Red Carpet Monday! Scandal’s Norm Lewis Hosts Education Through Music 30th Anniversary… $1 Million Raised To Keep Music Alive In Public Schools – WATCH!By Shara Talia Taylor | June 20, 2022 | Entertainment
Scandal alum Norm Lewis hosted the Education Through Music (ETM) 30th-anniversary gala at the ultra-luxe event venue Cipriani’s in New York City. The gala raises funds to ensure students in under-resourced New York City schools have access to transformational music education programming. The night raised more than $1 million and recognized honorees for their contribution to music.
“It’s important to have organizations like this,” said Lewis. “Growing up we automatically had music in our schools, but now that budgets are being cut it’s just great that ETM is there for these students.”
Lewis, who is known for portraying Edison Davis on ABC’s Scandal, went to middle school at Lake Weston Elementary School in Orlando. He performed a stirring rendition of “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha Monday evening.
Lewis just wrapped his first play on Broadway called Chicken and Biscuits. He was excited to be a part of the fundraiser and had advice for students.
“If you have any way of performing, whether it be singing, dancing, acting or playing instruments, join a club and do that,” Lewis shared.
One student who benefited from ETM was Franklin Fortuna, 16, a student in the eleventh grade at Laboratory School of Finance and Technology.
“It’s been really nice to have music class,” Fortuna said. “Last year was my first year having music class and I feel like it’s been good to express myself in a class.”
Fortuna learned how to compose songs through his program. He won $750 for a song he wrote and plans to save it for college where he plans to major in music.
“It was really stressful during COVID and it was great to have a class that I can dedicate to expressing myself,” Fortuna said.
Thomas Carroll, a K-5 music teacher in Flushing at P.S. 154-Q, won funding for his school that he plans to use to purchase resources and instruments for students to continue to engage in music.
“It really is great, but I feel like I’m representing all of the great teachers that do this every day,” said Carroll. “To be recognized for something like this is really important because the work is doing wonders for these communities.”
The highlight of the evening, with a standing ovation, was an emotional performance of three songs by 45 choral and orchestral students from MS108. They were joined by The Voice Season 11 contestant Wé Mcdonald, who was a guest artist this year for ETM.
The evening concluded with the honoring of Peter Riguardi, Chairman and President of Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York Tri-state Region, a sponsor of the organization.
Founded in 1991, Education Through Music (ETM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the use of music in under-resourced schools and schools in disadvantaged areas, as a means of enhancing students’ academic performance and general development. ETM provides year-long, in-school music education programs for thousands of children who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to the arts. You can learn more about the organization at etmonline.org.
photo credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Education Through Music