Education Through Music (ETM) celebrated its 25th Anniversary at its Children’s Benefit Gala on Monday, June 13th at Cipriani 42nd Street honoring Steinway & Sons. The event raised over $900,000 towards the nonprofit’s mission – utilizing quality music education as a catalyst for academic achievement and general development. Dinner Chairs included Cushman and Wakefield, Vornado Realty Trust and The Durst Organization. The event was chaired by Board member Karen Karlsrud.
The highly-anticipated Gala included performances by two Grammy award-winning artists: jazz trumpet player Chris Botti and longstanding Board member and violinist Joshua Bell. Christine Baranksi, Tony and Emmy-winning actress and star of the hit show The Good Wife, emceed the event.
“Some of the most joyous moments of my life actually have been spending time with the kids in this program,” said Bell. “Just being around them is so infectious, their joy for the music and what it does to them is so incredible that I just wish everyone knew about it because I don’t think there would be a school without music if people understood what it does to these kids.”
ETM partner school students from M.S. 355, M.S. 180, P.S./M.S. 498 and P.S. 76 in the Bronx performed and wowed the audience with their musical talents. These students played pieces including a pop medley, “Awaken the Music,” “I Love a Piano” as a nod to Steinway & Sons and “Thank You” to recognize ETM co-founders Edmund Schroeder and Eldon Mayer.
ETM honored Steinway & Sons for its commitment to providing music education to New York City schools. Steinway & Sons generously provided two private concerts at the elegant Steinway Hall for the event’s live auction. ETM’s new multi-year philanthropic relationship will enable ETM to reach more disadvantaged New York City students and promote the importance of music education in schools.
“It’s an honor and a privilege for Steinway to support Education Through Music,” said Sweeney. “We get to work with some of the world’s greatest artists, but the joy that I see on the faces of these children exceeds anything that we see from those top artists.”
Additional live auction items included tickets for Hamilton on Broadway, a week vacation in Nantucket, four tickets to the sold out CMA Awards and a four-night stay at San Miguel De Allende at the Casa Dragones. Speakers included ETM Executive Director Katherine Damkohler, Chairman of the Board Richard Bernstein, Steinway & Sons CEO Michael Sweeney and two ETM partner school students.
“Music became a second shadow for our family,” the two students explained to ETM supporters. “Education Through Music has provided a meaningful education to us and our family. To us, it feels like the whole world. So on behalf of all ETM students and from our family in particular, we want to say thank you to Education Through Music for producing music programs for people like me and families like ours.”
“I’ve had the privilege of watching Ed and Eldon’s vision flourish into an amazing organization, but our success is realized because of the passionate individuals who bring music into the lives of children who need it most,” said Damkohler. “So tonight, we celebrate 25 years of all these principals who have embraced our mission and have transformed their schools, 25 years of music teachers who use our comprehensive curriculum that embraces each and every child, all the classroom teachers who use music to support learning in every single subject, communities who have become champions of music education, all the donors who have supported us so that we could reach this milestone, and an incredible Board and staff whose hard work and dedication made our mission a reality. Tonight, we start looking forward to our future.”
Photos for media are available upon request.