By Hilary Gridley
Someone once said it all happens at the zoo, and Music Unites – a non-profit dedicated to bringing music education to underprivileged children – is proving that to be true.
Music Unites organizes concerts with artists passionate about music education to raise awareness and funding for music programs in inner-city schools. To celebrate its third anniversary, the organization is taking kids out of the classroom and into an even wilder part of the city: the Bronx Zoo.
As part of the zoo’s Animal Tales Extravaganza, a springtime series of weekend activities for kids and families, Music Unites will present a concert designed to bring together national celebrity and budding local talent on June 2. Brothers Nat and Alex Wolff, young stars quickly establishing their own musical careers after rising to fame on Nickelodeon’s “Naked Brothers Band,” will headline the concert, which begins at 12:30 p.m.
It’s unlikely that Nat and Alex have ever played a show “adjacent to Grizzly Bears,” as the schedule of events lays out, but the truly unique part of the show lies in the musicians opening for them: The Music Unites Youth Choir from the Women’s Academy of Excellence, celebrating their debut performance. In addition organizing benefit concerts, Music Unites runs an after-school program at the Women’s Academy of Excellence, a Bronx high school committed to nurturing the intellectual curiosity and creativity of young female scholars.
Music Unites launched the program in January to kick off its Youth Choir Campaign, which the non-profit aim to expand across the five boroughs. Not only are students given the opportunity to explore their musical interests – both vocal and instrumental – but they receive mentorship from established artists as well. By bringing musicians into the schools they support, the program both provides positive role models for the students and opportunities for artists to perform, teach, and inspire.
You can learn more and support Music Unites’ education programs, mentorship programs, and performances here.