BOSTON, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AMERICAN IDOL winner Kris Allen will perform with the Berklee City Music All-Star Band May 2-4 in New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The concert series, which is open to elementary and high school students, works to raise awareness of the importance and need for music education, particularly in urban areas where schools are reducing or eliminating music programs.
"Kris, Andy Davis and I, our host partners and the other 30+ City Music Network sites across the country are on a mission to not only highlight the importance and life-changing impact that a music education can have on today's urban youth, but also to assure they get access to that education," said J. Curtis Warner, Jr., Executive Director, Berklee City Music.
Allen will perform solo selections from his debut album and ensemble pieces with the All-Star Band to an audience of students who already benefit from or can benefit from the Berklee City Music program.
"To be associated with a leader in music education such as the Berklee City Music program is truly an honor. Music education is vital to any child's development and is a cause that I hold close to my heart. The opportunities that the Berklee program provides to kids are remarkable and inspiring," says Kris Allen.
Joining the ranks of legendary musician Quincy Jones and Phillip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire, Allen will serve as a Berklee City Music Network (BCMN) Ambassador to spread awareness of the program. As part of his role of Ambassador, Kris Allen will attend the Berklee City Music Completion Ceremony in Boston on May 1 and perform songs with the Berklee City Music All-Stars.
Allen has also partnered with Music Empowers Foundation (MEF) to provide the BCMN with a two-year $150,000 grant to fund research measuring the program's impact and its continued expansion and development. "It is very gratifying to partner with Kris in support of an innovative program like Berklee City Music," said Andy Davis, Founder of MEF. "Kris is an amazing advocate for music education and by doing these concerts we hope to raise awareness and attract funding for additional programs."
MEF and Kris Allen will also fund five scholarships for high school students in the BCMN to attend Berklee City Music's Five-Week Summer Program. Nearly $30,000 was raised for the scholarships by Allen's fans during a fundraiser called "Alright with Music," named after Allen's single "Alright With Me."
"A fundamental component to fulfilling our mission is in developing partnerships. We have worked with the Berklee City Music project since 2006 and they have played an integral role in developing the varied music opportunities we offer. As some of our students transition into being Berklee undergraduates we look forward to building deeper and longer lasting bonds," added Paul J. Thompson, Principal, Urban Assembly School of Music and Art.
May 1 – Boston – Completion Ceremony at Berklee College of Music - Ceremony begins at 2:00pm
May 2 – New York – Urban Assembly School of Media - 122 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023 - (212) 501-1110 – Performance begins at 1:30pm
May 3 – Philadelphia – Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter - 301 West Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19140 – (215) 457-3667 – Performance begins at 12:30pm
May 4 – Washington D.C. – Ferebee-Hope Elementary School, Communities in Schools 21st Century Learning Center Extended Day Program – 3999 8th St. SE Washington D.C. 20032 – (202) 645-3100 – Performance begins at 5:00pm
Lucas Rivera, Executive Director of Artist and Musicians of Latin America, AMLA adds, "As a leader in music education Berklee's work is parallel to the that of AMLA's mission. Our partnership in the Berklee City Network allows for our music students to take advantage of music education resources such as the Berklee Pulse System. We are extremely excited to be part of the Berklee City Music Network and to have the opportunity to host Kris Allen here at our partner site Esperanza Academy in North Philadelphia. This is only the beginning of a powerful partnership to begin cultivating a new generation of excellent musicians."
For more information visit www.berkleecitymusicnetwork.org
ABOUT BERKLEE CITY MUSIC:
Berklee City Music is a nonprofit program offered by Berklee College of Music that provides music education to 4th to 12th graders in under-served communities. With year-round instruction, expert faculty, individualized mentoring, and a comprehensive curriculum, Berklee City Music combines the breadth of Berklee resources, facilities, and available scholarships with an environment of attention and encouragement. Kids get the tools and support they need to flourish as students, musicians, and—perhaps most important—confident and well-rounded individuals ready to shape their world.
ABOUT KRIS ALLEN:
Since winning American Idol in 2009, Kris Allen has become a household name. After releasing his self-titled debut album in 2009 on 19 Recordings/Jive Records, Kris toured the U.S. opening for Keith Urban, Maroon 5, The Barenaked Ladies and Lifehouse as well as headlining his own club tour. His first single "Live Like We're Dying" has sold over 1.6 million copies to date. Kris is currently writing and recording new material for an album to be released in 2011.
ABOUT MUSIC EMPOWERS FOUNDATION:
Music Empowers Foundation was established in 2010 to provide funding to nonprofit organizations that offer engaging and innovative music instruction to children in communities where music education does not exist or is underdeveloped. Music Empowers Foundation is founded on the knowledge that music ignites children's creativity, fosters a sense of accomplishment and empowers the to achieve and succeed in all aspects of their lives. For more information, please go to www.musicempowersfoundation.org.
ABOUT ARTIST AND MUSICIANS OF LATIN AMERICA (AMLA):
Through its ongoing programs and special projects, AMLA promotes the development, dissemination, and understanding of Latin music in the Philadelphia area and beyond. AMLA's programs are directed mainly to Latino youth, families, and community members, but are open to all students, families, musicians, dancers, and aficionados of Latin American music and culture. By teaching and inspiring love for and disciplined knowledge of Latin music and dance, AMLA helps build bridges between frequently divided racial and ethnic communities. AMLA, like its partner organization Esperanza, believes that strong engagement in culture strengthens community.
ABOUT COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS:
CIS of the Nation's Capital's mission is to champion the connection of needed community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life. The goals of its programs are to bring needed community resources into increasing numbers of public schools in the District of Columbia and increase the number of partner agencies and community involvement.
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SOURCE Berklee City Music