Save The Music hosted a virtual event on December 8, 2020 celebrating eight-time GRAMMY® winner, Philip Lawrence, and raising funds to ensure that every student has the ability to make music in school from wherever they are learning during this challenging time. The benefit was sponsored by Gibson Gives, the charitable arm of Gibson Guitars, UTA and Victrola. Proceeds will go towards jumpstarting music programs in underserved schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Hosted by Matt Pinfield, the show kicked off with a heartwarming performance by STM grant recipient, Casillas Elementary in Chula Vista, CA with students singing “All On A Silent Night.”
Matt then introduced STM Executive Director, Henry Donahue, who spoke about the importance of music education especially now during this challenging time. Chloe Flower then performed her rendition of “Carol Of The Bells” on the piano with her signature sound of mixing classical music with hip hop beats. Following Chloe, music teacher Rosalee Sparks and her students from STM school Paul Revere Elementary in Anaheim, CA sang and played instruments to “What A Wonderful World.”
In line with the event’s theme, artists such as Kirk Douglas of The Roots, Andrew Watt and Why Don’t We shared personal stories of how music education has impacted them throughout their lives.
The award portion of the evening then began with David E. Talbert, director of Netflix’s Jingle Jangle, for which Philip Lawrence wrote the music. Philip then performed a medley of some of the greatest hits he worked on with Bruno Mars including “Nothin’ On You,” “Just The Way You Are,” and “Billionaire.” He concluded his performance with “Square Root of Possible” from Jingle Jangle.
Philip accepted the 2020 #MusicSaves LA Honoree Award with a moving speech thanking everyone involved with his success including his parents who raised him in a musical family. He recalled a time in high school when his music teacher believed in him so much that he chose the musical based on Philip, selected him as the lead, and even brought a Broadway star to open the show. Philip emphasized that this type of support helped him become the songwriter he is today and urged viewers to donate to Save The Music so they can provide the resources to nurture students’ talent.
The grand finale was a powerful performance of “Miles and Miles” from Jingle Jangle by Marisha Wallace. Lastly, an encore of “Carol of The Bells” was sung by STM grant recipient, Arts High School in Newark. NJ.