Omaha Performing Arts unveils Webop jazz program

Jul 7, 2016, 09:32 AM by Kelly Bartnick

Omaha, Neb., (July 6, 2016) – Omaha Performing Arts offered several 3-to-5-year olds their first class in jazz at the Holland Center today. The youngsters took part in a special demonstration of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s WeBop®, a nationally acclaimed early-childhood jazz education program Omaha Performing Arts will launch this fall. WeBop® is designed to introduce jazz in a musically authentic way while providing a genuine experience for families and their children.

Omaha Performing Arts is one of just three organizations nationally presenting the program, which was developed by Jazz at Lincoln Center and produced in collaboration with Columbia University. The program is also being presented by organizations in Chicago and St. Louis.

Today’s demonstration showed parents and children they can stomp, strut and swing to the joyous rhythms of jazz with WeBop® no matter what the age. The series of 45-minute classes which will begin this fall will give young children a creative outlet while they explore jazz through movement, songs, storytelling and play.

“We are extremely excited to bring Jazz at Lincoln Center’s award-winning WeBop® program to the Omaha area,” said Tim Sullivan, Senior JALC WeBop instructor who came from New York to teach the demonstration class. To prepare for the classes Omaha Performing Arts will select two local teaching artists to attend WeBop teacher training led by Sullivan at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Dr. Michael Albaugh, Director of Education Operations for Jazz at Lincoln Center, said “Omaha Performing Arts is a tremendous organization with a shared cultural belief of the importance of arts and education for the community.”

“The WeBop® program is a wonderful interactive introduction to jazz and will be a hit with everyone,” Joan Squires, president of Omaha Performing Arts, said. “We appreciate the confidence the Jazz at Lincoln Center staff has in us and are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate Omaha Performing Arts’ commitment to the community through programs such as this,” she added.

The first series of classes will run from September 6 through October 29, 2016 with one class on Tuesday evenings and two on Saturday mornings. Registration is $200 per child and includes one child and up to 2 parents or guardians. Space is limited. The age range of children in the class is strictly 3-to-5 years old. There will be three sections of 8-week class sessions in the fall and another three sections of classes in the spring. Classes will be held at the Holland Center in the Cassling Education Studio, 12th and Douglas. A free community class will be offered this spring. Those interested should note that this is a parent/child participation program and not a child drop-off program.

For more information on WeBop classes or to register go to