Justin Blalock, starting left guard for the Atlanta Falcons, will partner with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as a spokesman for music education during its "When I Play Music" campaign for music education. Mr. Blalock, who grew up playing tuba at his school, and continues to play drums and guitar, recognizes the impact of both music education and sports on children. He is dedicated to giving back to the youth of Atlanta, and this partnership will unite the educational mission of the Atlanta Symphony with Mr. Blalock's commitment to raise awareness of the benefits of music and sports in the lives of kids.
Mr. Blalock will also host and guest conduct during the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's annual "side-by-side" summer concert on Thursday, June 14, 2012, at 7:30 p.m - during which members of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra perform alongside the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Blalock will lead The Combined orchestras in John Williams's popular "Raiders March" from the Indiana Jones films to end the concert. Tickets are just $5.
In addition to this new partnership with the Atlanta Symphony, Mr. Blalock will continue to grow his work with The Justin Blalock Foundation, which targets students, ages 11-18, in the Greater Dallas and Greater Atlanta areas who participate in sports. The Foundation uses athletics and education as tools and motivators to strengthen family relationships, and create a new generation of successful student athletes and future role models in the community.
"Growing up in Texas as an athlete and musician, I discovered firsthand that playing both football and tuba helped me thrive in all areas of life. When kids play music, they achieve higher test scores, are more likely to become community leaders, have more confidence, and experience a sense of achievement," said Mr. Blalock. "I started my foundation to help young athletes achieve a sense of self-confidence and achievement. Now, through this new partnership with the Atlanta Symphony, I will be able to combine my efforts to also reach out to the youth of our city through music. I am excited by the possibilities ahead of us in partnership with this great Orchestra."
"I want to thank Justin Blalock for working with us to share how he was positively impacted by music education as a child," said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D. "We are always striving to raise awareness of the impact of music education on kids, and now we have another strong community partner to bring that message to even more Atlantans. I look forward to the array of possibilities ahead of us through our new collaboration with Justin."