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Opera Theatre St. Louis Event Image
  • Sunday, May 19
  • 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.
  • Gaslight Lounge Studios (4916 Shaw Ave. 63110)
  • Free

THE LAB is a collaborative workshop for high school composers with DJ Lamar Harris and six-time Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter and composer, Terence Blanchard.

Join us for the final live performance on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. at Gaslight Lounge Studios!


At THE LAB, high school student composers, improvisers, spoken word, and musical artists develop their unique musical voice, exploring new genres, styles, and techniques and collaborating with other aspiring composers and performers. Guided by award-winning composer Terence Blanchard and DJ and educator Lamar Harris, students chosen to participate in this program will develop their own collaborative compositions in six 3-hour sessions culminating in a final performance and recording. Whether interested in opera or hip hop, symphonies or sampling, artists of all genres, styles, and levels of experience are encouraged to apply.


Six-time Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard is one of the most prolific brass players, band leaders, jazz composers, and recording artists of his generation. Since his solo album was released in 1991, Blanchard has composed provocative new jazz material, recorded over 30 albums, composed more than 50 soundtracks, and, in 2013, debuted the opera Champion at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Blanchard will return to Saint Louis in 2019 for the world premiere of his second opera, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, with libretto by Kasi Lemmons. Blanchard has collaborated extensively with director Spike Lee, including composing the scores for BlacKkKlansman, Chi-Raq, Malcolm X, When The Levees Broke, and Mo’ Better Blues. He has also lent his performing prowess to several films, including the trumpet solos for the alligator, Louis, in Disney’s The Princess and The Frog. A New-Orleans born and based artist, Blanchard was trained and mentored by Ellis Marsalis Jr. before childhood friend Wynton Marsalis recommended him as his replacement in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In the same spirit, Blanchard has mentored several musicians in his bands who have gone on to have significant recording careers of their own. Many of Blanchard’s compositions pay homage to the people and music of New Orleans, often defying genre definitions. Blanchard was named a 2018 Fellow by United States Artists, one of 45 artists and collectives to receive this prestigious recognition for their contributions to their fields.


A respected artist, educator, arranger, and music director, Lamar Harris has shared the stage with Babyface, Doug E. Fresh, Lee Fields, Marc de Clive Low, New Edition and Sheila E. In July 2014, St. Louis Magazine named him as the Best Multi-talented DJ in St. Louis. Harris won the Riverfront Times 2013 and 2010 Best Jazz Artist and Best Funk/R&B/Soul awards, and he was one of Missouri’s 2010 winners of the Peabody Logos Leadership in Education Award. He has been featured on the Jamie Foxx "Foxhole Radio Show" and Old School 95.5 and has performed for John Legend, Porsche, IKEA, Brooks Brothers, The United Way, Circus Flora, St. Louis Arc, St. Louis Children's Hospital, PROMO- STL, and the Olympic Ski Team. Harris has also been featured at Jazz St. Louis. Equally comfortable on the theatrical stage, Lamar was a cast member for the musical “Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story” at the Muny Theater in St. Louis, and he has served as Music Director for Shakespeare in the Streets and Metro Theater Company. He is a member of Actors Equity Association and the St. Louis Low Brass Collective and is the creator of the musical "Superheroes of Blackness."