Akin Gump Brings Musical Workshop to Dallas Elementary School

(Dallas, Texas) – As a continuation of its community outreach program, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld will bring composer, songwriter and performer Paul Reisler – founder of the Kid Pan Alley children’s songwriting project – to Dallas for a three-day residency at James W. Fannin Elementary School beginning on May 10. The workshop will conclude with a free concert for parents, students and community members on Friday, May 12 at 1:45 pm at the school.

Akin Gump’s partnership with Fannin Elementary is rooted in a tutoring and mentoring program that pairs attorneys and staff with students in an effort to further academic achievement among the students. To date, the program has proven highly successful, with students showing significant improvement on recent TAKS tests. As an extension of its partnership, and in recognition of the well-documented correlation between arts programs and scholastic success, Akin Gump is now bringing the Kid Pan Alley music program to Fannin.

Kid Pan Alley began as an elementary school songwriting residency project in rural Rappahannock, Virginia. There, Paul Reisler co-wrote more than 50 songs with all 600 children in the county. The songs were so funny, touching and goofy that Reisler asked a number of the county’s professional musicians—many of them nationally and internationally known—to record one song each in their own style. The recording, Tidal Wave of Song, became an expression of the power of song to inspire the spirit of community. Kid Pan Alley subsequently created a wave of songs around the country, releasing a Grammy-nominated and Parents Choice Gold Award-winning CD featuring some of Nashville’s top recording artists. Reisler has since collaborated with over 12,000 children to write more than 600 songs.

Reisler’s songwriting process teaches children the value of teamwork and the importance of diversity in a way that honors their input. “It’s a fascinating process to watch a song start from a little speck of an idea and grow into a completed song in a little over an hour,” he says.

Dan Micciche, chair of Akin Gump’s Dallas pro bono program, said, “We are impressed by the evidence showing a strong correlation between music programs and academic achievement, and are delighted to bring this residency to the Fannin Elementary community. This program will be both educational and rewarding for everyone involved.”

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 900 lawyers with offices in Austin, Brussels, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Taipei and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; appellate; banking and finance; capital markets; communications and information technology; corporate and securities; corporate governance; employee benefits; energy; entertainment and media; environmental; estate planning, wealth transfer and probate; financial restructuring; global security; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international trade; investment funds; labor and employment; land use; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; privatization; project development and finance; public law and policy; real estate development and finance; Russia/CIS; tax; and technology. 

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