On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, Education Through Music-Los Angeles hosted its 13th Annual Benefit Gala at The Novo-Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles to raise funds for music instruction in disadvantaged LA County schools.
Supporters from the music, film, business, and education communities gathered to honor Grammy-Winning Music Producer Sebastian Krys (Elvis Costello, Luis Fonsi, La Santa Cecilia, Alejandro Sanz), Veteran Music Teacher Sue Edwards (L.A. Unified School District), and KORG Education.
Grammy Award-Winning Band La Santa Cecilia and Sheila E. (Prince) kicked off the gala with an electric Latin number, followed by a soulful piece from Latin Grammy-Winner Noel Schajris (Sin Bandera). Students from ETM-LA and other schools ushered in the holiday season with heartwarming and festive performances. Honorary hosts of the gala included music education champions and celebrities Christophe Beck, Joshua Bell, John Debney, Germaine Franco, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Michael Giacchino, Michael Gorfaine, Julianne Jordan, Larisa Martinez, Julia Michels, Arturo Sandoval, Randy Spendlove, and Sergio Vallin, along with other influential leaders.
Honoree Krys, whose tribute video featured appearances by Juanes, Luis Fonsi, and Alejandro Sanz, shared, “Music education is essential [for] a complete education and to the development of a child.” As a music educator for over 40 years in L.A. Unified, Ms. Edwards received her Shining Star Award from a former mentee, Julie West, who was also an ETM-LA Star Honoree in 2011. “I’ve always thought that I had the best job in the school. Teaching kids how to play instruments is fun, gratifying, and inspiring,” said Edwards. Randy Spendlove and John Debney proudly presented the award to KORG Education.
In its 13th year, ETM-LA will serve approximately 15,000 schoolchildren with weekly music instruction as part of the core curriculum.
Major corporate sponsors included BTW Productions, Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc., Full Sail University, Universal Music Latin Entertainment, Sonic Fuel Studios, BMI, and Virgin Hotels.