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BMI Young Songwriters Project Holds Concert

Posted in News on May 9, 2004
More than 30 student participants in the BMI Young Songwriters Project will perform a concert of original songs on Sunday, May 16, at 4:00pm at the Blake Senior High School in Tampa, Florida. Through the help of performing rights organization BMI, two of its leading songwriters, Christopher Cerf and Julie Gold, served as master teachers of this innovative project. Cerf, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning composer of "Sesame Street" and producer/composer for "Between the Lions," and Gold, the Grammy Award-winning writer of "From A Distance," are among the most honored American songwriters. They worked with more than a dozen talented music teachers from the Tampa area.

The BMI Young Songwriters Project began in 2003 with the participation of students from the Hillsborough School District in Florida. In 2004, the membership was expanded to include individuals from the Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota School Districts. They met for five Master Classes via video conference from BMI's New York headquarters with Cerf and Gold. Each session involved the performance of songs by the students and critiques by the two teachers.

BMI helped to inaugurate the Young Songwriters Project as a means of encouraging the creators of tomorrow and teaching the value of copyright. Florida education innovators June Hinckley of the Florida Department of Education and Margaret Griffin, Elementary Music Supervisor for Hillsborough County, developed the curriculum with Cerf and Gold's assistance. The BMI Young Songwriters Project was also supported by the University of South Florida, the Florida Department of Education, Apple Computer Corporation and Sibelius Software. Apple will sponsor a reception following the concert, where both Cerf and Gold will be available for interviews on the project and their individual careers.