Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert

Some of the greatest songwriters of the past 50 years convened in New York City on Tuesday, December 8 for The Songs of Our Lives: Performed by the Songwriters Who Wrote Them, a benefit concert for Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

The unique evening featured songwriters talking about - and performing - the songs they wrote. The program included recollections from such musical luminaries as High School of Music and Art alumnus Charles Fox ("Killing Me Softly," "I Got a Name," "Ready to Take A Chance Again"), as well as songwriters Hal David ("What The World Needs Now," "Alfie"), Alan Bergman ("The Way We Were," "The Windmills of Your Mind"), Charles Strouse ("Bye Bye Birdie," "Annie"), Paul Williams ("Evergreen," "We've Only Just Begun"), Alan Menken ("Little Shop of Horrors," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin"), and David Zippel ("City of Angels," "Hercules"). In addition to Mr. Fox, the work of other school alums including songwriting greats Marilyn Bergman, Cy Coleman and Ed Kleban, were performed during the evening. Tony Walton directed. Jazz musician Steve Tyrell and current cast member of The Marvelous Wonderettes Lindsay Mendez also performed. The evening concluded with a surprise performance of What I Did For Love (sung by India Carney) and One from the cast of the school's upcoming production of A Chorus Line.

The concert was held in the intimate 500-seat Little Flower Theatre, followed by a post show reception with the songwriters and special guests at O'Neal's Restaurant. 

The Songs of Our Lives was conceived and organized by composer Charles Fox to help the school through a budget cutting period brought on by the general economic conditions and to continue to provide the highest standard of nurturing and developing young, gifted students in the arts. "As an alumnus of Music and Art High School which merged with the High School of Performing Arts 25 years ago, I benefited enormously in my early musical education and development at this extraordinary school," explains Fox. "I feel devoted to helping the school continue the same high level of opportunities that it has offered so many of us in the arts over the years."

Said Kim Bruno, principal of LaGuardia High School: "We are thrilled to have Charles Fox and this extraordinary group of talented songwriters at LaGuardia. This event starts the 25th anniversary year of LaGuardia and I can think of no better way to mark the occasion."

In addition to raising the needed funds for The LaGuardia High School for the Arts to continue all of its arts programs during this difficult economic period, it is the hoped that the concert also raised public awareness of this unique and extraordinary institution that has produced many of the world's great artists in every category for the past 60 years. For more information, visit www.alumniandfriends.org.

 

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Paul Williams and Ken Ascher

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Alan Menken, Karen Akers, and Ken Ascher

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Steve Tyrell

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Steve Tyrell, Alan Bergman, David Zippel, Lindsay Mendez, Alan Menken, Charles Fox, Paul Williams, Tony Walton, and Hal David

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Steve Tyrell, Charles Fox, and Paul Williams

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Marilyn Bergman, Steve Tyrell, and Alan Bergman

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
David Zippel, Lindsay Mendez, and Charles Fox

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
David Zippel, Lindsay Mendez, Steve Tyrell, and Charles Fox

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Hal David and Steve Tyrell

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Karen Akers and Tony Walton

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Karen Akers and Kim M. Bruno

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Kim M. Bruno, Charles Fox, and Steve Asher

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Karen Akers and David Zippel

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Michael Borth, Karen Akers, Lindsay Mendez, and Charles Fox

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Karen Akers and Charles Fox

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Steve Tyrell, Karen Akers, and Ken Ascher

Photo Flash: 'The Songs of Our Lives' Benefit Concert
Paul Williams and students from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School

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