Getting soulful with the Stax Music Academy

Graduates of the Stax Music Academy lit up the stage Friday night at the Orpheum. We were at Friday afternoon's rehearsals, where the young artists put the finishing touches on their moves and their music. They get opportunities that most adults would envy; like the chance to share the stage with Stax greats like Mavis Staples. "She said, Mavis, the children, they ask for you, and I said, you know how I feel about children, and whenever those kids need me, i'll be there." However there's more than just the glory of a great performance, or the chance to meet a celebrity. Stax teaches kids life lessons like perseverance, like discipline. "I hope to be a dancer. A really good dancer and I work hard," said Stax Academy Student Caitlin White. "Stax is real good. A lot of y'all kids need to come down here, cause y'all might learn a lot of stuff," said Stax Academy Student Kendall Tate. Maybe someday they could learn to sing or write a classic like this. "Ain't no smilin faces, Lyin to the races. I'll take you there." The kids were also treated to a visit by County Mayor AC Wharton who encouraged them to make the most of their Stax experience. "This is just as much a part of your education as computers, books and calculators. This is a part of the learning process." Learning how to be good kids and good citizens, for a song.

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