NEW YORK, NY, May 4, 2017 – Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning music producer/engineer Phil Ramone passed away four years ago, but his presence continues to be felt at all levels of the music industry and beyond. Part of his legacy has been The Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children, which Ramone founded in 2011 and is now co-administered by his son, producer/engineer BJ Ramone. The ensemble, which currently features 62 boys and girls ages 6-16, is a living testament to Ramone’s belief that music has the power to heal and transform lives.
Now through May 21, the Orchestra is holding a pledge drive at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/RAMONE. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the program. Unfortunately, if certain financial goals are not met, the Orchestra’s future will be in jeopardy. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation of whatever amount you feel is appropriate.
Upcoming appearances for the Orchestra include a performance at the Lincoln Center Plaza on June 1, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.
“I am so grateful for all the generous contributions over the years from the friends of The Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children,” stated BJ Ramone. “The formation of this orchestra was a direct result of my dad’s lifelong dream to touch the lives of less fortunate children in challenged communities by giving them access to music education. We are reaching out again and asking for your support to help keep my dad’s dream alive while enriching and transforming the lives of these children by teaching them how to play instruments through group and full orchestra lessons.”
About the Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children
The dream of the late GRAMMY Award-winning music producer Phil Ramone was to bring music to the lives of children, especially to those in under-served areas. He wanted to see the creation of orchestras worldwide whose purpose would be to enrich the lives of boys and girls everywhere. That’s one of the reasons he chose to partner with The Salvation Army, which is based in 127 countries and in nearly every zip code of the United States. The Salvation Army has a long, rich tradition in brass music, however, Phil thought a multigenre musical offering would be best. With that thinking, in 2011 the Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra was born, at P.S. 206 in East Harlem. Unlike a traditional orchestra, Phil wanted to engage young people with day-to-day instruction in a variety of genres including jazz, Gospel, hip-hop, pop, and more. When the youngsters received their instruments in 2011 and saw the value and pride of being a member of an orchestra, they and their parents were, and continue to be, absolutely thrilled!
Today the program not only meets at P.S. 206/River Elementary School but also at The Salvation Army on the west side of Harlem — and stretches from 2nd Grade to High School students. Lessons include full-orchestra practice, section practice and private lessons. Throughout the year, students perform for their parents, the school, friends of The Salvation Army, and other audiences in other venues. Perhaps most importantly, Orchestra Director Envoy Kenneth Burton has witnessed the powerful impact the orchestra has had on keeping kids off the streets and working toward a brighter future.
Recent program highlights:
- Members of the orchestra visited the US Military Academy at West Point. The West Point Band performed for and coached the youngsters during that time.
- Guest appearance at The New Sounds for Christ Christmas concert at the Harlem Temple Community Center
- Once again the orchestra performed during Harlem Week
- 27 children were able to spend a week at The Salvation Army’s Star Lake Camp in Bloomingdale, NJ, performing for more than 350 of their fellow sports campers and staff
- The orchestra was honored with The Interchurch Center’s Community Service Award
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Photo Caption: The late Phil Ramone interacting with a member of the Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children before his passing in 2013
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