This recurring series spotlights the Literacy ad series I ran while at Lerner Newspapers.
I am not sure when I first heard Erin McDougald sing, but I know I liked the sound right away. McDougald is a Chicago-based jazz vocalist, who can often be found performing in the downtown area.
As written before, when I ran the NIE (Newspaper In Education) program at Lerner Newspapers, I had no budget, no help and no direction. When I started the NIE ad series (and especially after it started to gain some momentum), I decided to have fun with it. One of the ways was by getting unique Chicago celebs to lend a quote to the ads.
McDougald had recently released a cd, 'The Auburn Collection'. I thought it would be great to get her and to promote the cd and her music in the ad. It would certainly introduce a different type of music to the students than their usual choices.
McDougald granted my request and gave a really insightful quote. Our Graphics Department kept the ad simple, yet striking, which I felt really went well with McDougald. The students loved it and I am sure McDougald gained a few new fans.
I liked McDougald's quote because she built a nice bridge to her point about reading. She showed students how the whole puzzle fit together. She explained how it all tied in to her career in music. It was a meaningful quote incorporating life.
A sampling of McDougald's performances can be heard on her YouTube Channel. Even better would be to check her performance schedule and attend one of her performances!
My responsibility as a jazz vocalist is to explore and interpret the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and lyric content of any song. The latter is especially significant as it pertains to communicating with an audience; the singer is the narrator of a composer's story and so my first priority in choosing my repertory is finding songs with interesting lyrics. It is my job to understand and present creative inflection of the words provided, as any storyteller does. Reading is the tool that helps you build knowledge while feeding your interests. The ability to read well is one of your master keys that will unlock a future of endless potential!
--Erin McDougald as quoted in the NIE ad series in 2004