McCallum High School Samba Knights present

an evening of Rio-Style Carnaval music

Grant-funded program with Austin Samba brings Brazilian culture to life



McCallum High School Samba Knights 


The Knights of Steel Dessert Concert


Friday, December 13, 2013, 7:00 pm


McCallum High School (cafeteria)
5600 Sunshine Dr, Austin, TX 78756
(512) 414-2519


Tickets are $10 per person in advance, or $12 at the door. For questions, email Checks will be accepted and may be made out to the McCallum Knights of Steel.

Austin, TX – The newly formed McCallum Samba Knights, patterned after legendary Rio Carnaval drum groups, will debut a new performance of an exciting, expanded repertoire, sporting brand new, colorful Carnaval costumes. The group also includes 15 McCallum student Samba dancers, in spectacular Carnaval regalia, led by Kaitlyn Jolly of the Austin Samba School.

The idea for the Samba Knights at McCallum came about during Austin’s beloved Carnaval Brasileiro, when Matt Ehlers, assistant band director at McCallum Fine Arts Academy approached Robert Patterson, director of Austin Samba School, about a grant opportunity to start a Rio-style samba drum performance group at McCallum. “We have worked with Matt and the kids before, and I told him that I would do whatever was necessary to make the project viable,” Robert said. Funding was ultimately secured through Mindpop; a coordinating body that facilitates a unique collaboration of educators, arts groups and funders.

Once funded, the program launched this past September and has now expanded to 30 dedicated students. Matt also worked directly through a factory in Rio to buy discounted instruments for the students. “This project is pretty much everything Austin Samba stands for: high level cultural outreach, education and collaboration,” says Ehlers.

In order to earn money in to sustain the program, the group plans to perform regularly. Tickets for The Knight of Steel Dessert Concert are $10 per person in advance, or $12 at the door. Checks will be accepted and may be made out to the McCallum Knights of Steel. For booking information, or to donate, please contact: Matt Ehlers 512-414-0964.



ABOUT MCCALLUM SAMBA KNIGHTS: The McCallum Fine Arts Academy Samba Knights is a new Brazilian Samba drum performance group, patterned after the legendary Carnaval drum music of Rio.  Privately funded and equipped with new instruments from Rio, the group is associated with Austin Samba School, a non-profit community organization dedicated to the Carnaval music and dance of Brazil.

ABOUT AUSTIN SAMBA SCHOOL: The Acadêmicos da Ópera, or Austin Samba School, is a group of over 70 drummers and 70 dancers. They perform the music and dance of Brazilian Carnaval, from Rio to Bahia. The group performs at parades, festivals and special occasions, bringing the music, movement, color, pageantry and joy of Carnaval to parades, festivals and events throughout the region. Acadêmicos da Ópera was created ten years ago, led by perennial music student and diehard resilient Carnaval fan, Robert Patterson.

Austin Samba School, the guardian angels of the McCallum Samba Knights program, is a non-profit community of approximately 200 volunteers dedicated to the Carnaval music and dance of Brazil. February of 2014 marks their tenth anniversary performing at the legendary Carnaval Brasileiro in Austin. Its performers work year-round in preparation for this spectacular performance. For more information visit

ABOUT AUSTIN’S CARNAVAL BRASILEIRO: Carnaval Brasileiro began in the early 1970s to offer UT’s Brazilian students a nostalgic dose of their homeland’s legendary festivities, and is now a local institution attracting partygoers from all over the United States. After blowing the roof off one downtown club in 1978, the party immediately outgrew the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters after only one year in residence. Then the old City Coliseum was home to the event for nearly 20 years before settling into its present venue, Palmer Events Center in 2003. Flamboyant, costumes, throbbing Brazilian samba, and spirited atmosphere have earned Carnaval its reputation as the premier such festivity in the country, attracting 6,000 attendees from across the USA. This year, Carnaval Brasileiro takes place on February 1, 2014 at the Palmer Events Center. For more information on Carnaval or to purchase tickets, visit


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