January 27, 2003 Vol. VII, No. 8

CSUN Music Therapy Clinic Director Ron Borczon works with a 4-year-old client.

Pop Music Stars Gather at CSUN for Gala Benefit Concert

Proceeds From Event Will Support CSUN's Music Therapy Clinic and Expand its Services to Foster Children

A spectacular group of pop music stars--headlined by Grammy- and Academy Award-winning singer/songwriter Christopher Cross--will perform a Sunday, Feb. 9 gala benefit concert at Cal State Northridge to support the university's nationally renowned Music Therapy Clinic and expand its services to local foster children.

The "Have a Heart II" concert, sponsored by the nonprofit Music Heals Foundation, will team Cross with other standout performers including Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Michael McDonald, Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, singer/songwriters Stephen Bishop and Karla Bonoff, and actress Laura San Giacomo in a special appearance.

"Given the breadth and exceptional talent of these award-winning artists, this is without a doubt the biggest popular music concert that CSUN and its Performing Arts Center have ever hosted. This exemplifies 'the arts' at Cal State Northridge," said William Toutant, dean of CSUN's College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

"People in the San Fernando Valley region have a great opportunity through this concert to not only see many star-caliber performers in a very intimate setting, but also to help Cal State Northridge expand its nationally recognized music therapy program services to dozens of needy children in local foster homes," Toutant added.

Tickets already are on-sale for the benefit concert. A $125 VIP package includes preferred concert seating, a pre-show catered dinner and a post-show meet and greet with the performers. Concert-only tickets are $75 for preferred seating and $50 for general seating. All proceeds will go to CSUN's Music Therapy Clinic, the only one of its kind on the West Coast.

Tickets can be ordered in person or by telephone charge from CSUN's A.S. Box Office, located in Nordhoff Hall, at the northeast corner of Nordhoff Street and Etiwanda Avenue. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone/credit card orders can be made by calling (818) 677-2488.

Tickets also can be ordered via the Internet through Ticketmaster by accessing this web site, http://cvpa.csun.com/pac/, and selecting the "Have a Heart II" ticket links there. Note: Those wishing to purchase the $125 VIP package must order two separate tickets, one for the dinner and another for the concert.

The pre-concert dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the university's Grand Salon, located adjacent to the Performing Arts Center. The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, which seats about 500 people. Both facilities are located in CSUN's University Student Union complex along Zelzah Avenue north of Prairie Street.

There also will be a silent auction featuring autographed items from some of Hollywood's elite, including a poster for the movie "Two Weeks Notice" signed by Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant; a poster for the movie "Best in Show" signed by the entire cast; a Rolling Stone magazine cover featuring Jerry Seinfeld signed by Seinfeld; a "Seinfeld" show script signed by the entire cast; a new crew jacket from the movie "The Majestic" featuring Jim Carrey; items from Billy Crystal and Tom Hanks, and autographed CDs from the evening's performers. http://www.musicheals.tv), which arranged for the benefit concert and performers, is headed by a coalition of Los Angeles-based musicians and artists whose mission is to present music and art as a positive force for change by hosting benefit concerts, festivals and celebrations for the public.

Hollye Dexter, president of the foundation, said the group decided to support CSUN's Music Therapy Clinic "because we strongly believe in the healing powers of music and its power to change and transform lives." Dexter added, "Bringing this type of healing into troubled kids' lives can have a profound impact on their future."

Music professor Ronald Borczon, the founder and director of CSUN's Music Therapy Clinic, said the concert proceeds should enable dozens of children from San Fernando Valley foster homes to receive music therapy program services at the university. Borczon in particular has been working with the Children Are Our Future network of foster homes.

Borczon said CSUN is one of only three universities in California to offer a music therapy program, with about 40 CSUN students currently pursuing bachelor's degrees in the field. The program began in 1984 and expanded in 1996 to include an on-campus Music Therapy Clinic, where professional music therapists and the student-trainees work with clients.

Music therapy involves the therapist using various musical instruments as well as voice to build rapport and promote healing for children and adults with physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities. The clinic, for example, has worked with autistic children, victims of rape and other trauma, and people with learning disabilities.

The CSUN Music Therapy Clinic, which is entirely supported by client fees, provides services to between 30 and 40 clients every week, and typically has a client waiting list of about 50, Borczon said. That is because once clients begin, they typically continue long-term with the clinic. Borczon now hopes to also provide group sessions for up to 60 foster care children.

"Healers have used songs and drumming over the centuries to help people," he said. "We're simply rediscovering what they always knew‹that music, through its profound effect on the mind and body, can be a potent way to help people get well."

"Music helps you get out those emotions you can't really express with words. It also brings you together with others in rhythm and helps you communicate and create bonds without having to say anything," added the professor, whose work has included providing music therapy to victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The partnership between Music Heals and CSUN's Music Therapy Clinic began last spring when the foundation contacted Borczon and he later did a demonstration for a half dozen of the foundation's leaders. "They were just amazed and said they wanted to help every way they could," he recalled.

Borczon said he is very grateful for the support of the foundation and the concert. "It's wonderful that musicians and artists of this caliber are willing to give their time and talent for our program," Borczon said. "We really want to sell out this concert, so perhaps we together can have similar benefit concerts here in the future."

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