Each year, Town Hall presents a series of performances - sponsored by Con Edison - in celebration of Black History for public school children.  Every school district in the five boroughs is invited to attend, and seats are filled on a first- come, first-served basis. The Black History Celebration consists of daytime performances, offered free of charge to public school classes in grades three through eight, and their teachers.

Following the concert we hold a Black History Month Poster and Essay Contest for children who attended the performances. The contest encourages children to think critically about the performance, as well as express themselves through words and pictures.

Past performances have featured Women of the Calabash, The Ishangi Family Dancers,  Marian Anderson,  The Urban Bush Women, Toshi Reagon, and Jeff Haynes.  

If you are an educator for students in grades 3-8 and would like your students to be involved in our Black History Month program, please contact Sharon Owens for more information: 212-997-1003 ext 17

children's education performances for 2016

Thursday, February 4 at 10:30 AM
Thursday, February 4 at 12:30 PM
Friday, February 5 at 10:30 AM

This program is offered free to NYC Public Schools. 



Jazz saxophonist DONALD HARRISON performs a concert that ranges from the music of Congo Square to jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, and R&B. Harrison is the Big Chief of The Congo Square Afro-New Orleans cultural group and has played with an illustrious list of distinguished musicians like jazz masters Miles Davis, Lena Horne, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and hip-hop legend Notorious BIG. Aspects of his life and music are chronicled in HBO's groundbreaking series Treme, appearing as himself in nine episodes. His creation of "Nouveau Swing," a style of jazz that merges modern dance music like R&B, hip-hop, soul, and rock with a swing beat, has influenced a large but quietly prominent movement and can be heard in the music of a number of artists like Esperanza Spaulding and Johnathan Batiste.



P.S. 46K (Brooklyn)
Grade 5

There are the strings so soft and mellow

So smooth and sunnyside just like the color yellow

The bass drum as deep as a whale

Can’t forget the high hat as high as a quail

What about the snare

It’s right there?

In the middle

Think it sounds like a snake snare a little?

What about the woodwinds

They look a little bit thin

Guess who has that squid wand!

Looks like a wizard

with a wand

music can be anywhere even in a pond

There are tubas too

It sounds like a cow going moo

Music is everywhere

In the streets, your house, even over there

So listen carefully

Music can be extraordinary.


Kassy Abad
P.S. 114x (Bronx) - Grade 5

Jahliek Mayfield P.S./I.S. 41 (Brooklyn) - Grade 7

Jahliek Mayfield
P.S./I.S. 41 (Brooklyn) - Grade 7

Penelope Burgos
P.S. 4M-Duke Ellington School (Manhattan) - Grade 4

P.S. 114X (BroNX)
Grade 3

Today my class went to the Town Hall to see a concert. A man named Donald Harrison played the Saxophone. There were four other musicians who played the drums, the guitar, the piano, and the bass. They made a program called Music for Children during Black History Month. Each one played different instruments, but they all played jazz music. The instruments made different sounds but sounded good together.

These men love music. I love to write. Watching and listening to the show I like the music that I heard. I liked the BeeBop the best. Donald Harrison played the saxophone and I loved it. He was also very funny. The music made me relax and want to sing along and dance. I think the drum was my favorite instrument, performed by Joseph Dyson. He gave it a good beat. I loved it. I was lucky to get to go with me class. I wish more classes could have gone too.

Watching the performance I wanted to write about it. I love to write and the performance gave me so many ideas to write about. I am happy that I got to see the Congo Square Nation from New Orleans. I loved watching it and it inspired me to write. My teachers, Ms. Davis and Ms. Jervis tell me to keep writing. My music teacher Ms. Griffel told me I could write about the concert.

After seeing the concert and hearing the music, I realized that different people have different kinds of music. Music comes from all over the world. Different people also like different kinds of instruments. For example, Donald Harrison likes jazz and bebop, and he plays the saxophone. I like music too and I am learning to play the recorder. This was a great concert.


P.S. 46K (Brooklyn)
Grade 5

I was most excited by the last song that sounded like pop music but Donald Harrison didn’t give it a name. I was excited by this because I gave me the mood to dance.

The pop music was really exciting because it had a nice rhythm and the lyrics/words to the song were catchy. I also enjoyed this part of the performance because his dance movements were pretty cool and a little funny. This part of the show was really fun because the instruments were going full out and they were really loud which I like.

I really loved the show but you know you have to have a favorite part. In addition, I like this part because the piano was really catchy even the person that was playing the piano was feeling the groove to dance the morning away. This show was better than Philharmonic but shh keep it a secret. I loved this show but want to know a little more why, well ok. I loved this because Donald “dabbed” (a dance move) in the last song the pop music one.

Well I did tell a lot of why I liked that part of the performance but I need to give you a little more. Furthermore, I liked this part of the Donald Harrison performance because Donald really has a love for music and sing amazingly. I also liked this part because the musicians and instrument players were giving all they got to make us happy and because they surprised us with pop music.

Anika Ekra P.S. 114X (Bronx) - Grade 5

Anika Ekra
P.S. 114X (Bronx) - Grade 5