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ETM Celebrates ‘A Springtime Crescendo’!

On a beautiful May New York evening, over 250 friends of ETM gathered at the University Club to celebrate ETM’s sixth annual Children’s Benefit. As always, the Gala was a wonderful event, full of fun and inspiration, and bringing out a glamorous cross-section of New Yorkers. The 2007 Benefit honored Steven E. McClung, President of McGraw-Hill School Solutions Group, for both Mr. McClung and McGraw-Hill’s invaluable support for and partnership with ETM over the past ten years. Under the leadership of Benefit Chairs and Auctioneers Andrew Malik and Liz Smith-Malik, the Gala raised over $200,000 for ETM’s programming in inner-city schools.

After an opening cocktail reception and silent auction, guests moved into the Club banquet hall for dinner. ETM Executive Director Katherine Damkohler welcomed everyone and introduced ETM Co-Founder and 1st Vice Chairman Eldon Mayer, who provided opening remarks and presented a short film of Mr. McClung’s visit with a music class at ETM partner school Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary. Mr. McClung took the stage to accept his honors and said a few words about the decade-long partnership between McGraw-Hill and ETM, and about his own belief in the power of music education: “I’ve seen a child with little interest in other school subjects literally light up in a music or art class. It’s a powerful thing to witness. . . . As a community, we are so fortunate to have ETM working to promote the integration of music into the curricula of schools in areas where kids otherwise may not have exposure to the arts. Their work provides these children with much more than music appreciation but rather the opportunity to become better learners and leaders, and to increase their confidence. . . . I encourage all of you here tonight to remember this wonderful evening and to try to extend your support and advocacy for music education into your daily lives. There is no greater reward than to see your efforts positively impact a child and brighten their future.”

Mr. McClung then introduced the real stars of the evening—over 60 children from four of ETM’s New York City partner schools. Honors chorus groups from Bronx schools St. Brendan and P.S. 69 performed “Waiting on theWorld to Change” with acclaimed actress and singer Gloria Reuben, accompanied by the ETM “Teaching Artist Players.” The group then brought the house down with “This Land is Your Land.” Student violinists from East Harlem’s Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School and St. Ann School also performed “Pachelbel’s Canon.”

After dinner, Andrew and Liz Malik led the live auction, with guests bidding on such one-of-a-kind items as a trip to Super Bowl XLII and a vacation in Napa Valley. Guests then danced the night away to the sounds of “Big City Swing.”

ETM gratefully acknowledges Steven McClung and The McGraw-Hill Companies; Andrew and Liz Malik; the Gala Benefit and Junior Benefit Committees; ETM’s Board of Directors and staff; the students, teaching artists and principals from Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary, St. Ann, St. Brendan, and P.S. 69; all of our sponsors and donors, and all of the volunteers, contributors, and attendees who made this event possible.

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Event Honoree Steven McClung receives a gift from ETM Executive Director Katherine Damkohler

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Honors Violin Students from Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary perform.

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(L-R) Singers Kenny Rankin and Gloria Reuben with ETM Executive Director Katherine Damkohler.

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Liz and Andrew Malik lead the live auction