917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
Tommy Neville onstage at his benefit for Youth in Arts
Tommy Neville is a student at The Bay School in San Francisco, but he lives here in San Rafael. On April 6, Neville produced a concert to benefit Youth in Arts at the San Rafael Elks Club, raising $1700 for programs for PreK-12 students in the community. The event featured performances by Neville’s alternative rock band I.O.M., along with local teen singer/songwriter Caroline Sky and Youth in Arts `Til Dawn a cappella.
On a beautiful afternoon outdoors in the Elks Club Magnolia Gardens, all these talented young musicians provided inspiring sets of original music and covers of favorite pop and rock tunes. Refreshments were provided by Sol Food and Forks & Fingers. Bank of Marin helped to sponsor the event, along with Whiskeytree, Inc. and Chesterfield Management.
The concert was a senior project for Neville, who will attend the University of Exeter in England, studying law next year. However, the cause is also near to his heart, as a musician himself. He explained, “There is something special in benefitting kids art programs through the use of artistic methods. I like to think of it as some form of proof that the arts matter.”
Youth in Arts would like to thank Tommy Neville for all his work in producing this event, which will benefit a great many local children receiving music, dance, theater and visual arts programs.
We are also grateful to all the event sponsors and especially to the young performers who made this event a success:
I.O.M. is a newly formed band that has just released its first album, entitled Castletown. You can catch them at Hopmonk in Novato on May 14 and look for them on Facebook soon.
Caroline Sky is a 13 year-old singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice and unique style. Find out more about Caroline and her music at facebook.com/carolineskymusic
`Til Dawn at the Elks Club Magnolia Gardens
`Til Dawn a cappella is Youth in Arts’ award-winning ensemble for high school singers passionate about making and sharing music. Auditions coming up May 5! Come see what it’s all about…or click here for more general information about `Til Dawn.
Our first ever `Til Dawn Sing Out at the Fenix on Sunday, December 29 in San Rafael was a great success, with two performances featuring smiles, laughter and an extraordinary array of vocal talent. The event and related alumni fundraising campaign also brought in nearly $4,000 to benefit Youth in Arts programs for teen artists.
`Til Dawn members and alumni onstage at the Fenix
The Sing Out was inspired by Mentor Artist Austin Willacy’s experience with The Dartmouth Aires as an undergraduate. Austin wanted to create an annual event that convenes the community of current members and alumni in a way that allows them to connect (or reconnect) with each other and make music.
‘Til Dawn’s first Sing Out brought together current `Til Dawn students and almost 40 alumni, many of whom are working artists, in town for the winter holidays.
New York-based musical theater composer Drew Gasparini and L.A. vocalist Lily Elise performed sets at both shows. Drew shared an impromptu mix of original compositions and familiar medleys, accompanying himself on guitar and chatting amicably with the audience. As he prepared to launch into one tune with “Here is something you all know…” a young fan in the front row shouted out “The ABC Song!” causing Drew to lead the audience in a sing-along of the alphabetical classic.
Lily performed with accompaniment on guitar by Sean Simerly, another `Til Dawn alum. Demonstrating the powerful vocals and heartfelt style that took her to the finals of NBC’s The Voice, she shared beautiful original songs inspired by personal challenges and triumphs.
In addition to donating their performances, alumni artists also helped raise funds for `Til Dawn scholarships and other Youth in Arts teen programs with an online fundraiser leading up to the Sing Out event throughout December and repeated pitches for donations during the show. Speaking of how they had benefitted from `Til Dawn themselves and especially of the value to teens of an amazing mentor like Austin, the group encouraged audiences to support current students with their contributions. The event raised a combined total of $3,900 for Youth in Arts.
Even more impressive, “Still Dawn” was able to perform with only minimal rehearsal hours—testimony to the fact that many `Til Dawn alum are still working artists who sing professionally on a regular basis. Rehearsal was a fun part of the experience, lasting late into the evening with many of the performers seeing each other for the first time in years.
Alumni “Still Dawn” rehearsal at Youth in Arts
We thank our fabulous alumni artists and current students for all their work in creating the Sing Out and raising funds to support the arts. We look forward to next year!
Scroll down for a gallery of photos by Peter Rodgers from the “Still Dawn” reunion/rehearsal at Youth in Arts.
Click here for video from the Fenix of the Sing Out performances
Click links here for more information about `Til Dawn alumni or the `Til Dawn a cappella program
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. But have you heard of Giving Tuesday?
Two years ago, philanthropists and nonprofits worked together to establish a national “day of giving” on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. After two days of shopping, why not a day to give back?
This year, our talented `Til Dawn alums are helping to raise funds for Youth in Arts teen programs over at Razoo. The kick off is today, Giving Tuesday, with the grand finale at the `Til Dawn Sing Out on December 29 at the Fenix.
Check out the Giving Tuesday page and give whatever you can to make the effort a big success. You can find out more about the concert on the same page, with links to buy tickets to the 11:30 brunch or 6:30 dinner show on the 29th. Two great shows featuring alumni artists and current `Til Dawn singers–you won’t want to miss it!
And thank you for supporting Youth in Arts’ programs for Bay Area youth this holiday season! We truly appreciate it.
Love summer, baseball and the always fabulous `Til Dawn? Then you’re in luck as Youth in Arts young artists will be featured at two San Rafael Pacifics events this weekend!
Tonight, Friday, `Til Dawn performs the National Anthem before the Pacifics’ 7:05 game against the Vallejo Admirals at San Rafael’s Albert Park. Click for game info and tickets.
Then, on Sunday, July 28, `Til Dawn and special guest `Til Dawn alums will perform at San Rafael’s Fenix supper club to celebrate the launch of the Pacifics’ Baseball Buddy Program, a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay.
As a co-sponsor of the Baseball Buddy Program, the Fenix will welcome Pacifics players, their new Little Buddies and the whole community to this celebration/fundraiser event. Come join in the fun, meet the ballplayers, enjoy the Fenix’s food and beverage service and, of course, appreciate the great live music! $20 cover–for reservations, call 415-813-5600 or visit fenixlive.com
Til Dawn Director Austin Willacy and The House Jacks
An evening of a capella opens with ‘Til Dawn and closes with Til Dawn Director Austin Willacy in The House Jacks. The House Jacks are a pioneering a cappella rock band whose music has been the soundtrack for NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” and the 2012 Sony sound system demo for Ford automobiles. The band has been featured in top media outlets including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, CNN, and ABC World News Tonight; the band has performed with the likes of Ray Charles, James Brown, Train, LL Cool J, and Crosby Stills and Nash, at venues including Carnegie Hall, Candlestick Park, The World Expo, and The House of Blues; and the band has performed and/or recorded commercials for celebrity and corporate clients like President Bill Clinton, Larry King, Aaron Spelling, Coca Cola, and Verizon Wireless. The House Jacks continue to electrify audiences worldwide.
“The House Jacks is “the original rock band without instruments” SF Chronicle
`Til Dawn 2013
‘Til Dawn, Youth in Arts’ award winning a capella group, is comprised of high school students and directed by Austin Willacy, an accomplished vocalist/songwriter and a member of the House Jacks.
WHAT: Amazing A Capella Rock from The House Jacks with special opening performance by `Til Dawn
WHO: All are invited. General Admission seating with some table seating available.
TICKETS: $20 advance. $25 day of.
WHEN: Sat. Feb. 23 @ 8:00 ~ Doors @ 7:30.
WHERE: The Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael.
PARKING: Ample FREE parking. Accessing the Osher Marin JCC from Highway 101 is effortless, 1/2 mile E off 101.
TICKETS: Available at www.marinjcc.org/arts
`Til Dawn 2011-12
Want to be part of this picture? Want to join the legacy led by esteemed artist Austin Willacy? Want a teen troupe whose alum include talents on Broadway, television, and with their own recording labels?
Youth in Arts award-winning teen a capella troupe ‘Til Dawn is holding annual auditions.
Each year we hold auditions to replace those students graduating high school. The group is particularly interested this year in singers with a strong bass range, but all types and ranges of singers are added to the group each year. Singers should be entering 9 – 12 grade in fall 2012.
Questions: What songs should I prepare? What should I wear? Can I talk to someone for more information? Answers here on our website.
`Til Dawn Auditions
May 21, 2012 – 5:30 pm
Youth in Arts Studio 917 C Street.
Stevie Greenwell with students from GLOW: Girls Leading Our World. The girls empowerment and resiliency camp she co-directed
`Til Dawn Alum Stevie Greenwell shares about the impact that Austin Willacy has had on her and how she is passing on her love for the arts with special needs students in Zambia. Go Stevie!
I remember being so nervous when I auditioned for ‘Til Dawn. I was in awe of the group and was unbelievably excited to become part of it. Little did I know how much ‘Til Dawn would change me and that 11 years later it would still have such a large impact on my life. When I joined the group, I was a quietly strong and slightly shy girl. ‘Til Dawn helped me find my voice on stage and in life. I became a more confident person and started to find more direction for my future. ‘Til Dawn took me from a person who liked to sing to someone confidently choosing to study music education in college and making music part of my career.
I was beginning to believe in the power of education and expression and Youth in Arts embodied both of those ideals. I secretly dreamed about working for Youth in Arts one day and started often thought about starting my own non-profit one day. I think I was just starting to understand the connection we can have with others and how much good can come out of that connection and community. All I knew is I had to do something. It was also around this time that I first started thinking about volunteering and the Peace Corps. Be it with Peace Corps or Non-profits, I knew my fulfillment was going to come through helping others and singing. At the time it all seemed like far fetched dreams and then before I knew it, I was calling Austin to tell him I was moving to Zambia and soon teaching a group of high school boys how to write songs in front of my hut.
I loved being a part of the Youth in Arts family and seeing all the amazing projects they have accomplished. It was my first look into how a non-profit worked on a daily basis. I felt so lucky to be in the group and thank Youth in Arts and Austin for that chance. Austin has been such an amazing support in my life. He has gone from director to mentor and advisor to close friend. He continually makes me think about the impact I can have on the world and motivates me to actively contribute what I can through his actions and choices.
The ‘Til Dawn family I became a part of is still going strong. There have been countless coffee dates, long distant phone calls, concerts, shows, weddings, and even babies! I am still collaborating with members of the group to teach music and continue to sing together. The actual impact Youth in Arts has had on me is unmeasurable. Most of all I think back on my time singing with ‘Til Dawn with a huge smile on my face. I strive to keep the art, music, and community going in every direction of my life.
I spent two and half years in Zambia working with teachers, schools, and communities to improve education in rural areas. I fell in love with Zambia and found myself apart a part of new family and community half way across the globe. When I returned to the states the answer still seemed clear, you must help the ones you love. Over the past year, two other returned volunteers and I have been working on a project called Paint the Movement to help some absolutely amazing kids in Zambia.
We are going to Chileshe Chelepa Special Needs for a week long learning event with the core values I felt at Youth in Arts, education and art, as our focus. It is a combination of creative physical therapy, teacher training, art education and a student mural project. 30 teachers trained means over 600 students impacted and a mural project that will have continents collaborating. I am overjoyed to be able to bring art and the power of expression to these children.
Check out our video and more information on our site.
We are a small group with the chance to have a powerful impact and want as many people to be a part of it as possible.We are currently at 78% of our fundraising target and just need a final push to make it to our goal. All of our supporters have come from word of mouth. Please help us spread the word and become a member of the Paint the Movement Family. I dare you to not fall in love with the children in this video.
Delta Rae, the North Carolina-based Americana band built around the masterful songwriting, emotive vocals and sublime harmonies of 4 ‘Til Dawn alums, just signed a record deal with Warner Brothers. Siblings Ian, Eric and Britanny Hölljes grew up together in San Rafael, but through ‘Til Dawn met, befriended and formed a durable musical kinship with Liz Hopkins, another ‘Til Dawn alumna from San Rafael. Long before Delta Rae’s existence, they sang together on ‘Til Dawn’s award-winning CD, Songs in the Key of AWESOME. They talk in a recent Washington Post article about what it is like for them to work all in the family. Grant Emerson and Mike McKee are the rhythm section.
Austin Willacy, `Til Dawn Director states, “Delta Rae’s songs, voices and live show are so undeniable that a record deal was inevitable. They are some of the hardest working, most talented and grounded people I know.”
Delta Rae was signed by Seymour Stein, Vice President of Warner Brothers who signed The Ramones and Madonna and recently received a lifetime achievement award from billboard.
“Their music touches on all aspects of Americana – Gospel, Country, Bluegrass, and Blues. That said the songs are strong pop and have wide appeal.”
- Seymour Stein, co-founder Sire Records and VP at Warner Bros. Records
On February 12 Mill Valley’s famed Sweetwater Music Hall reopens its doors with youth performances including `Til Dawn. From 5-8pm, don’t miss the excitement!
The Talented Lilan Kane
`Til Dawn Alum Lilan Kane’s has been passing on the musical traditions in both her Own the Mic program and in a Palo Alto based summer camp for budding musicians.
Check out the video from this past summer. I Feel Good
This was featured at Palo Alto Summer Rock Camp 2011. Lilan has been teaching there the past three summers and this summer served as Assistant Director. There were about 30 kids each week through the month of July. The camp runs weekly and culminates with a concert on Friday night. They work in ensembles and prepare 3-4 songs to perform on Friday. Lilan taught all the parts (horns, guitar, keys, drums, vocals). They also hold rhythm class, ear training, theory, as well as instrument classes where students can focus on their specific instrument outside of their band.
As Lilan says, “It’s really an awesome experience and has become extremely popular with kids returning every summer, some for 5 or 6 years now. “