I believe the fabric of our nation is the strength found in our local communities, Janis said. We need to stay connected and committed with a spirit of serving one another to the best of our abilities.
AETN really put a lot of effort into creating this special. It takes a lot of behind the scenes effort to bring this great opportunity for students together.
Celebrate America was taped at AETN in early October 2009. Busses rolled in from across the state, pulling together 500 students from Arkansas high school music programs. Arriving well prepared and very professional, each choir was brought into the station to record their performance for the broadcast.
Not only does Celebrate America give youth a life-changing opportunity, but it also teaches children the importance of contributing to community through the arts, as Celebrate America is also a fundraising event during public televisions annual pledge drives.
Janis, well known for his Music with a Mission has worked on many philanthropic projects with artists such as Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Ray Charles, Andre Previn and The New York Philharmonic. He has also produced fundraising programs for PBS with George Clooney and James Earl Jones.
The following schools participated in Celebrate America at the AETN studios:
• Parkview Arts Magnet High School, Little Rock
• Greenbrier High School
• Arkansas Baptist High School, Little Rock
• Russellville High School
• Dardanelle High School
• Valley View High School, Jonesboro
• Sheridan High School
• Wynne High School
• Sylvan Hills High School, North Little Rock
• Gravette High School
• Searcy High School
• Crossett High School
• Harding Academy, Searcy
• Southside High School, Batesville
The high schools will perform with Janis and his ensemble in a new special called Celebrate America, created by Janis to spotlight the nations youth and pull communities together in a celebration of music that uplifts and inspires.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (www.aetn.org) provides lifelong learning opportunities, improves and enhances Arkansans lives and celebrates the unique culture of Arkansas through its programming and services. AETNs transmitters and numerous cable system connections give it statewide reach.