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Youth Group Lights Up Crowd

The Imagine Band

 

February 3, 2017

Thomas Hinds

Youth group lights up crowd

by Thomas Hinds

As we watch the local education system funding get cut to the bare bones and the arts taking the brunt of the cuts, Aztec has been blessed with a teacher who is willing to take local kids in his music class and give them something to work towards. Koogler Middle School's own Jim Kuzma has begun a musical project with students called The Imagine Band, giving a much needed outlet to the local kids.

Saturday night, the 28th of January, The Imagine Band played a show at the Aztec Community Center. A full crowd was in attendance as the evening began with the song Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men, then progressed with amazing performances of such songs as Skinny Love, Grenade, I Don't Know My Name, and Use Somebody. The band has a great group of vocalists leading the way, Denym Seabolt, Angelique Roybal, Rhiannon Todd, Shantell Evans, Mackenzie Toward, Mariah Sheets, and Amber Swinney. Musicians play anything from piano and guitar, to bass and ukulele, with Zac Fleming, Emalee Hadden, Preston Welch, Sawyer McCormack, and Angus Sledzinski. These kids have been working hard to grow and shape the sound of this young band into a project with endless potential.

Thomas Hinds

Jim Kuzma has been involved in music since he was 14 years old. "I have played in a lot of bands in my 50 plus years and this band has been so much fun...this is my family," said Jim. And you can see it on the kids' faces, they are learning everything from growing as a musician, to how to organize a band, set up a show, and all of the little details that go into expanding a fan base. They are hoping to get songs recorded, local airplay and pushing towards playing out of town. The members are at varying levels of experience, from a few weeks to most of their lives, and the more experienced members help mentor the newer members, and continually help the group strengthen into a bigger and better unit. Jim has a right hand man named Ashton "Grandma" Wagner, who assists with guitar and banjo parts. He helps Preston, Tim, and Zac solidify the rhythm.

In the near future you will be hearing a lot more from The Imagine Band, they are looking to book shows at Kidfest and Riverfest. The have a website you can check for more information, theimagineband.com, so keep your eyes open for upcoming events and shows. It is a great thing seeing local youth finding a positive outlet for creative energy. As a member of this community I want to commend Jim for inspiring and leading some amazing kids down a path that could change them for the better, forever.

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