Music Unites Expands Efforts in 2011 With Nationwide Instrument Drive

In less than two years, Music Unites has grown exponentially and expanded a number of its programs. The New York-based non-profit has grown from an idea for an organization that would connect people through music and performance, to a boutique organization that is simultaneously supporting music education programs in urban student communities, helping musicians from diverse genres get their music heard, introducing audiences to new artists, and providing unique partnering and branding opportunities for a variety of organizations. The organization's first initiative grew from the launch of the Music Unites Youth Choir to multiple initaitives including Empowering Women Through Music, ASCAP Night School series and a nationwide instrument drive.

Every initiative that Music Unites presents, by way of outreach or performance event, realizes the group's mission. The organization was recently recognized for its efforts and was presented with the Phyllis Hyman Phat Friend Award, granted to those who have contributed to impacting social change among youth and empowering their communities. In addition, the charity expanded its reach with the launch in its second major market in Chicago where the charity will partner with the Benito Juarez Community Academy to fund instruments for freshman students and help rebuild music education programs. The organization's main goal is to focus on creating a sustainable program that will provide music education for all students tailored to their talents with the long-term objective to fund new instruments for all four classes from students starting freshman through senior year. The generous donation was made at AXE Music "One Night Only" concert series at an O.A.R. performance in Chicago in October.

The Music Unites Youth Choir will close the year as the featured performance on December 30th at the Bronx Zoo's Sing for Wildlife competition. Presented jointly by The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Hard Rock Café, this opportunity gives student choral groups from the five boroughs the chance to compete for the title of "best" choral group in New York. The Music Unites Youth Choir, in partnership with Young Audiences New York, has been selected as one of the groups to represent local cultural institutions, and will appear as a special guest with a performance during the competition. Now in its second academic year, the Music Unites Youth Choir consisted of 40 students has been exposed to unique performance and mentoring educational opportunities such as a Carnegie Hall performance in Michael Dorf's The Music of The Who, this fall's workshop with artist Reni Lane, and 'Careers in Music' night which featured panelists from Epic Records, MTV and Bowery Presents.

This year, Music Unites will also be part of Michael Dorf's Neil Young Tribute at Carnegie Hall on February 10, which features 20 artists from Patti Smith, The Roots, Living Colour, Aimee Mann, Peter Yorn and J Mascis.