South Plains College Upward Bound students to host concert, release cd


LEVELLAND – South Plains College’s Upward Bound students will perform and sell copies of their CD “Melancholy Sapphire” during a concert at 7 p.m. on June 26 (Tuesday). The concert will be performed in the Tom T. Hall Production Studio, and it also will feature the Wheeler Jazz Quartet. 

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. The CD will be available for purchase for $5. Proceeds from the event will benefit Upward Bound students in the Bridge Program. 

According to the marketing/public relations team of Xavier Childers and Cheyanne Murphree, incoming freshmen at Levelland High School, the concert will feature five original songs written and produced by the Upward Bound students. Each song will be performed by the jazz combo. 

“This project is part of our Jazz History class, and we all get to take part in it,” Childers said. “I’m more focused on social media as well as creating a pre-order form and posters that we will hang all around town.” 

In addition to serving as the public relations guru, Childers will play percussion instruments during the concert. Murphree is a vocalist who will be performing with a combo and as a featured soloist.   

“I’ve had years and years of experience singing, and I like matching pitches with the other singers,” Murphree said. 

“Jazz is like a melting pot – it combines a little bit of everything rock and roll, jazz, upbeat kind of sound,” Childers said. 

The students are guided by instructor Emily Wheeler, local songwriter and jazz artist. During classes, the students learn about the different styles of jazz, jazz pioneers, musical trends as well as how jazz has shaped and shared the story of American history. 

In addition to the Jazz History class, the students attend classes in Spanish, biology, algebra 1, Seven Habits and Fast Forward. The students said Upward Bound is helping them prepare for high school through the six week residential summer program.