Stax Music Academy kicks off 2023-24 Afterschool Program with new partnership from Gibson Gives

 Calling all middle and high schoolers with an interest in MUSIC

Memphis – The Stax Music Academy announced today that it is calling all middle and high school students with an interest in music to audition for and enroll in its 2023/2024 SMA Afterschool Program, while also introducing a new partnership with Gibson Gives, the philanthropic arm of the iconic American instrument brand.

The massively successful music institute at the original site of Stax Records in Memphis provides training, classes, rehearsals, ensembles, and more in vocals, instrumentals, music theory, production and audio engineering, songwriting and music business, videography, choreography, and more. The school pairs its music education with equal parts mentoring, offering social and emotional growth learning, professional mental wellness counseling, and college preparedness training.

The academy has traveled around the world as Memphis Music Ambassadors to places like Italy, Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and its most recent outing, playing the July 12 Summer for the City Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City with legendary Stax artist Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the M.G.’s.

Of particular interest in the upcoming year is a new partnership with Gibson Gives which is offering assistance to guitar players via the Skip Pitts and Albert King Gap Funds for students in need of tuition assistance in the program of the SMA.

Albert King was an American guitarist and singer signed to Stax Records, who is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential blues singers of all time He is perhaps best known for his popular and influential song Born Under a Bad Sign (1967). Skip Pitts was Isaac Hayes’ longtime guitarist who played the famous wah-wah riff on the Academy Award-winning “Theme from Shaft.”

“Both SMA and Gibson Gives recognize the importance of investing in growth and development of youth through music,” said Stax Music Academy Executive Director Isaac Daniel. “We are very excited about this new partnership for the Soulsville Foundation.”

The SMA Afterschool Program is energetic, challenging, and designed to help students earn music scholarships to college and result in civic-minded, socially conscious, successful adults.

“The new partnership with Gibson Gives will only strengthen what we already do,” added Daniel.

To set up an audition or find out more about the Stax Music Academy, please email .


The Stax Music Academy is a premier afterschool and summer music institute that provides industry-centric music education combined with creative youth development programming. It is the only music institute in the world that focuses on the musical art form created at Stax in the 1960s and 70s and how the evolution of that music can translate into the original music students are creating today. Since 2008, every senior enrolled in the Stax Music Academy has been accepted to college.


For over 130 years, the iconic, and leading American instrument brand Gibson has been shaping sound across generations and genres. Gibson, and its charitable arm Gibson Gives believe in the power of music, and that getting instruments into the hands of those with a desire to make music is a life-changing event. Gibson Gives–a 501(c)(3) is committed to making the world a better place by developing programs and supporting non-profit organizations in their efforts to advance musicians, youth-focused education, music, health, and wellness initiatives. 100% of all donations to and from Gibson Gives go towards giving the gift of music. In the last three years, Gibson Gives has raised over $4.5 million dollars and enabled $46 million in funding for key organizations through product donations and meaningful giving worldwide. Gibson Gives believes investing in music education will yield better people, better leaders, and a better world. Gibson Gives is changing lives…one guitar at a time. For more information, visit: