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ETM-LA’s Virtual Music Festival Brings Joy to Thousands Around the Globe

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


Virtual Performance of “Come with Me” – 2020 ETM-LA Songwriting Contest Winner

LOS ANGELES, CA – On May 22 & 23, Education Through Music-Los Angeles premiered its 10th Annual Music Unites the World Festival live on Facebook and YouTube. With over 2,000 views and counting, the virtual event showcased the power of music and community to bring people together from across the globe.

Co-hosted by Actor/Musician Ricardo Hurtado (Nickelodeon’s School of Rock; Netflix’s Malibu Rescue) and Singer/Actress Bridget Barrera (Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place; ABC’s Cristela), festival highlights included interactive music activities — such as a class led by  Percussionist Arthur Thompson (Dave Koz) — heartfelt student readings of personal essays, and first-ever ETM-LA virtual choir and instrumental performances.

Congratulations to all who were involved including our Songwriting Contest Winners, Composer Sin Young Park and Lyricist John Lee. While speaking about the songwriting process and their inspiration, Lee (who grew up in Los Angeles) shared: “I’ve always thought that music is the one universal language that can really bring people from all cultures together.” The theme of unity resounded in lines from the song’s chorus: “Step by step, we can go together” and “Come with me, let’s take action.” Lee remarked, “I hope the song really means something to the kids back home.” Musicians, educators, and students from across LA County then joined together to perform the winning piece, creating a powerful virtual experience.

ETM-LA’s Annual Music Unites the World Festival takes place every March as part of Music In Our Schools Month® (National Association for Music Education). Typically, students from ETM-LA partner schools across Los Angeles County come together for two days of community building, music making, and training from professional educators, musicians, and celebrities. This year’s festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic (read more), and reimagined as a virtual celebration with the same mission – demonstrating the ability of music to joyfully unite any and every one.

After the virtual festival, an ETM-LA Parent shared, “WOW! What a great performance! We really enjoyed watching. That was a LOT of work by a lot of people … [and] such a testament to everyone’s love for music and for ETM-LA. Maya, ETM-LA Student, observed: “In trying times, supporting one another and attempting to understand one another is vital to moving forward. Music is one of the most simple and beautiful ways to do this.”

Thank you to The Music Man Foundation and our festival sponsors: Mattel, Nickelodeon, Format Entertainment, Donut Friend, Nextdoor Neighbor Screenprinting, GRAMMY Museum, Bertrand’s Music, Walt Disney Studios, CMA Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Color Images Copy & Print, and Cassell’s Music.


ETM-LA provides quality, yearlong, in-school music instruction in disadvantaged Los Angeles schools as part of the core curriculum for every child. Since its founding in 2006, ETM-LA has grown to serve approximately 17,500 students at 42 partner schools in Los Angeles County.

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