. This third session brings a trio of professional musicians and educators into 15 local schools to share their love of jazz and American history, and to inspire young people to embrace America’s own art form, whether as spectators or musicians.

Musician and educator Tony Gulizia leads the program.

“When the kids get to use their own hands to play an instrument as they do in this session, the beauty of the music really comes alive for them. They understand how it works and why improvisation is at the heart of all jazz music,” Gulizia said.

Two jazz educators — Gulizia’s brother, Joey, drums, and Andy Hall, bass — join him in this session as they introduce the blues scale and other techniques used in improvisation. Students are taught the notes of the blues scale and musical concepts such as dissonance and syncopation. With this foundation, the older students then get a chance to try their hand at creating their own jazz by writing 12-bar blues compositions, with lyrics put to a blues beat.

At the final concert on May 10 and 11 at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, a selection of fifth-grade students’ blues compositions will be presented in medley. New this year, one group of students will be awarded for having the best lyrics at each of the three final concerts, thanks to support from Sugar Bar. The Vail Daily will also recognize winning lyrics by publishing them in the newspaper.

“Most kids would never be exposed to jazz, much less understand its development and relevance to American history, without this program,” said Dawn Vallejos, music teacher at Eagle Valley and Edwards elementary schools.

The program provides music teachers with a comprehensive curriculum, pre- and post-visit lesson plans and follow-up activities that complement the three sessions with the musicians in the classroom.

Vail Jazz Goes to School, now in its 16th year, supports and promotes jazz with a focus on educating young audiences. Jazz Goes to School is presented by Vail Jazz to Eagle County fourth- and fifth-graders at all public schools and Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Elementary School and St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School.

Vail Jazz Goes to School will reach more than 1,100 Eagle County students this school year and has exposed more than 17,000 students to this unique American art form since its inception.

Eagle County Swings with Vail Jazz Goes to School

Vail Jazz Goes to School, Vail Jazz’s unique jazz education program for fourth- and fifth-graders, returns to Eagle County schools Monday through Thursday. The program features a quintet of professional musician-educators who travel to 16 local elementary schools to share their love of jazz and American history and inspire young people to embrace jazz, America’s original art form.

While September’s Session 1 focused on the origins of jazz and the rhythm section with handmade bongos and drums, this second session of the four-part program adds in the horn section.

“We want to introduce the kids to the heart of jazz, while the cool combination of drums, piano and bass forms the core of all jazz music,” said program director Tony Gulizia. “Now, we add in the saxophone and trumpet to create a clean, cool sound they love.”

COMPOSING JAZZ MUSIC

Later in the Vail Jazz Goes to School curriculum, the older students will try their hands at writing their own jazz music. The final concert in May at the Vilar Performing Arts Center includes blues compositions created by the fifth-graders, performed in an exciting medley format.

Vail Resorts EpicPromise, the company’s philanthropy program, has identified Vail Jazz Goes to School as a necessary and valuable way to help bring the arts into our schools.

“Vail Resorts supports Jazz Goes to School as an incredibly important program that teaches the wonders of jazz to the children of Eagle County,” said Nicky DeFord, manager of charitable giving for Vail Resorts. Additionally, Alpine Bank’s grant to Vail Jazz provides funds to bring accomplished jazz instructors from around the country into all elementary schools in the region.

“We encourage parents of fourth- and fifth-graders to attend their children’s programs to share their enthusiasm for what they’re learning,” said Robin Litt, executive director of Vail Jazz. “Their love for the program can be really infectious.”

Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs Vail Jazz Goes to School along with his brother Joey, who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums. Other musician-educators performing and teaching this week include Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (saxophone) and Mike Gurciullo (trumpet).

Now in its 18th year, Vail Jazz Goes to School supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences — fulfilling the mission of Vail Jazz.

Vail Jazz Goes to School swings into Eagle County schools

Vail Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz education program for fourth- and fifth-graders, returns to schools in Eagle County starting Monday. A staff of professional musicians and educators join local jazz musician and Tony Gulizia, the program director, to bring this innovative educational program to 16 local schools. They share their love and knowledge of jazz and American history to inspire young people to embrace jazz, America’s own art form.

“Children’s eyes light up when Mr. Gulizia works with them on the introduction to jazz,” said Robin Litt, executive director. “There’s nothing like Vail Jazz Goes to School elsewhere in the country, and we are so lucky to have such a talented teaching staff lead the program.”

The first of four sessions, titled What Is This Thing Called Jazz?, explore the evolution of the music from its origins in Africa and the American south through to present day. Students will examine the customs and musical traditions that African slaves brought to America, how the migration of the black population brought blues to New Orleans and the history and evolution of many musical instruments. Throughout the session, students are encouraged to try their hand at playing special handmade percussion instruments from West Africa and learn the African rhythms that found their way to New Orleans.

Now in its 18th year, Vail Jazz Goes to School supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences — fulfilling the mission of Vail Jazz. For this first session, Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey on drums, also a professional jazz musician and educator, and Michael Pujado on percussion.

ABOUT JAZZ GOES TO SCHOOL

Vail Jazz Goes to School is presented at all Eagle County public schools, plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Charter School and St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School. Vail Jazz Goes to School reaches more than 1,200 students each year and has exposed more than 16,000 students to the course about this uniquely American art form.

Since 1995, Vail Jazz has brought attention to jazz music through live performances, which showcase the talent of great jazz musicians, and through jazz education, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences. Vail Jazz Goes to School is presented through grants from Vail Resorts Epic Promise, Alpine Bank, United Way Eagle River Valley and Colorado Mountain Express, along with donations from individuals who support sharing jazz with younger generations.

Vail Jazz Goes to School Sextet Performs Concert for Local Students!

Vail Jazz Goes to School wraps up its seventeenth year in Eagle County with three special jazz performances at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on May 4 & 5 featuring the Jazz Goes to School Sextet. “This is such a rich and exciting performance and it’s a fabulous end to the lessons that have taken place throughout the school year to every 4th and 5th grade class,” said Robin Litt, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

The fourth and final session of the Jazz Goes to School educational program, entitled “Giants of Jzz”, features a selection of tunes that have shaped the history of jazz in America.

Local jazz musician and professional jazz educator, Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Vail Jazz Goes to School program. “The concert includes legendary jazz tunes by Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and others”, said Gulizia. “We also perform a medley of blues compositions authored by the fifth graders as part of the concert – their lyrics are priceless!” said Gulizia.

Tony Gulizia’s brother Joey, also a professional jazz musician and educator (drummer), joins Tony on stage, as does Andy Hall (bass), Gary Regina (saxophone), Mike Gurciullo (trumpet) and Michael Pujado (congas and percussion). The sextet presents a dynamic, foot stompin’ show that pulls together all of the concepts taught in the first three classroom sessions, as demonstrated in some of Jazz’s finest works.

Vail Jazz Goes to School is presented by The Vail Jazz Foundation, a 501c3 charitable foundation dedicated to perpetuating jazz with a focus on young musicians and young audiences. The program educates over 1,100 fourth and fifth graders annually in the Eagle County School District RE-50J, plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, The Vail Academy, Stone Creek Charter School, and St. Clare of Assisi. Vail Jazz Goes to School has exposed over 17,000 local school children to jazz music since inception.

Building on the success of Vail Jazz Goes to School, Vail Jazz will offer a summer hands-on musical experience, called “Jammin’ Jazz Kids” every Sunday in July. In conjunction with Vail Jazz @ The Market at the Vail Farmers’ Market, youngsters ages 4 to 12 will be able to explore the history of Jazz along with a fun learning experience with children playing a variety of percussion instruments – maracas, bongos, congas, tambourines and Orff instruments. Participating children will also listen to and join with jazz musicians in playing music and learning the art of improvisation. Sunday programs will be 45 minutes in length and offered at no charge.

Vail Jazz Goes to School is sponsored in part by Alpine Bank, Vilar PAC Community Use Fund, Colorado Mountain Express (Official Transportation Provider), all fifteen elementary schools’ PTOs, United Way Eagle River Valley, Vail Resorts Echo, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Antlers at Vail, Local Joe’s Pizza, East West Resorts, Lifthouse Lodge and numerous private donors.

Vail Jazz will announce its lineup and tickets will go on sale on May 1st for the 21st Annual Vail Jazz Festival. “The Festival will host nearly 50 free and ticketed concerts in different venues throughout Vail. And will host over 150 artists who will share their passion for this original American art form with locals and visitors to Vail. Our renowned artists are chosen for their broad appeal to all ages and audiences and are highly regarded for their stage presence and entertainment value. They have great appeal even for audiences who don’t necessarily wear the ‘jazz fan’ label!” Litt commented, “We hope youngsters who got a taste of jazz through Vail Jazz Goes to School will join us this summer at the Vail Jazz Festival!”

Eagle County students swing with Jazz Goes to School

VAIL — Jazz Goes to School, Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for fourth- and fifth-graders, returns to Eagle County schools Tuesday through Friday, Jan. 23. The program features a quintet of professional musician educators who travel to 16 local elementary schools to share their love of jazz and American history, and inspire young people to embrace jazz: America’s original art form.

While September’s Session 1 focused on the origins of jazz and the rhythm section with handmade bongos and drums, this second session of the four-part program adds in the horn section.

“We want to introduce the kids to the heart of jazz; the cool combination of drums, piano and bass forms the core of all jazz music,” said program director Tony Gulizia. “Now we add in the saxophone and trumpet to create a clean cool sound they love.”

Later in the Jazz Goes to School curriculum, the older students try their hand at writing their own jazz music. The final concert in May at the Vilar Performing Arts Center includes blues compositions created by the fifth-graders, performed in an exciting medley format.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Gulizia is not the only one who appreciates how Jazz Goes to School makes a difference for local kids. Vail Resorts Epic Promise, the company’s philanthropy program, has identified Jazz Goes to School as a necessary and valuable way to help bring the arts into our schools.”

Vail Resorts supports Jazz Goes to School as an incredibly important program that teaches the wonders of jazz to the children of Eagle County,” said Nicky DeFord, manager of charitable giving for Vail Resorts.

Additionally, Alpine Bank’s grant to Vail Jazz provides funds to bring the accomplished jazz instructors into all elementary schools in the region.

“We encourage parents of fourth- and fifth-graders to attend their children’s programs to share their enthusiasm for what they’re learning. Their love for the program can be really infectious,” said Robin Litt, executive director of Vail Jazz.

Gulizia (keyboard and vocals) directs the Jazz Goes to School program for Vail Jazz. Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey, who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums. Other musician educators performing this week include Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (saxophone) and Mike Gurciullo (trumpet).

ABOUT JAZZ GOES TO SCHOOL

Jazz Goes to School, which is in its 16th year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences. Jazz Goes to School is presented to Eagle County fourth- and fifth-graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Elementary Schools and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School reaches over 1,100 students each year and has exposed more than 15,000 students to the course about this uniquely American art form. To learn more, visit www.vailjazz.org.

Slifer Designs and Nina McLemore join together

VAIL — Beth Slifer and Nina McLemore are collaborating on Slifer Designs at Nina McLemore, a shared space at 183 Gore Creek Drive in Vail Village.

Slifer Designs is a home store that has become a must-see to many locals, visitors and second-home owners. It’s here that Slifer and her buying team create distinctive home designs. The Nina McLemore boutique opened in Vail Village in January of 2012. Owner and designer Nina McLemore has stores and sales consultants across the country, including Aspen. The collection features designer clothing for women. McLemore was featured in the July 3 issue of the Wall Street Journal as The Ultimate Power Dresser. McLemore’s clients include Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and the president of Pepsico, Indra Nooyi.

“We are so excited to be in Vail,” Slifer said. “We’ve noticed a lot of Vail locals and guests want to get something while in Vail, be part of the Vail experience if you will. Well, we’re here to say, let us help you.”

Slifer Designs is entering its third decade in the valley and the new boutique is just one more way to stay true to its Vail roots.

“We are delighted to welcome Slifer Designs to our Vail boutique,” McLemore said. “I have known of Beth Slifer from years of visiting and skiing in Vail. We certainly share similar client profiles and believe in giving back to the community. To be able to give more to charity is one of the reasons I started this business.”

SPECIAL OFFERINGS

The store is already planning soirees and special offerings throughout the winter, allowing for new items and Slifer’s design know-how to pour through the doors. McLemore will be introducing her new spring collection in late January.

Slifer and McLemore are hosting an afternoon jazz event on Jan. 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to benefit the Vail Jazz Foundation’s Jazz Goes to School program. A percentage of Nina McLemore and Slifer Designs at Nina McLemore will be donated to the foundation from Jan. 2-16 when Vail Jazz is mentioned.

Interview with Tony Gulizia: Vail’s 4th, 5th graders in sweet spot

Interview with Vail Jazz Goes to School Director of Education, Tony Gulizia

by Steve Chavis for KUVO Jazz, KVJZ

 

Pianist-vocalist Tony Gulizia (Tony G.) has spent the last 18 school years surrounded by fourth and fifth graders at every school in Eagle County via the Vail Jazz Foundation‘s “Jazz Goes to School” program.  Gulizia said that early age is the “perfect” time for jazz education.

“Kids that age are a little more aware of jazz music, and they’re getting ready to perhaps start an instrument in elementary school or middle school,” said Gulizia.

A hot number for Jazz Goes To School is Henry Mancini’s theme to “The Pink Panther,” including Plas Johnson’s sax solo.  “They hear a walking bass, they hear the swing style, they hear the improvisation.”  The JGTS curriculum includes the African roots of jazz and a jazz quintet performance.

“Vail Jazz Foundation founder Howard Stone has always had a deep appreciation for the importance of educating young students about America’s great music form,” said Gulizia.  “Jazz Goes To School” has reached nearly 20,000 fourth and fifth graders since 1996.

Eagle County students swing, learn music history with Jazz Goes to School

EAGLE COUNTY — Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for Eagle County fourth and fifth-graders, returns to schools starting Monday. The educational program features professional musician/educators who visit 16 local schools to share their love and knowledge of jazz and American history, and inspire young people to embrace jazz: America’s own art form.

“Childrens’ eyes light up when Mr. Gulizia works with them on the introduction to jazz,” said Vail Jazz Foundation’s Executive Director Robin Litt. “There’s nothing like Jazz Goes to School elsewhere in the country, and we are so lucky to have such a talented teaching staff lead the program.”

Promoting Art

Jazz Goes to School, now in its 17th year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences, fulfilling the mission of The Vail Jazz Foundation.

This first session of the four-part program traces the evolution of the music from its origins in Africa and the American south through to today’s jazz.

“We look at the geographical movement of Senegalese, Yorbuba-Dahomean and Ashantis slaves to the United States. We examine their customs and culture with a particular emphasis on the musical traditions they brought to America,” said local jazz musician and program director Tony Gulizia.

The history of great jazz giants, such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin, King Oliver, Kid Ory and how the migration of the black population brings the blues to New Orleans is also featured in this lesson.

History of Instruments

Additionally, the history of many musical instruments is discussed, and students are encouraged to try their hand at playing special handmade percussion instruments from West Africa. Students learn about African rhythms, which found their way to New Orleans, where they began to blend with European church music.

Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), has directed the Jazz Goes to School program for all of its 17 years for The Vail Jazz Foundation. For this first session, Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey, also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums and Michael Pujado, on percussion. Subsequent sessions include up to six jazz musicians as they share their various functions within the jazz band.

ABOUT JAZZ GOES TO SCHOOL

Jazz Goes to School is presented by The Vail Jazz Foundation to Eagle County fourth and fifth graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Charter School and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School reaches over 1,200 students each year, and has exposed over 16,000 elementary school students to a course about this uniquely American art form. The final session in the spring is a true jazz concert performed by the Jazz Goes to School Sextet at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

For more information visit www.vail jazz.org.

Jazz Goes to School returns for Session 2

December 31, 2013 – Vail, Colorado Jazz Goes to School, The Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for 4 th and 5th graders, returns to Eagle County schools January 13-16, 2014.

The program features a quintet of professional musician/educators who travel to 15 local elementary schools to share their love of jazz and American history, and inspire young people to embrace jazz: America’s own art form.

While September’s Session 1 focused on the origins of jazz and the rhythm section with handmade bongos and drums, this second session of the four part program adds in the horn section.

“We want to introduce the kids to the heart of jazz; the cool combination of drums, piano and bass forms the core of all jazz music”, said program director Tony Gulizia. “Now we add in the saxophone and trumpet to create a clean cool sound they love” continued Gulizia.

Later in the Jazz Goes to School curriculum, the older students try their hand at writing their own jazz music. The final concert includes blues compositions created by the fifth graders, performed in medley at the final concert.

Gulizia is not the only one who appreciates how Jazz Goes to School makes a difference for local kids. Vail Resorts Echo, the company’s philanthropy program, has identified Jazz Goes to School as a necessary and valuable way to help bring the arts into our schools. “Vail Resorts supports Jazz Goes to School as an incredibly important program that teaches the wonders of Jazz to the children of Eagle County,” said Nicky DeFord, Manager of Charitable Giving for Vail Resorts Echo. Additionally, Alpine Bank’s grant to The Vail Jazz Foundation provides funds to bring the accomplished jazz instructors into all elementary schools in the region.

“We encourage parents of 4th and 5th graders to attend their children’s programs to share their enthusiasm for what they’re learning. Their love for the program can be really infectious!” says Robin Litt, Executive Director of The Vail Jazz Foundation.

Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program for the Vail Jazz Foundation. Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey, who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums. Other musician/educators performing this week include Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (saxophone), and Mike Gurciullo (trumpet).

 

About Jazz Goes To School

Jazz Goes to School, which is in its 16th year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences – fulfilling the mission of the Vail Jazz Foundation. Jazz Goes to School is presented by The Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF) to Eagle County 4 th and 5 th graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Elementary Schools, and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School reaches over 1,100 students each year, and has exposed over 15,000 school students to the course about this uniquely American art form.

Elements of Jazz Goes to School will be presented in a summer program entitled Jammin’ Jazz Kids at the Vail Farmers’ Market as part of Vail Jazz’s weekly free Jazz @ The Market series in July, 2014.

The Vail Jazz Foundation is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2014.

Jazz Goes to School offers a unique interactive learning experience that enhances the basic school curriculum and is provided free of charge, thanks to each school’s PTO and program sponsors, including Vail Resorts Echo, Alpine Bank, Colorado Mountain Express (Official Transportation Provider), Eagle County RE-50J School District, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, United Way of Eagle River Valley, Vilar Center Community Performance Fund, and East West Resorts, Antlers at Vail and other corporate sponsors and individual donors.