With Grammy nominees, DASH program aims to develop Philly's next entertainment leaders

Sunday, 12 November 2017, 10:08:00 AM. DASH, a program that gives students opportunities to learn about a variety of fields within the entertainment industry, partners with the school district to present 'Songwriting 101.'
Music executives Michael McArthur and Jerome Hipps have worked with the best — Mariah Carey, Kanye West, and Jay-Z. Their newest clients might just be the next generation of industry heavyweights. Many may be sitting in a Philadelphia classroom. Inside the Philadelphia Schools TV (PSTV) studio on North Broad Street,  20 high school students are producing their own tracks.  It is a lower-floor music studio housing the weekly after-school sessions taught by DASH (Destined to Achieve Successful Heights), a free program founded by McArthur and Hipps that gives students opportunities to learn about a variety of fields within the entertainment industry.  The high school students are quiet, headphones strapped on and focused with MacBooks open to the digital audio workstation, Logic Pro. When the Grammy-nominated songwriter and DASH master instructor Kristal Oliver asks them to share their music, the students look hesitant. Except for Jelani Green, a senior from the Philadelphia High School of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA),  who stands up confidently. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer Songwriting music instructor Kristal Oliver listens to the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts senior Jelani Green (far left) during the “Songwriting 101” class at the Philadelphia School District headquarters. “I was actually really nervous,” Green said later. “The only thing holding people back is that they second-guess themselves. The purpose of this program is to...Read more
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