RICHARDSON, TX, September 19, 2018 — The Art of Music Gala, “Under The Big Top” will take place on February 23, 2019 from 6pm-11pm at South Side Ballroom 1135, South Lamar Street, Dallas, TX. This one-of-a-kind event will bring renowned musicians and visual artists together to benefit The Warren Center. Featured at this year's event is musician Ron Bultongez, Top 24 Finalist on American Idol 2018; and renowned visual artist and local celebrity from Real Housewives of Dallas, Jeremy Lock.
Guests at The Art of Music Galas will be privy to show-stopping performances, original art, dinner and drinks, a live and silent auction and more.
This mesmerizing spectacle will include five musicians and five visual artists that are paired together to create extraordinary compositions and art. Each musician will first compose original scores inspired by the work of The Warren Center. These compositions are each musician's own interpretation of how The Warren Center helps turn a child and their family's dream into a reality. The musical compositions are then passed to the visual artists to use as inspiration in creating original works of art. The result is an evening filled with excitement, joy, laughter and awe as each original composition and its inspired work of art is unveiled and performed for the first time at the gala. Attendees will then can participate in a live auction of the compositions and artwork.
The 2019 Art of Music Gala Co-presenting sponsors are Melody and Rick Rogers and the Moglia Family Foundation on behalf of Amy Heuerman and Joseph Moglia.
Musician Headliner: Ron Bultongez
Top 24 Finalist on American Idol 2018
Singer-songwriter Ron Bultongez is living the American Dream. From growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo to being named the “Hometown Hero” of Plano, TX and becoming a Top 24 Finalist on American Idol 2018, where he left Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan in awe of his voice. Ron's dreams have taken him far. His journey, depth, and spirit are evident in his smooth yet raspy vocals and his bluesy, soulful songwriting.
Ron was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo February 14, 1996, where French was his native tongue, followed by Lingala and Swahili. But as turmoil broke out in the Congo, Ron's family decided to immigrate to the United States. Although America provided more opportunities, turmoil followed Ron in his home life. His environment became abusive to the point where he ended up bouncing around homeless shelters and separated from his family. But the community of Plano invested in Ron and shaped him into the person he is today.
Music saved Ron's life when he needed a way to escape. He first sang in 6th grade choir. Later, friends offered Ron a keyboard and an acoustic guitar and he taught himself how to play both, using emotions to create rather than any formal training. However, music was something that came to him naturally and not something he ever dreamed of pursuing as a career. Initially, Ron planned to play professional football and received scholarships to play quarterback at the collegiate level. After suffering concussions and ending up in a wheelchair because of multiple knee surgeries, his foster mother advised him to pursue his other love of music.
The pain of his past and his dreams for the future inform who Ron is both as an artist and a person. When Ron sings, listeners hear the soul, pain, and depth he carries with him. He writes to share the message that although life is hard and unfair, we are never alone. He shares this message with thousands of students every year as a public speaker. For his two younger brothers, of whom he is the legal guardian, and his son, James Melody, he works hard to create the safe and loving home he never had.
Before appearing on ABC's American Idol 2018, he was featured on MTV for his activism and love for those in need. Ron has since been featured on CBS, ABC, Good Morning America, People Magazine, Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global, Good Morning Texas, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer and many other media outlets. He is the recipient of four Ghosty Music Awards: Best New Act, Best EP for Thank You PLANO, Best Male Vocalist, and Best Folk/Acoustic Act in 2017.
Ron's 2018 achievements include International Student Foundation's Impact Community Award and Finalist for the Immigrant Journey Awards in 2018. He also received two congratulatory letters from the US Congress for his excellence.
Visual Artist Headliner: Jeremy Lock
For the past 21 years, photojournalist and now retired military photographer Jeremy Lock directed his lens towards the elements of the world that many of us will never have the opportunity or even the desire to see firsthand. His images are beautiful, heartbreaking, provocative and devastating – sometimes all in the same frame.
“My photographic journey is rooted in my ability to capture the essence and reality of humanity at its finest and at its worst,” said Lock. “I've captured everything from the hunt for Osama bin Laden, to the playful nature of our young military that we expect to defend our freedom, and the plight of humans in search of food after the Haiti earthquake disaster.”
During his adrenaline-filled career he was also named Military Photojournalist of the Year seven times, awarded the Bronze Star Medal for distinguished service in Iraq, and documented battles, disasters, and everyday life in Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan, Haiti, Mongolia, and many other locations. At every step Lock has been there with camera in hand, steadily and skillfully documenting what we might otherwise never see.
Other musicians include:
Other visual artists include:
About the Warren Center
The Warren Center is a nonprofit agency providing professional evaluations, therapy services and support to children with developmental delays and disabilities. The center serves over 900 children each week as well as their families. Services include speech, occupational and physical therapy; developmental services; and nutrition as well as family education and support. The Early Childhood Intervention Program serves the entire northern half of Dallas County in 48 ZIP codes. Founded in 1968, 2018 marks The Warren Center's 50th anniversary. For more information, please visit https://www.thewarrencenter.org or follow The Warren Center on Facebook and Twitter.
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