Music is Instrumental Benefit Concert Returns to Burbank

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(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) and Musicians at Play Foundation are delighted to announce the return of the MUSIC IS INSTRUMENTAL BENEFIT CONCERT (MII 23) concert on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. This benefit concert marks the return of the  BUSD’s All District Symphonic Orchestra and Choir, accompanied by world-class orchestral and studio musicians from the Musicians at Play Foundation who have been mentoring BUSD music students over this past school year and throughout the pandemic. Together, they will perform iconic music from film and television to support much-needed auditorium lighting and sound repairs in addition to ongoing instrument repair and replacement.

Don Williams, Co-Founder of Musicians at Play Foundation, expressed, “It is so important to nurture music and the arts in schools.  MAP offers an opportunity to inspire young people to consider a life in music.  It takes not only the schools to educate young people, but there is a need for assistance from the private sector.  We see MAP as an educational tool that helps students tap into their talent and artistic interests.  Music and the arts are as important as everything else that is taught in the classroom.”

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent three-year restrictions on live instruction, performances, and fundraising events, had a devastating impact on parent and teacher-led fundraising activities. Proceeds from the MII 23 concert will again support John Burroughs and Burbank high school music programs as they work to regain the progress made during the 2017 -2019 Music is Instrumental Collective Impact Campaign that raised more than ¼ of the District’s identified $1.4 million need.   

Despite a 5-year budget crisis,  BUSD has maintained its commitment to sustaining student access to quality music instruction by maintaining music educator positions. Fundraising efforts remain essential to ensuring ALL students have access to functional, well-maintained instruments and performance venues.

MAP Mentors are members of the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles, California, a rotating group of classically-trained musicians responsible for playing the soundtrack music for motion pictures since the 1920s. These artists also perform with the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra and in premiere concert venues throughout the world. In Hollywood studios, they perform and record the music of award-winning composers, such as John Williams and Michael Giacchino, and can be heard on the soundtracks of thousands of films, including Star Wars, Star Trek, Back to the Future, UP, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Coco, Schindler’s List, Home Alone and JAWS to name only a few.

April Williams, Co-Founder of Musicians at Play Foundation, said, “It’s an honor to work with BUSD AND their fine students. Over the years, I have noticed we are building citizens. Better and better citizens for our communities.”

The most extraordinary part of a Music is Instrumental concert comes as MAP Mentors take the stage alongside their young protégés.  Since 2016, esteemed musician, philanthropist, and co-founder of the Musicians at Play Foundation,  Don Williams, has teamed with esteemed conductor Angel Velez and award-winning BUSD music directors Brendan Jennings, Brett Carroll, Annie Cavanaugh, and David Espana to assemble some of the finest professional studio and orchestral musicians to mentor BUSD music students. 

“The Music is Instrumental Concert shows exactly why Burbank is one of the best cities for music education in the country. Our top student performers are paired with world-class professionals in a concert collaboration like no other. You will forget you are watching high school students!”, said Brendan Jennings, JBHS VMA Director and MII Co-Chair.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

For one night only, these talented musicians will perform together on one stage in an unprecedented celebration of the music from Saving Private Ryan, The Incredibles,  John Williams’ Tribute to the Film Composer, and more, including a breathtaking performance of ‘O Fortuna – Carmina Burana’ that you won’t want to miss!

Peggy Flynn, Arts & CTE Coordinator and MII Co-Chair, was happy for the show’s return, “Our partnership with the Musicians at Play Foundation has been so impactful.  They are true partners who are dedicated to bettering the lives of students through music education.  Music is Instrumental concerts are exceptional – like no other – audience members can expect a deeply moving and meaningful experience.”

The Musicians at Play Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization #EIN #47-3332460.

WHEN:     SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2023

WHERE:  WOLFSON AUDITORIUM- BURBANK HIGH 902 N. Third St., Burbank

Ticket Information:

Tickets can be purchased online at: Music is Instrumental 2023

At the Entrance on January 28, starting 6:15pm

$10 Student and Seniors (at door)

$25 General Admission

$50 VIP with Reception at Intermission

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