Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, will be a note-worthy evening as Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) hosts its 8th Annual Benefit Gala. Supporters from the music, film, education and Los Angeles communities will gather to honor legendary Award-Winning Composer John Debney and Music Teacher (Burbank Unified School District) Christine DeMore at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Honorary chairs of the gala include music education champions and celebrities such as Jon Favreau, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Ellie Kemper, Richard Kraft, Ivan Reitman, Tom Shadyac, Mary Steenburgen, Garry Marshall and LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Hosted by Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover), the evening will also include such presenters and performers as Grammy Award-winning Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Monica Mancini, The Madden Bros., Lisbeth Scott (Solo Vocalist, Avatar, The Passion of the Christ), Chris Bleth, Steve Erdody, (Solo Cellist, X-Men) and Julie Gigante (Violinist, LA Chamber Orchestra).

The biggest stars of the evening may be the music students of the ETM-LA program and David Starr Jordan Middle School performing an arrangement of Debney's theme from Elf and holiday song, Pat-a-Pan Salsa. 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.

Each year, ETM-LA lauds two "Shining Star" honorees "whose contributions through music have changed our lives." Honoree John Debney, Award-Winning Composer, has the ability to create memorable music across a variety of genres, and has garnered a reputation of being remarkably collaborative. Debney has received numerous accolades for his talents. He is the youngest recipient of ASCAP's prestigious Henry Mancini Career Achievement Award. Variety named Debney the "Billion- Dollar Composer of the Year," highlighting his tremendous box office successes, including The Passion of the Christ, Elf, Bruce Almighty, The Princess Diaries 1 & 2, Spy Kids 1 & 2, Sin City, and Iron Man 2. Blending symphonic orchestra, a wide range of world instruments, and the beauty of the human voice, Debney's landmark score for The Passion of the Christ became a world-wide success and earned him an Academy Award nomination, a Gold record and a live concert performance in Rome. Debney's other accolades include three Emmy awards. John Debney recently scored The Call, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin, and Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher. He is currently scoring Draft Day starring Kevin Costner, SpongeBob SquarePants 2, as well as the TV mini-series Bonnie & Clyde.

Honoree Christine DeMore, Vocal Music Director at Jordan Middle School in Burbank, has four award-winning choirs and over 300 students in the program every year. She is an adjudicator for the Southern California Vocal Association and the national Music in the Parks festival program. She is a guest conductor and clinician for concert and show choirs throughout Southern California.

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 disadvantaged 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 www.etmla.org.

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