Saturday night brought together students, family, and faculty at Valparaiso High School for the 9th annual Blues Project. This year’s theme was “Sweet Home Chicago”, a celebration of Black History Month through one of its greatest art forms, the Blues.
During the month of February, eighth grade Social Studies classes at Ben Franklin Middle school celebrate Black History Month by analyzing and performing the Blues. Each day, students walk in to Mr. Scott Cvelbar’s Social Studies class and are greeted by the sound of a different black Blues musical each day. Those songs provide a segue way into that day’s lesson, where students will explore different aspects of culture and the people of that time period.
“Each year we listen to different songs, and I teach a lesson based of that time period and that musicians, said Cvelbar. “We used to learn and perform the songs, eventually I felt like it was too good to not share so we started doing the concert. We get help from local professionals and faculty and we put it all together on this one night,”
The Blues Project features songs like ‘Can’t Be Satisfied” by Muddy Waters, “Hoodoo Man” by Little Walter and “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. This variety showcased the development of the Blues and was followed up by Ben Franklin Middle school faculty providing historical context.
“This was the most fun I’ve ever had in a class,” said Jake Snider, a Student at Ben Franklin Middle School.
The course is interactive and provides students with multiple outlets to study Black History Month and the history of the Blues genre.
“I really enjoyed it, I’m a guitarist and I’m playing some of the songs tonight," Snider added. "Every day Mr. Cvelbar would play a different song that had to do with what we were going to learn. As a music lover it was just a fun way to learn about history, and the way Mr. Cvelbar taught the class made it interesting,”
The Crowd was pleased with the performances and showed their appreciation with a loud applauses and whistles and chants. The 9th annual Blues Project featured some of the best in local young talent and promises to continue the celebration of a great American invention.