MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The music that came from Stax Records was iconic. Now its charter school is passing the torch. Young musicians will soon perform the same songs that made Stax famous.
It's all part of a summer music program that exposes students to all aspects of the music industry.
For most students, music is just a class. At Stax, it's an education.
“Part of the idea was we wanted the students to understand the legacy of Stax,” said Justin Merrick from the Stax Music Academy.
It wasn't hard for Kyler Gilkey.
“My parents tell me I'm an old soul. That's all I ever listened too, so when I came here I just easily picked up on it,” Gilkey said.
He's just one of 70 students in the Stax Summer Music Experience Program. The budding artists are being schooled in music production, song writing and marketing.
The five week program culminates with a concert, where in addition to performing their own songs, students will play the parts of Otis Redding, The Bar-Kays, even Mahalia Jackson.
“That's one of the best known hymns in African American culture, so for me to be singing it, I have to make sure I'm on my Ps and Qs,” said student Tia Henderson.
Nothing less is expected here.
“Stax Summer Music Experience is music. Just music, life," Henderson said.
This is just taste of what you can expect June 30 for Wattstax Relived: 40 Years in the Making, live at the Levitt Shell.