"I don't know what I would have done without music in my life when I was growing up," declares international singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Her awareness of music’s transformative power compelled her to found the Sarah McLachlan Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing music education for young people in Canada, specifically youth in under-served communities. This mandate reflects McLachlan's passion for music and her desire to share her success with her fellow Canadians. The Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach: An Arts Umbrella Project, is the pilot project for the Sarah McLachlan Foundation.
Sarah McLachlan has emerged as one of the world's leading recording artists. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1968, McLachlan studied classical piano, guitar and voice. After a year of art training at the Nova Scotia School of Design, she was fronting a new wave band, October Game, when Nettwerk Records approached her for a solo contract. She initially turned it down in favor of continued studies, but took them up on the offer in late 1987 and relocated to Vancouver, B.C. On the strength of her debut, 1988's Touch, she was signed to Arista for international distribution. The album eventually reached gold status in Canada and was reissued worldwide in 1989. In 1991, she followed up with Solace, an impressive collection that showed a great leap in songcraft and built a strong following in the United States.
McLachlan considers Joan Baez, Peter Gabriel, Simon and Garfunkel, Kate Bush, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell to be some of her most significant musical influences. She has released more than eight albums, including Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1994), The Freedom Sessions (1994), Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff (1996), Surfacing (1997), Mirrorball (1999) and Remixed (2001). Surfacing achieved diamond status in Canada for selling more than 1 million copies. In the United States, 8 million copies have been sold. Surfacing has also won McLachlan three Grammy Awards, four Juno Awards and many other distinctions.
McLachlan also conceived and launched the much-heralded Lilith Fair tour, a concert celebration of female artists which also raises money for progressive nonprofit organizations like Amnesty International, Global Exchange, the National Organization for Women, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Breast Cancer Fund. Lilith Fair is the No. 1 most successful multi-artist tour in North American history, donating more than $3 million to benefit local charities throughout North America.
Over her 14-year career, McLachlan has received numerous entertainment and achievement distinctions, the most recent of which was The Order of Canada and The Order of British Columbia. Other honors include the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award for advancing the careers of women in music. The award, presented by New York Governor George E. Pataki, recognizes her work with Lilith Fair.
A free music outreach program to children and youth in Vancouver’s inner city, Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach offers students high-quality music instruction in guitar, piano, percussion and choir, emphasizing classical practices and techniques. The curriculum includes professionally taught classes, access to instruments, rich musical opportunities and family partnerships. The best possible instructors have been hired to offer group and individual lessons, and students are encouraged to perform and become more involved within the music community. The curriculum also allows for students to continue their studies and develop their musical gifts at advanced levels.
Most importantly, the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach is meant to be a nurturing environment where young people can explore their creative potential and develop positive peer connections that will inspire them to succeed in life. The program provides a support network for inner city youth that will enable them to develop a life-long love of music and enthusiasm for learning. McLachlan says, “The success in this project lies in seeing the smiles on the kids' faces and seeing how proud they feel, singing and doing so well."
To make a donation to Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach: An Arts Umbrella Project, please contact Sacha Medine through email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Sarah Mclachlan Music Outreach for different ways to contribute.
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