April 15, 2013, Los Angeles, CA: On April 12, 2013, music as diverse as Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and John Williams’ “Dry Your Tears, Afrika” came bustling out of the multi-purpose room of Norwood Street Elementary School. Looking inside, one would discover that this was no ordinary rehearsal or concert. 150 students from 12 diverse schools around Los Angeles – from Downtown to Compton, Sylmar to Pasadena – joined together for a common purpose: to make music as part of the 3rd Annual Music Unites the World Festival hosted by Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA).
The event kicked-off with coaching sessions for both the 95-piece orchestra and the 55-member choir by top artist-educators Joe Kraemer (Composer, Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise) and Misha Shtangrud (Choir Director, Colburn School of Music). Kraemer engaged the children immediately with his warm and gregarious personality, rehearsing them on their instrumental works of “Fiddler’s Hoedown” (Folk Song/arr. Robert Gillespie) and “Samba del Sol” (Doug Spata). Shtangrud, with his playful demeanor, coached the vocal students on their songs, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Dry Your Tears, Afrika.” Joselyn Wilkinson, percussionist, filled out the performances with her djembé and call and response activities for both the students and parents.
Whether singing or playing an instrument, the students played with soul – ecstatic to be working with top music educators and musicians as well as meeting more than a hundred new musical peers for the first time. The artists were equally inspired. Kraemer shared, “One of the nicest perks of scoring Jack Reacher last year is the opportunity to be involved with ETM-LA, first through their fundraiser, and now through participation in their Music Unites the World Festival. When I was a student, music was still a part of public education, and it's been heartbreaking to see it disappearing from our schools. ETM-LA brings this valuable part of our lives to young people throughout our city, and I am so thrilled to be able to participate.”
Education Through Music-Los Angeles (www.etmla.org) provides quality, yearlong in-school music instruction in 12 Los Angeles schools. “We are so grateful to these exceptional educators and artists for taking the time to inspire our students. We're also thrilled to see our partner school principals, teachers and parents support music education in their schools. This festival was a success – seen on the children's faces and in their exuberance to learn and make music,” ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier said. "We're also especially grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California for their support of this festival." “It has been an honor and a joy for me to work with these gifted young musicians. Their enthusiasm and talent is extraordinary,” Kraemer shared.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Victoria Lanier
Phone: (818) 433-7600