Local musicians hone their craft at historic school

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HIGH POINT, N.C. - Rising high school senior Jayla Allen picked up the saxophone in 6th grade and pretty much hasn't put it down since.

"It's just melodic, you can sing through it, it's just epic," smiled Allen, with her beloved sax hanging from her neck. "You've got this cool Latin jazz, funk, bebop and swing. It just makes you feel like you want to get up and dance."

Allen is one of 50 up and coming local musicians honing their craft in a place with special meaning for them, the Penn-Griffin School of the Arts in High Point. Legendary jazz musician John Coltrane, considered to be one of the most significant jazz saxophonists in history, attended the school when he was growing up.

"When students come to the camp, they learn to improvise and from that, they learn to create and from that they learn they can do anything and that's just magical," said Debbie Lumpkins, executive director of the High Point Arts Council, who sponsors the camp.

It's the 14th year of the camp. Any student who is a rising 7th grader and older is welcome.

The students are performing in a free concert at the end of camp, this Thursday, July 30, from 7 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Penn-Griffin School of the Arts is on East Washington Drive in High Point.