For Immediate Release
Contact: Katie Boone
Phone: (818) 433-7600
Los Angeles, CA – On September 17, music industry executives and composers came together for the 9th Annual BMI Golf Tournament, held at Angeles National Golf Club in Sunland, CA. Hosted by Ray Yee, Assistant Vice President of Creative, Film, TV & Visual Media and board member of Education Through Music-Los Angeles, the day-long event raised awareness and support for high-quality, in-school sequential music education for disadvantaged schools across Los Angeles County.
A record number of nearly 100 golfers participated in the tournament, which contributed to the fun and good-spirited competitiveness of the day. Board member Jeff Scofield remarked, “It’s a great day to come out and meet a bunch of new people, and of course support a great cause… this is a record year, and hopefully we continue to grow.” Fellow board member Louis Gutierrez concurred, “It’s great to see… we have younger and younger people coming to the golf tournament. I think everybody understands why we’re here and how important it is.” Among the attendees were artists such as Arabian Prince, founding member of hip-hop group N.W.A. He shared, “I love coming out every year to give back to music education for kids… I would really love to get more musicians and artists and people out here to support ETM-LA and do amazing things for the kids.”
The tournament concluded with an awards ceremony and a special performance of J.S. Bach’s “Aria” by 15-year-old José Santiago. Formerly a student of ETM-LA’s program at Castelar Elementary School, he began learning the cello at the age of five, and through his music studies he received a scholarship at the prestigious Colburn School. His mother, Argentina, expressed: “Changes are always difficult for everyone, especially for an over-protective mom in a new city doing it all alone. A new city, new home, with new people, and a new school was especially scary for my son… he cried many nights because he could not make any friends, but when he started playing cello, like a miracle, he made friends. He is very shy, but when he touches his instrument, he is a totally different person… When he started the program and I saw the change, I decided to stay [in Los Angeles] and keep on trying… it’s made me so happy to have learned of the program, and [even] more so for seeing my son grow as an artist and seeing the change it has made in him as a gentleman now.” José followed his mother’s heartfelt speech adding, “I found another person in me. Ever since I started music I became a different man. It was like a light switch… my life has changed, everything has been good for me, and I just feel ever so lucky. I’ve had a lot of opportunities, scholarships, and have been to different places like the Staples Center and Skirball Center. I will continue to pursue my dream in music and my career.”
Ray Yee echoed everyone’s feelings when he reflected, “For us to support and raise the funds that enables something like that to happen, it just makes it all worthwhile.”
View photos from the event here.
Now in its 13th year, ETM-LA has expanded from 2 schools and 800 children to 35 schools and approximately 15,000 schoolchildren with weekly music as part of the core curriculum in such diverse communities as Burbank, Compton, Chinatown, Downtown LA, East Los Angeles, Pacoima, Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, South Central, and West Los Angeles.
Education Through Music-Los Angeles is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission to provide music in disadvantaged schools to enhance students’ academic achievement and creative and overall development. ETM-LA partners with inner-city schools to provide yearlong music instruction for every child in the school and is based on the ETM® model (New York, 1991). For more info: www.etmla.org