Music Unites aims to empower young high school teens through music across our country. We started off over three years ago in New York City bringing students from across the five boroughs in a studio and formed the Young Audiences New York Music Unites Youth Choir. With the success of this sustainable program, Music Unites grew to inspire more students through educational outreaches with artists such as Jonathan Batiste, Jaicko, Melanie Fiona, Shontelle and Kate Nash. Through fundraising initiatives with partners such as Rolling
Stone magazine, Music Unites was able to launch the Music Unites Youth Choir Campaign, creating five after-school choir programs across NYC's boroughs with the first in the Bronx at the Women's Academy of Excellence.
In an effort to scale the charity's program and impact more students and schools that need the support, Music Unites expanded to Los Angeles with the House of Rock thanks to the support from Jen Vernon and Elaine Culotti, co-founders of House of Rock who both hosted the event.
Special performances for the evening included Lianne La Havas, Shiny Toy Guns and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, John West, Cameron, Elaine Faye, Vauxhaul Broadcast, A House for Lions, Revivalists and Helena who all helped raise awareness for the cause. Other artists who stopped by included Billy Morrison (Camp Freddy), Cy Curnin (The Fixx), Yoshiki, Danny Masterson, Om'Mas Keith, The Revivalists, Filligar, Joe Gil, and Helena.
With a benefit at the House of Rock, Music Unites launched its first free after-school guitar program at Centennial High School in Compton. Guitar Center supported the cause by donating 30 Fender guitars and each student left with a brand new instrument in hand and excited to apply what they learned from the Warner Bros. Records "Be Your Own Muse," an educational workshop focused on educating students about the careers behind the music business. Hosted by Co-Founder of What's Trending Shira Lazar, the panel included a Q&A session with some of the most influential women in the industry including Warner Bros. Records recording artist Helena, Caroline Yim (Music Agent, ICM Partners) Julie Pilat (98.7, Assistant PD / Music Director KIIS Los Angeles), Michelle Jubelirer (Partner at King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner), Phylicia Fant (VP of Media Relations and Events at Warner
Bros. Records) and Julie Muncy (VP of Radio Promotion at Warner Bros. Records) along with a songwriting workshop to follow at the House Of Rock studio with Helena and Music Unites Student Ambassador, Candace Lee Camacho, who has been involved with the charity's New York program for three years.
"Warner's 'Be Your Own Muse' initiative was a very powerful and monumental event, I was so blessed to be a part of it. The girls from Compton were ecstatic and astonished to find out the guitars were actually for them! They left our songwriting session motivated and empowered to play and write their own music. I love those young women - they are the future of our industry," said Camacho.
Helena said that the Music Unites event was "a glittering dream -- it was exciting to
bring such beautiful and talented minds together to share thoughts and imaginations."
This is exactly what Music Unites is about -- inspiring our musical community and empowering our students to use their creative minds and reach for success, despite all opposition. We're excited to share our work with the Los Angeles community and hope to embark on new philanthropic endeavors that empower the next generation of musicians.