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The Pop Music Academy Showcase 1/25/14 Raising Money for the Bennett Cancer Center in Stamford

January 5, 2014 via The Hour

Music Therapist Dr. Amy Zabin (left) with Artistic Director Christine Occhino of The Pop Music Academy. Dr. Zabin will be the guest speaker at The Pop Music Academy's Annual Showcase which is raising funds for Stamford Hospital's Bennett Cancer Center Music Therapy Program. Featuring singers, musicians, a live band, and professional performers, the event will take place at Stamford’s Rippowam Middle School Auditorium on January 25th, 2014, at 7 pm (doors open 6:30 pm). Reduced pre-sale tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 203-322-4POP (4767), or in person at The Pop Music Academy, 1200 High Ridge Road in Stamford, just off the Merritt Parkway exit 35.

Singers, musicians, a live band, and professional performers will be featured at The Pop Music Academy’s Annual Showcase Performance at Stamford’s Rippowam Middle School Auditorium on January 25th, 2014, at 7 pm (doors open 6:30 pm) to benefit Stamford Hospital’s Bennett Cancer Center Music Therapy Program. “This is the second year Christine’s Academy is fundraising for us,” explains Stamford Hospital’s Music Therapist, Dr. Amy Zabin. “Last year’s Showcase was the best show I've ever seen run for kids. Ever!” Dr. Zabin works with patients individually and in groups to provide emotional coping tools that help decrease fears, pain, and feelings of isolation for people who are hospitalized or receiving chemotherapy. Before the show’s intermission, Dr. Zabin will briefly speak about her work with the program. A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to this special department and information will be on display throughout the night. For ticket info or to buy online, click on the “About > Annual Showcase” tab at Reduced pre-sale tickets start at $10 and can be purchased by calling 203-322-4POP (4767) or in person at The Pop Music Academy, 1200 High Ridge Road in Stamford, just off the Merritt Parkway exit 35. General admission is $20 at the door the night of the show.

Since opening its doors in February 2012, The Pop Music Academy students have received training leading to accomplishments in movie roles, national commercial spots, professional bi-coastal talent agency deals, and admission into the world’s most prestigious music colleges. Students have also created music videos, original music CDs ready for shopping to record labels and artist management, and performed at several local fundraisers and events. Recently, The Pop Music Academy has been contacted by casting directors for The X Factor and YouTube Music Awards wanting to scout talent through the school. “My focus as a vocal coach is not only to make learning fun and improve my students’ musical skills, but to also to teach them how to use their talents to give back to the community and help others,” says Christine Occhino, Artistic Director of The Pop Music Academy. The Showcase will also help raise funds for music scholarships for underprivileged students so they can have access to quality performing arts education and be exposed to professional opportunities in the music industry. “It truly means so much to me and to everyone involved to be able to offer opportunities to talented children who would otherwise not be able to take lessons. It makes all the hard work worth every second knowing we are able to help people through something we love that connects us all… music.” For information on how to contribute to these worthy causes, call The Pop Music Academy at 203-322-4POP (4767).

As the only pop music school in the region, The Pop Music Academy has attracted students (8 to adult) from Connecticut and New York who want to study everything from basic vocal and music instrument instruction to advanced artist development coaching, benefiting from the synergy within classes and coaches and learning about the singer/songwriter process. The Academy offers private and group classes for voice, performance, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, songwriting, music theory, audition and college prep for the performing arts, music production and engineering, artist development, recording studio and music video production, and music business consulting. The accomplished instructors of The Pop Music Academy have worked with renown Grammy-award winning artists, professionals, and music industry companies including B.B. King, Michael MacDonald, The Roots, Columbia Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Atlantic Records, Rockapella, Incubus, members of the Saturday Night Live Band, Sonicbids, Billboard, Backstage, Berklee College of Music, Dennis Collins (Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack), Dan Cipriano (Sting, Bruce Springsteen), Johnathan Ball (Charles Florez, Horacio Hernandez), Rakim, Janice Pendarvis (Roberta Flack, Sting, Steely Dan, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones), Jeff Ramsey (Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston), Gabrielle Goodman (Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack), and many others. For details, see the full staff bios under the “About > Staff” tab at

The January 25th Showcase will be attended by some notable entertainment industry reps and will feature performances from esteemed local jazz vocalist Richard “Cookie” Thomas (Stamford, CT), who will be hosting for the night, along with performing artist and Academy owner Christine Occhino (Stamford, CT), and live band musical accompaniment by Academy instructors including Musical Director Aaron Staniulis (Seymour, CT) on bass, Pete Cornell (Woodbridge, CT) on guitar, Lisa Occhino (Stamford, CT) on keyboard, and Josh Carruthers (Stamford, CT) on drums. The featured student performers will be Orly Berkoff, Brooke Boccuzzi, Jena Boccuzzi, Sophia Davila, Caroline Emery, Alyssa Ferro, Kate Gunnip, Shayla Hernandez, Emilie Lucadamo, Shannon Lyons, Cristina Mazzeo, Michael McDonald, Meg McKeever, Sophia Negyesi, Rachel Nuzzi, Andy Putterman, Adriana Rabita, Caitlin Reynolds, Naiera Robinson, Sophia Seeger, and Naama Teitel of Stamford, Kaitlin Ganshaw, Sophia Georgas, Chiara Schmidt, and Claudia Schmidt of Greenwich, Libby Knowlton and Audrey Rowe of Darien, Grey Zeigler of Rowayton, Isabella Bardos of Norwalk, and Lucy Kaplan of Westport. Aspiring artists will sing lead and background vocals as well as join the live band on their instruments during the big performance. The night will also debut the new “Popstars 101 Class” project, where young students got the chance to record their song in a pro recording studio and perform in their own music video.

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