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UPMC Health Plan Sponsors 'School of Swing' with MCG Jazz

PITTSBURGH, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Manchester Craftsmen's Guild will present its annual series of School of Swing concerts for elementary schoolchildren on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, May 18, 19 & 20, 2009. This three-day program (May 18 & 19 at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day, and May 20 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) will serve approximately 2,600 students overall. Outreach sessions serving an additional 840 students will be presented on May 21 at 1:00 p.m. at Jefferson Morgan Elementary, and on May 22 at 10:00 a.m. at Blackhawk Elementary and 1:30 p.m. at St. Athanasius. The music-based youth education program will also promote UPMC for Kids and health and nutrition awareness programs being presented by School of Swing sponsor UPMC Health Plan.

School of Swing is an interactive jazz education event, which occurs at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and primarily serves Pittsburgh Public School third grade students. Short performances by local jazz educators, with audience participation components and a child-focused structure, provide a unique and successful formula for a memorable and meaningful introductory jazz music experience.

"The School of Swing concerts explore some of the key origins and techniques of jazz music and also present world-class musicians as role models for young audiences," said Marty Ashby, Executive Producer of MCG Jazz. "These players convey a passion for jazz that lets young people really connect with this music." Taking the stage will be ensemble musicians Roger Humphries (drums), Mike Tomaro (woodwinds), Jay Ashby (trombone and percussion), Max Leake (piano), Dwayne Dolphin (bass), and newcomers Kim Nazarian (vocals) and James Moore (trumpet). All of these individuals are professional musicians and educators who have shared their talents with audiences all over the world and welcome the opportunity to perform for students and express their love of jazz.

UPMC Health Plan is pleased to sponsor School of Swing as a leading model for programming that makes a positive contribution to youth education. UPMC Health Plan's involvement with these programs reaffirms their commitment to the health and well-being of children and their families in the community.

School of Swing is a prime example of how educational outreach programs can work in unity to create opportunities for children and families. Components of the message to "take steps to better health" will be incorporated into each jazz education performance.

Manchester Bidwell at a Glance:

Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and Bidwell Training Center, Inc. are non-profit, multi-discipline arts and training centers housed at 1815 Metropolitan Street on Pittsburgh's North Shore. Both organizations share a dedication to helping urban residents of the Pittsburgh area by offering them exceptional quality educational and cultural opportunities.

About UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan, the second-largest health insurer in western Pennsylvania, is owned by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), one of the nation's top-ranked health systems. The integrated partner companies of the UPMC Insurance Services Division -- which includes UPMC Health Plan, UPMC Work Partners, LifeSolutions (EAP), UPMC for You (Medical Assistance), and Community Care Behavioral Health -- offer a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers' compensation products and services to nearly 1.3 million members. Our local provider network includes UPMC as well as community providers, totaling more than 80 hospitals and more than 7,600 physicians in a 29-county region. For more information, visit

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