On Sunday, November 4, Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) will host its 7th Annual Benefit Gala. Supporters from the music, film, education and Los Angeles communities will gather to honor legendary Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and music teacher (Los Angeles Unified School District) Linda Mouradian at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Honorary chairs of the gala are Joshua Bell, Richard Dreyfuss, Jim Gianopulos, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall.

The biggest stars of the evening may be the music students of the ETM-LA program playing an arrangement of Williams' "Dry Your Tears Afrika" (Amistad) and other pieces. Proceeds from the event will benefit ETM-LA, a nonprofit organization with the mission to provide music education in underserved schools as part of the core curriculum.

Along with the young artists from the ETM-LA program, major artists and champions of the cause to keep music in schools will be presenting awards, including Richard Dreyfuss (Academy Award-winning actor), Lynn Harrell (Grammy-winning cellist), Michael Giacchino (Academy Award-winning composer), Bing Wang (LA Philharmonic Associate Concertmaster), and Deborah Borda (CEO & president, LA Philharmonic). In addition, film composers who have been involved in ETM-LA's work include Christopher Young, Christopher Lennertz, John Debney, Christophe Beck and James Dooley.

Each year, ETM-LA lauds two "Shining Star" honorees "whose contributions through music have changed our lives." In a career that spans five decades, honoree John Williams has become one of America's most recognized and successful composers for film and the concert stage. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than 100 films, and is perhaps best known for composing the scores of all six Star Wars films and the first three Harry Potter films.

Williams has enjoyed a 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg in which they collaborated on such films as Schindler's List, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones films, Amistad and War Horse. Their latest collaboration, the highly anticipated Lincoln, is scheduled for release in late 2012.

In 2010, Williams received the National Medal of Arts—the country's highest honor conferred upon individual artists. He served as the Grand Marshal of the 2004 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2004. In January 2009, Williams composed and arranged "Air and Simple Gifts" especially for the inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama.

Honoree Linda Mouradian has been a transformative and beloved music educator in Los Angeles in her more than 30 years as a full time instrumental music teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Mouradian has served as the Elementary Instrumental Department Chair, developed the LAUSD instrumental music curriculum and was the co-chair of the LAUSD "Accent on Performance" Honor Orchestra and Chorus Festival. Since 2000, Mouradian has been the String Methods Instructor at Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN), and a master teacher for CSUN student teachers, inspiring generations of musicians and music educators.

The benefit gala will include silent and online auctions to raise funds for ETM-LA programs serving thousands of children—including violin, cello, guitar, recorder, general music, and chorus. Festivities begin with a silent auction/reception at 5:00 p.m. followed by dinner and a concert from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. A VIP after-party will follow. Tickets are currently available at etmla.org.

ETM-LA is an independent 501(c)3 music education program founded in 2006 with the mission to provide and promote the integration of music into the curricula of disadvantaged schools in order to enhance students' academic performance and creative and general development. ETM-LA partners with underserved schools to provide instruments and weekly music instruction for every child as part of the core curriculum and is based on the ETM model (New York, 1991).

Education Through Music–Los Angeles (ETM-LA, Inc.) makes music education a reality for thousands of children who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to the arts. For more information, see etmla.org.

Gala Location:
Skirball Cultural Center – Ahmanson Ballroom
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049