Annual Spring Gala 2016

Annual Spring Gala 2016
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On May 16th, Third Street celebrated 121 years of success with over 400 guests at Capitale! People from all over the country and Third Street family past present and future came out to enjoy a night of fun. Thanks to our supporters we raised over $500,000 for music and arts education. The night began with musical performances from Third Street students of various ages. The night ended with a special performance the audience will never forget made by our Honoree, Sting. Fellow Honoree, Brenda Harris, also spoke of her fond memories at Third Street and how her students impacted her life. It was truly a night to remember! If you weren't able to attend, but still would like to give the gift of music, please click here! For those of you who attended and would like to relive the night again through photographs, please Like us on Facebook! And for anyone who loves Third Street and wants to hear more about our story, check out our brand new video that debuted at our gala here!

Our Honorees

Sting, Grammy Award-winning musician, singer, activist & philanthropist

Composer, singer, actor, author, and activist Sting was born in Newcastle, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five studio albums, earned six Grammy Awards and two Brits, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Since 1989, Sting has released fourteen solo albums and received an additional 10 Grammy Awards, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, Billboard Magazine’s Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. Also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he received the Kennedy Center Honors in December of 2014. Throughout his enduring career, he has sold close to 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist.

The Last Ship, his latest release, is inspired by his memories of the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England where he was born and raised. A play of the same name, with music and lyrics by Sting, debuted on Broadway in October, 2014 and was heralded by the Associated Press as "thrilling with powerful performances, outstanding songs, and real heart.” Sting received a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score.

This summer, Sting and Peter Gabriel will unite for a concert tour. Having first toured together in the eighties for Amnesty International, Rock Paper Scissors will find them performing both separately and together, playing their own songs and melding their bands to explore each other’s most celebrated hits. He has appeared in more than 15 films and authored two books, including The New York Times best-selling memoir, Broken Music. His support for human rights organizations mirrors his art in its universal outreach. Along with wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect both the world’s rainforests and the indigenous people living there.

Brenda Harris, Third Street Preschool teacher with 22 years of service

Brenda Harris is a true New Yorker, born in Manhattan, raised in Park Slope and has lived in the city all her life. Brenda has always had a love for the arts, design and fashion. Her first job was a part-time role at a photography studio not too far from her high school where she helped to process film and eventually spearheaded her own high school’s yearbook initiative. Over the years, her career led her to a variety of fun and creative professions such as a clothing boutique merchant, apparel designer, wardrobe stylist and visual merchandiser dressing mannequins and windows.

Years later she decided to take on a new challenge and sought after a teaching position with Ivy Storch, a former educator at Third Street Music School Settlement who was Brenda’s inspiration and mentor. It didn’t take long for Brenda to realize that she loved working with children and this passion was reinforced by the love for her own children. In her own words, Brenda shares “I am not a trained musician but what I always impressed on my young students was the skill to be a good listener. You must first develop the ability and patience to hear and appreciate music in order to prepare yourself to take instruction in the instrument of your choice. In class the children listen to a variety of musical genres and when they are ready, musical theater scores; an all-time favorite is Peter and The Wolf.” Although Brenda never played an instrument herself, she made every effort to incorporate music into her family’s life. At an early age, she encouraged both her sons to study music. One of her sons plays the piano and the other took flute lessons.

Brenda Harris received her BA in Photography at the School of Visual Arts and BA in Childhood Education at City College of New York. She completed her graduate studies in Psychology and Speech Pathology at Marymount College and in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College. She is certified in level 1 Orff-Schulwerk which builds musicianship in young learners through the integration of music, movement, speech, and drama. With a legacy of 22 years at Third Street Music School Settlement, music and children have been Brenda’s life. “It really does feel like a family, I absolutely love the many generations of children I have been able to nurture. The thing I will miss the most about Third Street is the children.” says Brenda.

If you have any questions about the Gala, please contact the Manager of Individual Giving Katharine Nemeth via e-mail or phone at 212-777-3240, ext. 26.