VISION: To provide youth with positive ways to deal with today’s life issues. Our message of hope, inspiration, and healing will strengthen intergenerational connections among families and communities. Our hope is to empower those who hear and see us to value the qualities of self esteem, self discipline, perseverance, pride and commitment.WHO ARE WE? The Music With A Message youth band (MWAM) is a project of Renaissance E.M.S, a South Bronx nonprofit organization serving inner city youth from the ages of 6--19. The MWAM band features 25 talented youth with a passion for performance, drawn from Renaissance E.M.S. music programs and open auditions across NYC. Bervin Harris, co-founder of Renaissance E.M.S. and MWAM coordinator, is an accomplished singer-songwriter, producer and recording artist for Capital Records. He has written and produced for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Eddie Murphy and rap artist KRS-One, and has written and scored the all-star stage play I Sing For Love, among others. Bervin is working as Co-executive Director and Co-founder with Renaissance EMS, and teaches 17 music classes a week at six of our contracted public NYC schools and at our own program site in the Bronx.
WHAT WILL WE DO? This summer, the MWAM tour will feature 50-60 FREE concerts at housing developments, parks, beaches schools, and sporting events across the five boroughs, Long Island and parts of New Jersey. The MWAM band will transport its equipment to indoor and outdoor venues on a truck with a mobile stage, and perform original songs exploring themes of family, pride, non-violence, love, health and nutrition and Performances will feature accessible lyrics and catchy melodies addressing the public health challenges faced by inner city communities, and a fitness DVD to help audience members put their enthusiasm into practice. Band members will also take part in their own health challenge, maintaining a fitness regimen, shifting their collective weight as an ensemble, and documenting their personal growth through video testimonies.
WHY THE NEED? We have watched in recent years the increased influence of music on the attitude, thoughts and actions of today’s youth. Whether it’s before a sporting event, televised fight, or even a funeral, there has always been an expected reaction to music. Music W.A.M. is also expecting a reaction, to plant seeds of hope that will grow. The more you listen, the more you will be transformed into a positive citizen with something positive to offer your community.
HOW? By expanding the partnership with elected officials, community leaders, principals, community programs and local clergy, we plan to lead a team with one common goal: to empower the world with hope, using music to communicate the possibilities.