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Announcing the 2022 ETM Songwriting Contest Winner

We are thrilled to announce that Franklin Fortuna, a junior at the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx, has been named the winner of the 2022 ETM Singing Together Again Songwriting Contest.

Franklin wrote his song, The Hill We Climb, during a remote music education class last year, and is inspired by Amanda Gorman’s poem of the same name.

Franklin has written several original songs while in high school. He used music to help him process the difficult year that he, and many other students, faced due to the pandemic.

Franklin originally attended PS 25, where he learned the flute, before becoming interested in music composition in high school. Franklin’s family moved from the Dominican Republic to live with his grandparents in the Bronx when he was four. His grandfather instilled a love of music in him at an early age that continues to this day.

“I am thrilled that Education Trough Music has recognized The Hill We Climb as the winning song,” said Franklin. “I’ve been fortunate to be exposed to music at home and in school. I feel like we all have a thing and music is my thing.”

ETM launched the song writing contest this past winter and sought local songwriters to produce an inspiring, original song to celebrate a return to in-person music education in NYC schools. Franklin’s piece was selected by a panel of judges from the music industry and public schools. Franklin will receive a $750 cash prize and an invitation to and an award at the ETM Gala.

“We are thrilled that we had so many wonderful musical composition entries,” said Janice Weinman, Executive Director of ETM. “Franklin’s song and life story is inspiring. It is clear that music education motivated many students during the pandemic and kept them engaged in school.”

ETM believes that every child, at every school, deserves access to high quality music education as part of the core curriculum. Music education is part of a well-rounded academic program and essential for student’s social and emotional well-being.

Listen to Franklin’s winning song below:

Click here to explore more success stories from our partner schools, teacher interviews, curriculum spotlights, and more!