On Monday, March 19, John Irish, Professor of Music at Angelo State University in San Angelo, visited the Santa Anna Elementary campus and played his trumpet for students in grades K-2 as a part of the annual Music in Literature presentation. The students had recently read If I Only Had a Horn: Young Louis Armstrong by Roxane Orgill and illustrated by Leonard Jenkins.
Roxane Orgill’s vivid words and Leonard Jenkins’s dramatic pictures combine to tell the story of a boy who grew up to be a giant of jazz—the legendary and beloved Louis Armstrong. As a poor boy in New Orleans, where music was everywhere—dancing out of doorways, singing on street corners, crying from the cornet of the great Joe Oliver for all to hear—Louis longed for a horn so that he too could sing, bring home pennies, and, most of all, tap happy-feet blues till the sun rose. It wasn’t going to be easy. Many things, not all of them good, had to happen before he got his horn. But when at last he did, he sent music spiraling up into the New Orleans night sky like a spinning top gone crazy.