HOLLYWOOD, Calif., March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On March 8, 2016, over 200 students from 18 Los Angeles schools joined together at Paramount Pictures Studios for the 6th Annual Music Unites the World Festival hosted by Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA).
Music students, along with their teachers, coaches and parents gathered bright and early at the historic Paramount Theater. Students were chosen based on their written essay on the topic: "How Music Unites the World," and their high achievement in music class. The opening ceremony featured Randy Spendlove, (Head of Worldwide Music & Publishing, Paramount Pictures) who welcomed the young musicians and school communities. ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier congratulated the students for being selected through their essays and hard work.
A cornerstone of the festival entails inviting guest artists to work with the music students. In addition to Spendlove, guest artists this year included Emily Reola (Head of Performing Arts, Harvard-Westlake Middle School), CeCe Sammy (Vocalist, Diana Ross, Sting / Consultant, America's Got Talent, American Idol) and Jeff Bunnell (Artist/Trumpet, Inside Out, Star Trek, Jurassic World). Former guest artists have included Christophe Beck (Composer, Frozen, The Muppets), Misha Shtangrud (Choir Director, The Colburn School), Joseph Trapanese (Composer, Straight Outta Compton, Insurgent), Lisbeth Scott (Solo Vocalist, Avatar, Shrek), Evelyn Halus (Vocal Coach, Jennifer Lopez, Neil Patrick Harris), and Reggie Andrews (Music Educator, Tyrese Gibson, Rickey Minor, Patrice Rushen).
Showcasing the achievement of Los Angeles youth, the festival further portrays the power music plays in unifying diverse populations from differing ethnic, cultural and geographic backgrounds. Schools came from areas such as Boyle Heights, Burbank, Chinatown, Elysian Park, Compton, Inglewood, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Pasadena, and South Central. An excerpt from essay winner, 4th Grader Gala, expressed the importance of music's role: "People often fear what is different, especially when it is from a foreign country, like food, belief systems, and learning a new language. But music is a non-threatening way of experiencing other parts of the world and getting to know the people we share the planet with."
Parents also participated in activities with a breakfast session with Spendlove and tour of the famed studio lot. "This is such a special opportunity for the children - and what a tremendous treat for [the parents] as well!" shared a chaperone.
The day culminated in a concert which included such repertoire as Glory (from the Motion Picture Selma, composed by Common & John Legend), an arrangement of the theme from Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" (Composed by Antonín Dvorák), Dragon Dance (Composed by Michael Story), and De Colores (Traditional Spanish Folk Song). Notable guests included Sukey Garcetti and Pamela Marcello (Representative of Congressman Adam Schiff).
Education Through Music-Los Angeles (www.etmla.org) provides quality yearlong in-school music instruction in disadvantaged Los Angeles schools as part of the core curriculum for every child. Major sponsors for the festival include: Paramount Pictures, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California, and Ultimate Ears.
SOURCE Education Through Music-Los Angeles