FAME Staff

FAME Jazz Ensemble

FAME Jazz Ensemble

In Concert

Sunday, December 8, 2019 @ 6pm


The John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts

Terrace Theatre

2700 F Street, NW

Washington, DC 20566

FAME is a harmony of music and education. We prepare middle and high school youth for college and career through a four-pronged approach: Music Instruction, Educational Support, College Preparation, and Work Readiness.

Presented By FAME & NEWorks Productions

Happy Birthday FAME!

As we celebrate FAME’s 15th Anniversary, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support to help us put middle and high school youth on a path to success through a four-pronged approach that includes music instruction, educational support, college preparation, and work readiness.  We are grateful for this celebration which is made possible by our energetic students and dedicated faculty; and strong and enduring collaborations and partnerships with colleges and universities, corporations, school systems, music professionals, and government entities.

Also key to our success is staying true to our mission: to give every young musician the best opportunity to succeed in life by providing music training and academic support; and our core values (integrity, respect, work ethic, commitment, learning and caring) that guide our endeavors, whether it is in the tutoring room, technology lab, on stage or in the recording studio.

In this newsletter, I am highlighting some of our activities to date and hope to see you at an event soon.

Sincerely, A. Toni Lewis


Our Board of Directors Welcomes New Board Members

We extend a warm welcome to Moneka Cunningham and Ingrid Valentine, the two newest additions to FAME’s Board of Directors.   Their dedication and passion will enable FAME to advance the music and education aspirations of youth in the Greater Washington Region.  They both recently served on FAME’s Advisory board.


Moneka was born in Chicago, and served as an educator side by side, team teaching with her mother, Helen Cunningham, for over ten years. Continuing in the world of academia with an extensive background in special events, fundraising, alumni relations, and government affairs she worked with both Prince George’s Community College and Bowie State University to execute and manage numerous signature events for the institutions.  Now serving as an external affairs manager with Pepco an Exelon Company, Moneka works closely with government officials, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) and communities within the District of Columbia.



Ingrid is currently the Deputy Chief Compliance Officer for Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education. In her role, Ingrid advises the Chief Compliance Officer on matters related to the Department’s operation of student financial assistance programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act and the Health Education Assistance Loan Program. Ingrid’s office is responsible for administering a program of monitoring and oversight of approximately 6,100 postsecondary domestic and international institutions, guaranty agencies, lenders, and loan servicers participating in the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid programs.

Congratulations 2019 FAME Jazz Band High School Graduates

The year-round FAME Jazz Band Program was established in 2015 to provide high caliber music and academic support and instruction to middle and high school youth, in Prince George’s County MD, who are serious about music and want to take their education to a higher level.

This year we have five stellar musicians who are graduating with an average GPA 3.8, $1.8M in college scholarship offers, SAT score of 1160, and acceptance by 30 Universities.  These graduates are:

Lauratu Bah
Tenor Saxophone
High School:
Eleanor Roosevelt
COLLEGE ATTENDING IN FALL 2019: University of Maryland College Park

MAJOR/MINOR: Music Education & Jazz Studies


Imanuel Cooper
High School:
Charles H. Flowers
COLLEGE ATTENDING IN FALL 2019: Berklee College of Music

MAJOR: Jazz Studies


Langston Hughes II
Alto Saxophone
FAME Jazz Band & FAME Jazz Band Ensemble Captain
High School:
Charles H. Flowers
COLLEGE ATTENDING IN FALL 2019: Howard University

MAJOR/MINOR: Computer Science Engineering & Jazz Studies


Brandon Seaforth
High School:
COLLEGE ATTENDING IN FALL 2019: North Carolina Central University

MAJOR: Music Production


Julian Wilson
High School: Oxon Hill

COLLEGE ATTENDING IN FALL 2019: Berklee College of Music
MAJOR: Music Production


Special Thank You to Eta Psi Chapter!

The Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia: Eta Psi Chapter at the University of Maryland College Park, held a successful instrument drive and fundraiser for FAME on campus.  Several musical instruments and $300 were accepted by FAME’s Ambassador, Langston Hughes.

United Parcel Service (UPS) & PEPCO, an Exelon Company, Donates Computer Lab

On March 2, 2019, UPS & PEPCO announced the opening of a state-of-the-art Music Technology Center at the FAME-Bowie location.  Students will learn music theory, compose music using digital audio workstations, and gain an understanding of audio recording and manipulating digital audio.  Students will also use computers and various software to complete STEM school homework assignments.

The project leaders C. Wayne Ferguson, (UPS) and Moneka Cunningham (PEPCO) were joined at the ribbon-cutting by FAME Board members, staff, students, parents, and instructors; Prince George’s County Council Chairman, Todd M. Turner
and County Council Members
Derrick Leon Davis, and Calvin Hawkins.

NEWorks Productions features FAME Artists

NEWorks Productions and founder Nolan Williams, Jr., marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing with two music concerts featuring the music of iconic American composer Duke Ellington. The music was performed by the United States Army Blues and included featured performances by emerging regional student artists and the world premiere of “One Giant Leap,” a NEWorks-commissioned work celebrating the ‘hidden figures’ of the Apollo 11 era, composed by local celebrated jazz musician/composer Allyn Johnson, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of the District of Columbia.

FAME Artists Brandon Seaforth (Trombone) and Langston Hughes II, (Alto Saxophone) auditioned and were selected as featured soloists at both concerts with the United States Army Blues at Harmony Hall and at the Kennedy Center! In preparation for their performances, they were coached by Kenny Rittenhouse, USAB 1st trumpet and Element Leader. What a great experience for our talented musicians!

Summer @ FAME!

Our signature Summer Music Program, composed of three workshops: Music Technology, Vocal Music & FAME Jazz Band Music Intensive, was hosted by our partner the University of Maryland School of Music,  July 8 -19, 2019.  The program supported 85 eager rising 7th through 12th-grade students from around the Greater Washington Region.  One of the key highlights was the music workshop conducted by professor Mark Copland from the Berklee School of Music.  The program was presented with the support of Prince George’s County Government, UPS, and MNCPPC Parks & Recreation.

FAME’s 15th Anniversary & Awards Celebration

FAME’s 15th Anniversary & Awards Celebration was held on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at the Samuel Riggs IV, Alumni Center, University of Maryland College Park.  We saluted the 2019 awardees who have inspired, motivated and championed our programs that are dedicated to empowering and promoting youth to excel in music and academics.   Nat Adderley, Jr., FJB inaugural artistic director, and his trio were featured the FAME Jazz Band and the accomplishments of the FAME Jazz Band Graduates.

Stedwick Elementary School Ukulele Program

FAME was proud to support one of the most creative and energetic teachers, Mary Ruth McGinn, who inspired the development and creation of a new ukulele, poetry and songwriting program for 19 fabulous third-graders representing 11 different countries.  The students, named the Legendary Acorns, published a 210-page book of original poetry with illustrations titled “The Paradox of Real Life”.  I cant wait to see what the children create in the upcoming school year.

Berklee High School Jazz Festival

FAME was selected to present its FAME Jazz Band Program (FJBP), composed of Prince George’s County musicians, to perform at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, under the direction of Dr. Clarence Knight, Jr.   This Berklee College of Music event is the largest of its kind in the United States and held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  Our students served as Youth Ambassadors for Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland, participated in workshops and clinics conducted by educators and recording artists, toured Berklee’s campus, met with faculty, networked with national musicians, and much more. The band’s performance received a superior evaluation and Langston Hughes received the top soloist award again this year.

FAME Jazz Band Annual Concert

FAME Jazz Band Annual Concert

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 1PM

University of Maryland College Park
School of Music
Room 1230

The FAME Jazz Band

Dr. Clarence E. Knight, Artistic Director

with Special Guest

The Stedwick Elementary School Ukulele Players

Mary Ruth McGinn, Music Director

Host —  Jan Fox

CEO, Fox Talks, Four-Time Emmy Winner

Free Admission

Click here for FAME Jazz Band Annual Concert Flyer


Click here to Register!

Email: info@famejazzband.org
Call: 301-805-5358

Race for FAME: A Fun Scavenger Hunt

Race for FAME: A Fun Scavenger Hunt

DATE: Saturday, May 4, 2019,


The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street,
National Harbor, Maryland 20745

Meet us under the covered walkway between the entrance to the parking garage and the entrance to the Maryland Ballroom


Click here for the Fact Sheet

Race 4 FAME is an informal family-friendly scavenger hunt created by United Parcel Service (UPS) management and employees in the DC Region to support local nonprofit FAME – Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education’s efforts to provide musical instruction, academic tutoring, college and career readiness, and summer programs for youth in the Greater Washington Region. Participants are not required to run to complete the course.  A celebration is held at the end of the event where winning teams receive several prizes and awards. 

This year’s event is sponsored by UPS, Pepco and FAME.  Our partners are Prince George’s County Council Chairman, Todd Turner (District 4), and County Council Chair, Derrick Leon Davis (District 6). 


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