My name is Brandon Pankey and I am Vice President of Business Development and Operations for Live Nation Urban and Executive Director for Destined to Achieve Successful Heights (DASH). Most importantly, I am a PROUD product of the School District of Philadelphia. When I was asked to write a blog post on behalf of The Fund, it was a no brainer to discuss just how important investing in music education is for our beloved district. 

My career has allowed me to truly understand the power and impact of music in the world. Upon graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, I decided to intern for a music management company. Instead of learning to spot talent or produce the next big hit, I was tasked with developing a music education curriculum that would go on to become the basis for the DASH program.  That summer, the DASH team taught our first cohort of students from the SDP and needless to say, the program was a rousing success. While budgetary cuts led to the unfortunate removal of arts and music in schools locally and nationally, the DASH program reminded me how important music education is for our young people. Music is the hook that allows for fun and innovative methods of learning. For example, songwriting is an invaluable way to teach english; Music production combines aspects of science and math; Business principles in music such as marketing, management and finance can be applied to any industry that students are interesting in pursuing a career in. 

I am privileged to work for the world’s largest live music company. But that privilege comes with an opportunity to do something great for the next generation; To quote a famous comic book character created by the legendary Stan Lee (ok ok it’s Spiderman) “with great power comes great responsibility”. It was with this intent that I helped to create a sustainable funding source dedicated to music education via my position within Live Nation. A donation of $.25 per ticket for EVERY show that takes place at The Met will go toward existing and new music education programs in the district.  It’s a historic feat, but it’s honestly just a start.  There is a unique opportunity for other corporations to develop Philly FUNDamental partnerships and expand music education in this city. 

Music is the world’s universal language. It is our PRIORITY to help music education thrive within the school district. Music education is Philly FUNDamental in creating the next global leaders and growing Philadelphia’s creative economy. Music drives culture and what our students learn can and will be embedded in the musical legacy of this great city. I thank the Superintendent, our AMAZING teachers, administrators, parents, and of course, the students. A donation to music education is a donation to the city’s future…to OUR future.