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Shoshana Bean Returns for Third Annual Beaverton High School Fundraiser

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Shoshana Bean Returns for Third Annual Beaverton High School Fundraiser

Powerhouse vocalist and Broadway star Shoshana Bean is back for her third fundraiser for Beaverton High School's performing arts department. But, instead of packing her alma mater's auditorium with performances from Bean, her music industry peers, and student performers, she's taking the show online. Now, anyone can safely - from the comfort of home - tune into to Bean's YouTube channel at 6 p.m. PST on July 13 for Shoshana Bean and Friends: An Evening of Broadway.

The streamed show will welcome Beaverton School District students hand-picked by Bean from a special Instagram video contest in addition to special industry guests including Broadway Tony Award-Winning actress and "Let It Go" singer Idina Menzel; Broadway, TV, and film star Jeremy Jordan and Tony and Grammy Award-Winning performer Cynthia Erivo. And this year's concert theme will showcase all those Broadway tunes we know and love.

"I've made sure to curate the set list to include songs everyone knows and loves, songs that appeal to all ages, and a good mix of energetic and joyful and moving (songs)," Bean said. "I just want people to smile and have a good cry."

Truly an example of "the show must go on" (twice), this concert was originally scheduled for April in the school's auditorium, but due to the governor's orders surrounding the pandemic - and school closures - Bean had to get creative and see if there was still a way to make it safely happen for this year's students. The idea of a virtual concert was set to air in early June, but was again postponed due to the protests and unrest which began in our country after the death of George Floyd.

"Life has been evolving so rapidly before our eyes. As conscious members of society, it is imperative that we remain aware and alert - and that we focus on the people and causes that most need our energy and attention," Bean said on postponing the concert. "We needed to be with the pain of our fellow Black Americans, and to free up the space to be filled by the voices of those most deeply hurting."

Bean said that as we continue to listen, learn, mobilize and effect change, we also must heal.

"Our roles as artists are, therefore, as important as ever as we collectively seek ways to do just that. Let us all begin the healing on the road to action that creates a much better version of America. And let the arts in schools, as imperative as ever, offer children places where they feel safe, seen, and self-expressed."

The yearly fundraising show continues to demonstrate the power of voices coming together for good.

The concert addresses the need for alternative arts funding due to budget cuts. To date, Bean's Beaverton High School fundraising concerts have raised more than $50,000 for the school's performing arts department. Funds have helped to upgrade facilities, pay for student participation, and provide scholarships for graduating seniors. And this year, viewers from home can click a "donate" button during the show to show their support for the musicians while making a donation to the school.

"It's a really uplifting and inspiring moment for our students and community in this time. It reassures us that we're all in this together and we're going to get through it," said Beaverton High School Principal Anne Erwin. "When we return to school we're going to want the arts to continue to be an important and vibrant part of our culture."

The arts are not only Bean's passion, but also her life's work.

"The arts are the vehicle through which I express myself and share my heart," Bean said. "The arts connect us all, heal us, educate us, and enrich our lives. Why are they important in a child's education? For the exact same reasons. They create connection and community. They provide a vehicle for children to express themselves."

Bean is passionate about keeping the arts alive in schools and finds them an integral part of a child's education.

"The arts are important because they are proven to raise attendance and test scores," Bean said, "and students who receive an education in the arts are more likely to go on to college."

While at Beaverton High School, Bean was a Rhythm B, a member of the choir, and participated in school musicals under the direction of James Erickson. She went on to receive a BFA in musical theater from the University of Cincinnati College of Conservatory Music.

Bean credits her high school with giving her the foundation for her career. She graduated in 1995 and has since gone on to star on Broadway, release chart-topping albums, and sell out concerts around the world.

She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Hairspray and then replaced Idina Menzel as the green skinned witch, Elphaba, in Wicked. Her four solo albums have earned peak positions on the iTunes and Billboard charts. She has amassed millions of views on YouTube, lent her voice to countless films and television shows, toured the world with Postmodern Jukebox, and performed alongside artists such as Michael Jackson, Brian McKnight, Ariana Grande, and David Foster.

Her forth album "Spectrum," released in 2018, brought classic hits and originals backed by an 18-piece band. Her return to the Beaverton High School community is truly testament to her devotion to her craft and what can happen when an interest in the arts is fostered and allowed to bloom.

Not even a pandemic can keep this superstar from giving back to students and offering them an opportunity to be mentored by some of the industries finest talents. Bean has been working with the student performers via Skype as they hone their talents for the big show; students will be performing from home. And, even though they won't be together to share the same physical stage, Bean said the online show will be a culmination of a lot of hard work for an important cause. She said she's thrilled to still be able to work with the students virtually.

"I am also thrilled we will be able to reach and entertain a wider audience," Bean said.

She said she's excited for the student performers to learn some new skills and have something fun to look forward to and be proud of as the audience at home is "moved and inspired."

"It's important to me that they are able to be the best they can be and if there is any wisdom I can impart, I want to be able to help them grow vocally in their performance and ultimately boost their confidence," Bean said.

Erwin said she is "grateful and humbled" that Bean has committed herself to helping Beaverton High School's performing arts department for a third year - by any means necessary.

"Our community is committed to sustaining arts programs for our kids. I hope everyone is reminded of how valuable the arts are and what a blessing and a gift they are every day - especially in these difficult times," Erwin said. "When school returns, we want a vibrant and dynamic arts program and to remember and appreciate the importance of maintaining and strengthening the arts programs."

Bean said she hopes attendees feel a sense of community and connection.

"I hope they feel they will always have a source of support and an ally in me," she said, "and I hope they walk away knowing that people care about their education, their development, and their well-being."

Visit YouTube.com/ShoshanaBean at 6 p.m. on July 13, 2020, to tune in to the virtual benefit concert.


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