Photo Flash: ASCAP Foundation Seeds THE LYRIC PROJECT at Skylight Theatre
Lucas Grabeel hosted the Skylight Theatre/ASCAP outreach event THE LYRIC PROJECT, last night at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. It was an outstanding presentation from professional singer/songwriters/composers/ASCAP members who mentored 15 "at risk" kids, chosen from hundreds, to write and publish a song. Scroll down for photos!
Music is everywhere and for many it is the one common thread in lives disrupted by tragedy and violence. For fifteen teens, selected to present their lyrics which will be sung by professionals, their first-step into song writing begins with this celebration concert.
"When I walked into Probation Camp Paige to conduct the lyric-writing classes for Skylight Theatre, I wasn't sure if the participants would be receptive. What followed had a profound effect on me and speaks volumes to the power of expression through the arts and the stories that need to be told." - Sari Rose Poll; Coordinator/Teacher
Special guest Lucas Grabeel (Switched At Birth, High School Musical) appeared during this premiere event being directed and choreographed by Lee Martino, with arrangements and musical direction by Lucas Cantor.
Through the Irving Caesar "Lyric Project", seeded by money from the ASCAP Foundation, more than 350 inner city teens, ages 15 to 18, were provided with an outlet for expression through the art of song writing. For some, the joy is finding a new talent that connects them to their music idols, for others the connection is deeper as they attempt to make sense out of the senseless.
Students began by exploring contemporary and musical theater song structures. Under the guidance of an instructor they worked with hands-on, interactive questionnaires, brainstorming charts, and sample lyrics to transform intimate moments and personal experiences from their lives into well-crafted lyrics. Once the lyrics were completed the teacher goes through them and submits a group of the lyrics to a review panel from the Skylight Theatre and ASCAP; the panel identified fifteen lyrics to be set to music. Students were then notified and began to work with established professional composer/songwriters to set their words to music.
In recognition of their status as emerging music professionals, an ASCAP professional introduces these fifteen students to the business of song writing. This is the night when young celebrity professionals will perform the songs in a concert dedicated to our new lyricists. Proceeds from the concert benefit the students' school artistic organizations and Skylight Theatre. The Team includes professional composers Nick Blaemire, Katie Boeck, Lucas Cantor, Lauren Christy, Jason Evigan, Mano Felciano, Ross Golan, Matt Gould, Audra Mae, Heidi Rojas, Chip Rosenbloom, John Torres, FayWolf, and Barrett Yeretsian.
The LYRIC PROJECT is led by Sari Rose Poll and is filmed documentary-style, beginning with the initial workshop conversations through the final performance presentation. Proceeds of the sale of the video and original CD are given to the participating organizations to fund their artistic programs and are used to launch The Irving Caesar Lyric Project at other schools and organizations.