Orion Federal Credit Union joined forces with MEMPHO Music Festival for a new philanthropy-based initiative, “Learn to Rock.” The program aims to build bridges throughout the Memphis community by educating students about the city’s rich musical history, benefitting music teachers and students throughout the Shelby County School system, the Soulsville Foundation, Stax Music Academy and other charter schools. The program will also reach the Memphis Music Initiative, Teach for America, and the Memphis Teacher Residency through City Leadership.
Orion awarded 2,000 festival tickets to these teachers and students earlier this month for their commitment to music education. Teachers and students attended the inaugural MEMPHO Music Festival on October 6 and 7 at Shelby Farms Park, at no cost. Performing artists even acknowledged the teachers and students from the MEMPHO stage.
“There is a movement happening to bring music back where it belongs…Memphis! The MEMPHO Festival is creating a unique celebration of our musical heritage and sharing it with many in our community who may not otherwise have an opportunity for exposure. Music brings people together,” states Daniel Weickenand, Orion CEO.
Shelby County Schools was named 2016’s Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants. The award recognizes the vital work of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders whose collaboration makes high-quality music education possible for students. 2017 participants also included Stax Music Academy, a charter school that inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive performance, and leadership skills by utilizing music with an intense focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records.
The vast majority—96 percent—of the school principals interviewed in a recent study agree that participation in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school. Further, 89 percent of principals feel that a high-quality music-education program contributes to their school achieving higher graduation rates. -Harris Interactive Poll