The King’s Singers and The 5 Browns Answer the Question “Why Music?” for Music In Our Schools Month®
Musical Stars Explain the Importance of Music Education in Award-Winning Radio PSA Series Produced by MENC: The National Association for Music Education
RESTON, VA (February 27, 2008) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education released the newest edition in its series of radio public service announcements featuring top pop, country, and classical musicians for March, Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM). The series, called Why Music?, features musical stars talking about the value and importance of music education.
New artists joining the lineup for MIOSM 2008 are The King’s Singers and The 5 Browns. Returning artists include Trisha Yearwood, Al Jarreau, Kathy Mattea, Bonnie Rideout, Edgar Meyer, Gloria Estefan, Boys II Men, Joshua Bell, Vanessa Williams, Patty Loveless, Janis Ian, Faith Hill, Chely Wright, Tim McGraw, Roger McGuinn, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Taylor, and many others. (A complete list of artists participating in the series since 1997 can be viewed at menc.org.)
For more than thirty years, the King’s Singers have delighted audiences around the world with their charm, wit, and incomparable musicianship. From medieval to renaissance, romantic to contemporary, folk and pop, their repertoire is all encompassing. Renowned for their commitment to blend, balance and intonation in their own performances, they are committed to passing on their knowledge through educational work — conducting master classes, appearing at music education conferences, and more. Current members are David Hurley, Robin Tyson, Paul Phoenix, Philip Lawson, Christopher Gabbitas, and Stephen Connolly.
The 5 Browns “twenty-something year old sibling piano virtuosos Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra and Desirae“ released their CD “Browns In Blue” in October 2007. It features atmospheric classical and jazz-inspired piano music. The 5 Browns previously topped the nation’s classical music charts in 2005 with “The 5 Browns” and in 2006 with “No Boundaries.” The siblings frequently visit schools and meet with music students during their busy touring schedule.
Each PSA in the Why Music? series features an artist talking about the importance of music education for today’s youth or a personal experience he or she had with music in school. The PSAs are available for radio stations to download from the Web site.
The PSAs are part of MENC’s unceasing efforts to keep music programs strong in America’s schools. “MENC’s mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by everyone,” said John J. Mahlmann, MENC’s executive director. “We believe that the celebrity messages significantly raise the public’s awareness of the positive effect music education has on kids.” Previous Why Music? MIOSM editions have generated as many as 206 million verified gross impressions over the month of March.
“Music is intrinsically valuable on its own, of course,” continued Mahlmann, “but it doesn’t hurt, at a time when school budgets are so tight, to spread the word about the other ways learning music can benefit students. For instance, a recent Harris survey found that music education is associated with higher education and higher income, as well as personal fulfillment. If you want to be a CEO, college president, or even a rock star, study music!”
MENC releases Why Music? twice a year ”in March to coincide with Music In Our Schools Month, and in September as children head “Back to School.” The 2006 “Back to School” PSAs, sent to 2000 radio stations and networks, generated more than 152 million verified gross impressions over two weeks in September 2006.
Why Music? has been the recipient of several prestigious communications awards, including the League of American Communications Professionals 2002 Magellan Awards Publicity Campaign Competition Bronze Award for Community Relations and The Communicator Awards 2002 Audio Competition Crystal Award of Excellence. In addition, MENC was awarded Honorable Mention in the PR News 2002 Platinum PR Awards for PSA Campaign, and the 2001 Bronze Anvil Award for Best Radio Public Service Announcement by the Public Relations Society of America. The series was awarded the Mercury Awards 2003 Honors for the Campaign/Public Service Announcements category and the APEX 2003 Award of Excellence in the Public Relations and Information Video and Electronics Publications Category.
MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 130,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.