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ART BEAT: Singer Norwood promotes music for youth through foundation

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Special Photo Local pop singer Norwood performs at the Red Clay Theatre June 23 as a function for his foundation, "Norwood's Noteworthy Noise!"

As if being a talented, handsome and charming young performer in metro Atlanta wasn't enough, Gwinnett-based singer Norwood has gone the extra mile to share the rewards of music with youth in our area. Not only has he created a foundation to enhance opportunities in music education and performance, he has also become a spokesman for the Boys and Girls Club's "Text with Respect" campaign this July.

Developing his own foundation, Norwood's Noteworthy Noise, came about as a result of several things.

"I founded 'Norwood's Noteworthy Noise' because I believe music is an incredibly important part of growing up," he said. "It's through music classes and performing at local venues that I found my true calling in life. I first came to love music and performing as a student."

Additionally, music and other arts programs are being cut from our schools, and Norwood was determined to make a difference.

"It's heartbreaking to think that a young person may never discover their talents and the joys of making music due to lack of funding for the arts," he said. "I believe the arts influence the culture in incredible ways, and we can't let that end with this generation."

In September, Norwood created Norwood's Noteworthy Noise by launching his first event. Partnering with the Peachtree Ridge High School Orchestra, Norwood presented an event at the Red Clay Theatre where students performed classical pieces as well as Norwood's original pop tunes transcribed for orchestra. Norwood also joined them onstage playing keyboard and singing -- but there was more than performing involved. Norwood also led them through the preparation of rehearsal, planning the concert and marketing ideas to help sell tickets.

In December, Norwood performed a similar concert with the Duluth High School Orchestra. Proceeds were spent to send these young musicians to perform at Lincoln Center this spring.

The next event is at 4 p.m. June 23 at the Red Clay Theatre. Norwood will be performing free of charge in support of another arts group, the Susan Chambers Dance Company. The show will consist of Norwood joined by Mathai, a former contestant on "The Voice," and Riley, who is managed by Elton John's team. Seven of Chamber's hip hop students will perform, plus special guest Sandra Grimaldi-Cauley, Miss Georgia USA 2013. Tickets start at $10 and partial proceeds go to the Susan Chambers Dance Company.

Norwood has also become a national spokesperson for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America's "Text with Respect" campaign (TOADD.org), filming a commercial featuring an original song co-written with producer Brad Cox.

Norwood will be spending July touring festivals and local Boys and Girls Clubs to help teach kids to use social media wisely.

He also encourages fans to sponsor a deserving teen member of a local Boys and Girls Club by purchasing a ticket for them to attend the Summer Pop Fest on June 23. To purchase tickets for these kids or for yourself, visit www.eddieowenpresents.com.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.