A special after-school program is offering young musicians the opportunity to try their hand at composing music and songs for a coming stage performance at Lincoln College.

The program is free and is held Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 301 Pekin St., in Lincoln. It is supported in part by First Presbyterian Church and a grant awarded to the College last year from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation to offer reduced tuition for after-school programs. The workshops will run through May 1.

The workshops are being held in conjunction with the coming Contemporary Jazz Studies presentation of “Langston in Illinois,” which will be May 2-3 on the main stage of the Johnston Center for Performing Arts at Lincoln College. It is taught by Lincoln College Contemporary Jazz Students under the direction of Dr. Denise La Grassa, lead faculty for Contemporary Jazz at Lincoln College.

The production pays tribute to poet, musical lyricist and activist Langston Hughes, who attended Central School in Lincoln in 1915-16. Hughes was inspired and mentored by his eight grade teacher Ethel Welch.

Hughes wrote his first poem for the school’s eighth grade commencement program in 1916. Hughes would go on to become one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry and performance and is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance of 1920s New York.

Students or parents of students interested in taking part in the after-school program should contact Pastor Adam Quine at 217-732-6141 for details.