Women in Music: From Left: Warner Bros. Records VP of radio promotion Julie Muncy; KIIS LA assistant PD/music director Julie Pilat; WBR artist Helena; ICM music agent, Caroline Yim; What's Trending co-founder/keynote speaker Shira Lazar;, King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner partner Michelle Jubelirer; and WBR VP of media relations and events Phylicia Fant.
Music Unites, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing music education to underprivileged children in underfunded inner city school systems, last week (Sept. 15) launched at Los Angeles' House of Rock. The event, which included a panel with all female music execs, performances by the likes of Lianne La Havas, Shiny Toy Guns, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and recording sessions, marked the start of two free after-school programs (Music Unites Youth Choir and Guitar Program) for Centennial High School in Compton.
The Warner Bros. Records "Be Your Own Muse" educational workshop, which helped kick off in the House of Rock, a charity based luxury brand created by co-founders and partners Jennifer Vernon and Elaine Culotti. The event brought together thirty female students from Compton's Centennial High with women music executives who hosted a panel and served as mentors for the students sharing their experiences working in the music business. Each student received a brand new Fender Stratocaster donated by Los Angeles' Guitar Center.
Students from Centennial High School reacting to receiving a brand new Fender Stratocaster as part of Music Unites' music education initiative.
The evening's other performers included John West, Cameron, Elaine Faye, Vauxhaul Broadcast, A House for Lions, Revivalists and Helena who all helped raise awareness for the cause. Other artists who stopped by included Billy Morrison (Camp Freddy), Cy Curnin (The Fixx), Yoshiki, Danny Masterson, Om 'Mas Keith, The Revivalists, Filligar, Joe Gil, and Helena.
Hosted by Co-Founder of What's Trending Shira Lazar, the panel included a Q&A session with influential women music executives, including Warner Bros. Records recording artist Helena; Caroline Yim, Music Agent, ICM Partners; Julie Pilat, 98.7, Assistant PD / Music Director KIIS Los Angeles; Michelle Jubelirer Partner at King, Holmes, Paterno &Berliner; Phylicia Fant, VP of Media Relations &Events at Warner Bros. Records; and Julie Muncy VP of Radio Promotion at Warner Bros.Records.
MU student ambassador Candace Camacho (right) with Warner Bros. Records artist Helena performed a duet at the event's songwriting workshop.
The event also included a songwriting workshop at the House Of Rock studio with Helena and Music Unites Student Ambassador, Candace Lee Camacho (above), who has been involved with the charity's program since its inception.
Music Unites began over three years ago in New York City bringing students from across the five boroughs to form the Young Audiences New York Music Unites Youth Choir. With the success of the program, Music Unites has grown to inspire more students through educational outreaches with artists that include Jonathan Batiste, Jaicko, Melanie Fiona, Shontelle and Kate Nash.
The organization has provided opportunities for students to perform everywhere from Michael Dorf's The Who tribute at Carnegie Hall, The Roots holiday show at Brooklyn Bowl to most recently U.N. World Humanitarian Day.
Currently, Music Unites plans to expand it's programs across NYC's five boroughs with the Music Unites Youth Choir campaign, an initiative to partner with five public high schools to create free after-school programs with an artist ambassador tied to each program. Gabe Saporta from Cobra Starship is the first to sign on board to help with a program in Queens.
Centennial High School students experiencing the BlueMic Studio for the first time
"This was a milestone for our organization," said Michelle Edgar, founder and executive director of Music Unites, "I was so inspired and moved by the students at Centennial High School who were enthusiastic and eager to learn all they could from the inspiring women in the room. As we look to scale our after-school programs and impact more students across the country, we look for the support from amazing partners like the House of Rock and Guitar Center to help take our organization to the next level so we can empower our students through music,"
"Warner's 'Be Your Own Muse' initiative was a very powerful and monumental event, I was so blessed to be a part of it," Camacho said in a statement. "The girls from Compton were ecstatic and astonished to find out the guitars were actually for them!"
Following the launch event, Centennial High School invited Michelle Edgar, founder and executive director of Music Unites (center, white shirt on the right side of Principal Jesse Jones, yellow shirt, holding guitar) for the announcement of its new music programs.
Helena added that the event was "a glittering dream" and "exactly what Music Unites is about -- inspiring our musical community and empowering our students to use their creative minds and reach for success, despite all opposition."