About Us

SHARE the SPOTLIGHT is a 501(c)(3) organization. We rely on your generous donations. Donate Now

OUR MISSION

Share the Spotlight is a tuition-free summer music program in New York City and Philadelphia for musicians in 6th – 12th grade. We aim to build character, leadership and scholarship through performance. Students rehearse all summer in small ensembles based around rock, funk, soul, and R & B. At the end of the summer, the ensembles perform in a real rock venue. (For some of our FAQs, please visit here!) 

OUR STORY – a message from our founder

Ever since I can remember, I have loved to sing. According to my family, I sang before I could talk. But as I grew up, I became increasingly self-conscious and refused to sing (anywhere except the shower) for years. At 15, I started playing guitar at a performance-based music program called School of Rock, which became a second home. After a year surrounded by teachers who supported me and friends who constantly pushed themselves beyond their musical comfort zones, I finally worked up the courage to sing in front of an audience. After belting my heart out at one of New York City’s storied venues, The Bitter End, I felt a sense of pride I had never experienced before. I became more confident in every aspect of life; from raising my hand more often in class to taking leadership opportunities as they arose (for example, spoiler alert: starting this program!). 

However, it dawned on me that experiences like this are rare and expensive, making them inaccessible to most passionate young musicians. I co-founded Share the Spotlight in 2014 with our Music Director, Darren Musatto, to bring the opportunity to learn music and perform to students from every background. Our fundamental belief is that every young adult deserves the opportunity to be part of a supportive community where they can explore their passion and excel. Share the Spotlight not only aims to teach music, but to inspire each of our students to see the rock star in him or herself and develop the confidence to reach his or her potential.

– Dhatri Abeyaratne, Co-Founder and Executive Director

OUR VALUES

Character

Hearing your first round of applause can completely transform your perception of self. Through overcoming challenges to become better musicians in a short period of time and performing for a live audience, students develop the confidence to share their passions and be outspoken in every aspect of their lives.

Leadership

Band rehearsals are driven by students and guided by teachers. By working together to master the music, our students learn to organize and lead a group as well as be team members. We provide mentorship opportunities for our most dedicated students, from which they gain invaluable leadership experience.

Scholarship

By developing confidence outside the classroom, students are able to actively engage in the classroom and school environment. Teachers reported that students were more eager to participate in class and sign up for activities in school after a summer of Share The Spotlight.

OUR METHOD

We utilize a rock band format to motivate our participants. By participating in a small ensemble, students feel motivated to practice not just for themselves but for the whole team. Share the Spotlight brings together students of varying skills to  inspire each other to improve. Unlike other private instruction based music programs, we drive students to teach themselves so that they can continue developing their skills long after the summer. The driving force behind our method is that all the hard work leads to a performance in a rock venue.  After all, what could be more thrilling than putting on a high energy rock concert?

2014 JamSession © All rights reserved.