The fundraising event kicks off their concert campaign to raise
$500,000 to keep the Opus 118 music program running
New York, NY May 11, 2010 — The powerful sound of urban rock music will come alive on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at El Museo Del Barrio in New York City, when internationally renown violin duo Nuttin’ But Stringz host the opening Honors Recital for Opus 118 Harlem School of Music. The platinum selling violinists, who were recently featured on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and MTV Unplugged with Trey Songz, have become the champion spokespersons of the non-profit organization.
Opus 118 transforms the lives of students and their families of the Harlem community, through access to quality music education while fostering teacher development and introducing musical performance to new audiences. “Opus 118 has experienced significant challenges in securing the funding needed to sustain the organization” said Damien Escobar, Nuttin’ But Stringz. Damien noted he was inspired by the efforts of Roberta Guaspari who co-founded the non-profit organization to inspire the youth of Harlem.
In 1991, public school budget cuts eliminated arts programs, but Guaspari and her students fought for their program. They rallied community support and held a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, with some of the world’s finest musicians to raise funds to keep the program open for nearly 20 years. Unfortunately, the program faces the same struggles during these economic times. With the help of Nuttin’ But Stringz, Opus 118 will kick of their Concert Campaign to raise half a million dollars and hopefully keep the program open for another 20 years.
“Opus 118 has seen a fair share of challenges through the years, but struggle parallels our humble beginnings,” said Robert Gondola, director of external relations. “This year marks Opus 118’s 19th year and with the help of generous donors, we will not only make it to a 20th year, but [Opus 118] will be in a position to sustain for many more years to come.”
“Our mission is far from accomplished,” explained Gondola. “There is so much left to do, and we need people to lend a hand to preserve the educational treasure that is Opus 118 in a neighborhood that needs it more than ever.”
Unfortunately, after more than a decade, Opus 118 finds itself in the same predicament battling through turbulent economic times. “Sometimes passion and drive are all you need.” said Tourie Escobar, “When my brother and I heard [Opus 118] was facing closure we felt motivated to help.”
Nuttin’ But Stringz is no stranger to giving back to the community. They brought music lovers to their feet last month (April 26, 2010) at the American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke movement. The initiative took place at the Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall in Houston, and empowered people to reduce their risk for stroke and educate communities on the importance of its prevention.
The Opus 118 Honors Recital on Thursday May 13, 2010, will begin at 6:00 pm with a cocktail hour, followed by a 7:00 pm performance. The newly renovated museum galleries will also be open exclusively for Opus 118 supporters. For more information on registration and tickets to the event contact Robert Gondola, Director of External Relations for Opus 118, Harlem School of Music at (212) 831- 4455 ext.105.
About Nuttin’ But Stringz Brother Tourie Escobar and Damien Escobar, who grew up in Queens, NY, are a true phenomenon of our musical age. Together, they are Nuttin’ But Stringz (NBS). NBS combines the classical sound of the violin with Pop, R&B and Hip-hop. The result is a unique and uplifting fury of modern emotion and harmony, intensity and rhythm. At age 10 both were the youngest to attend the legendary Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Their mission is to bridge the gap between Popular and Classical music. For more information about NBS visit: http://www.NuttinButStringz.com and NBS Blog: http//nuttinbutstringz.wordpress.com.
[Editors: For media interviews with Tourie Escobar or Damien Escobar, Nuttin’ But Stringz, or images contact Aida Mayo or George McQuade, MAYO Communications, Los Angeles,
818-340-5300 or 818-618-9229. Email: Publicity@MayoCommunications.com.]