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Stars and Royalty Align to Keep the Music Playing with Education Through Music-Los Angeles

For Immediate Release

Contact: Katie Boone
Phone: (818) 433-7600

Karen David, Kate Flannery, Eric Thomas Peterson, Gabrielle Ruiz, Anthony Evans, Courtney Reed, and Kelley Jakle attend the 7th Annual Keep The Music Playing Benefit Concert on September 29, 2018 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. (Photo by John McCoy)

PALOS VERDES, CA – On September 29, Broadway and TV stars aligned to create heartfelt music at a private soirée benefiting Education Through Music-Los Angeles’ music education programs in disadvantaged Los Angeles County schools.

The 7th Annual Keep the Music Playing event featured spectacular vocal performances by special guests Courtney Reed (Aladdin; In The Heights), Gabrielle Ruiz (In The Heights; Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Kelley Jakle (Pitch Perfect), Eric Thomas Petersen (School of Rock; Shrek: The Musical), Karen David (Once Upon A Time; Galavant), Kate Flannery (The Office), and Anthony Evans (Beauty and the Beast; The Voice).

Hosts Chris Lennertz (Composer, Pitch Perfect 3, Lost in Space) and Shannon Lennertz, Tim Wynn (Composer, Supernatural, Warhawk) and Heidi Wynn, and Music Supervisors Julianne Jordan and Julia Michels (Pitch Perfect (1-3), A Star Is Born) welcomed over 100 guests to drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a cabaret-style concert.

A gleeful fangirl moment between Reed and David – two Princess Jasmines from Broadway and from ABC/Disney’s Once Upon a Time – charmed the audience during their first-ever duet. In addition, tap dancing from Flannery, moving musical numbers and speeches, and an emotionally-charged finale from Evans left guests enthralled.

The artists shared their personal views on the importance of keeping music in schools. Evans expressed, “I am more than happy to be able to support this amazing cause because I know that I’m supporting the next generation of musicians who will change the world through the power of music.” Reed added, “You never know when the next Mozart is going to be growing up, or the next Beyoncé!”

Several acknowledged teachers who had a major influence on their learning and love of music. Petersen shared, “I had a band teacher in high school who showed me such a passion for music and excellence, and how to hold yourself to a high standard and have fun at the same time.” Ruiz reflected, “My vocal training is solely from public school education. The late David B. Custer was my choir teacher in high school and he’s the person who taught me to respect not only music but also to respect others, how to work as a team…and to be the best you can.”

Now in its 13th year, ETM-LA has expanded from two schools and 800 children to a planned 36 schools and approximately 15,000 schoolchildren with weekly music as part of the core curriculum in such diverse communities as Boyle Heights, Burbank, Chinatown, Compton, ​Downtown LA, ​East Los Angeles, Pacoima, ​Pasadena, San Fernando Valley,​ South Central,​ and West Los Angeles.

Board Member Chris Lennertz stated, “The mission of ensuring every child has access to quality music education at an early age is so vitally important. Shannon and I were thrilled to host an event to further that cause with such an amazingly talented group of performers, who shared their beautiful voices to raise both money and awareness for Education Through Music-LA.”

View photo galleries from the event:

Getty Images

ETM-LA Website


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: