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ETM-LA Raises Dough for Music Education at Inaugural Bake Off 4 Beats Event

LOS ANGELES, CA – On April 14, 2024, Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) launched the inaugural Bake Off 4 Beats fundraiser supporting music programs in under-resourced LA County schools. Hosted by Leo Birenberg (Emmy-Winning Composer, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story), the intimate event gathered local community who enjoyed delicious baked goods and heartfelt musical performances while raising dough and awareness for ETM-LA’s mission.

Guests savored desserts, breads, and spreads created by Artist Bakers: Leo Birenberg, Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5), Ella Jennings (@ellaillustrates), Michael Paraskevas (Hawkeye, Wandavision), Heidi Rojas (Little Mix, Cheryl Cole, Pitbull), Carl Ryden (Kylie Minogue, Rickey Martin), and Susie Seiter (Evanescence, Lindsey Stirling, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts). The appetizing Bake Off entries were scored by Judges Fernand Bos (Frozen II, The Hangover), ETM-LA Student Alum Gala Lennane-Gordon, and Jeff Morrow (Ant-Man, Trolls) and daughter Simone.

Jesse Carmichael

As a special musical treat, Rojas gave an exclusive preview of her upcoming release, a song she wrote to her “6th grade self” dealing with loneliness, but also providing encouragement that connection will be found. Lennane-Gordon spoke about her time as an ETM-LA student and the significant impact music class had on her: “Music is important and needed in education because of the confidence level that it brings to anyone who plays it. It acts as something that can create equality. I feel like my life without music would be extremely lonely… a lot of people that I’ve met in my life were through music. I don’t know what I would do if I hadn’t met any of them.”

The crowd voted on their “Fan Favorite,” which was awarded to Rojas’ flan – using a family recipe that she made for the first time!

To close out the event, ETM-LA Music Teachers Lesley Baird and Samantha Kao performed an acoustic version of “Over the Rainbow” and engaged the crowd in communal music making. We are grateful to everyone who came to break bread with us!


Heidi Rojas



2024 Bake Off Winners List:

Best Flavor: Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies (Susie Seiter)

Best Presentation: Strawberry Filling Forever (Michael Paraskevas)

Best Texture: Sourdough Bread (Jesse Carmichael)

Most Artistic: Sourdough Bread & Spreads (Carl Ryden)

Most Likely to Go Pro: Lemon Bars (Leo Birenberg)

Most Likely to Inspire a Ballad: Flan (Heidi Rojas)

Most Original: Spiced Whoopie Cookie (Ella Jennings)

Fan Favorite: Flan (Heidi Rojas)


Thank you to our supporters, guest artist bakers and judges, staff, music teachers, and volunteers for participating!


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Education Through Music-Los Angeles is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide and promote music in under-resourced schools as part of the core curriculum for every child in order to enhance students’ academic achievement, creativity, and overall development.
For more information:

Photo Credit: Shilo Photography