Inner-city teens travel to Brazil

LAX It was an exciting day for young musicians from south Los Angeles.

The community usually gets attention for gang violence, but Friday, the attention was on their musical talents and their trip to Brazil.

The View Park Prep jazz band has been practicing hard to prepare for their trip. The ages of the 17 students in the ensemble range from 12 to 17. View Park is part of the Inter-city Educational Foundation charter schools, where about 90 percent of the students go to college.

"This is an amazing experience that not too many youth get to partake in, you know, and we're going to have fun, and when we get back, we'll be able to share the experience with other students," said student musician Troy Henderson.

The young musicians don't just learn musical skills -- they are required to keep their grades up.

"The work that's involved in practicing, keeping your grades up -- they know that they're role models, they're being looked at," said band director Fernando Pullum.

During a 10-day trip to Salvador, Brazil, the members of the band will participate in a cultural exchange, meeting Brazilian students, learning about different styles of music and of course, performing.

"I'm very excited. I've never been outside the country before, so this would be a very good experience for me for a lifetime experience," said student musician Milo Mitchell.

Most of the students have never traveled outside the U.S. before, and the program director said his goal is to teach them to be responsible citizens. When they return, they will at the Hollywood bowl during the Playboy Jazz Festival in June.


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