In an evening featuring a slew of music industry executives and stars, it was the youngest musicians who stole the show.
The students of Grace A. Dunn Middle School were among the entertainment at the VH1 Save the Music 2014 Honors in Sagaponack on Friday, July 25. Music teacher Nathan Cohen, one of the night’s honorees, said the students only learned to play about a year and a half ago. When the Trenton, New Jersey, natives performed a rousing rendition of “Happy” by Pharell Williams, the exclusive crowd of partygoers paused to listen to the impressive young vocalist and backup jazz band.
Honoree Linda Perry, acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer, took the stage to accept her recognition immediately following the student performers. Her acceptance speech focused on the young musicians as she urged the audience to encourage that passion for music in public education systems.
The students’ performance was the essence of both the evening and overall mission of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Founded in 1997, the nonprofit began with the intent of raising money and awareness for public music education programs throughout the country. Since then, Save the Music has raised over $51 million in musical instrument donations that directly benefitted 2.3 million children in 1,900 different public schools.
Other honorees echoed Perry’s emphasis on the importance of music as part of a child’s education. Charlie Walk, executive vice president of Republic Records, and Bozoma Saint John, head of global marketing at Beats Music, also accepted VH1 honors.
The entirety of the evening was a celebration of music, with guests enjoying additional entertainment from DJ Theory and James Bay.
Headliner Ingrid Michaelson provided the finale with a half-hour set. Her acoustic performances included “The Way I Am,” a cover of “Rude” by Magic! and her current single, “Girls Chase Boys.”
Throughout the evening, attendees mingled on the grounds of the private Sagaponack estate, indulging in drinks, hor d’oeuvres and a buffet dinner. The décor was cozy and casual, with blankets and pillows set up across the grounds. Booths and private tables lined the party, including popular displays from sponsors Alex + Ani and Raymond Weil. Additionally, VH1 anchors were filming and interviewing honored guests throughout the evening.
Julia and William Macklowe, homeowners of the estate, were visible throughout the party enjoying the festivities. Julie Macklowe stood out in the crowd, donning a silver and black sequined dress with silver metallic wedge sneakers.
Members of the host committee, including Fox 5 news anchor Rosanna Scotto, were also spotted socializing with guests and enjoying the live performances. The entire committee included Kelly Bensimon, Matt Breitenbach, Tom Calderone, Paul Cothran, Joseph and Mireya D’Angelo, Jeff Goldstein, Debra Halpert, Perez Hilton, Mark Mullet, Beth Orozco, Scott Rauch, Lou Ruggiero, Gordon and Jennifer Singer, Matt Speilman, Lisa Versacio and Samantha Yanks.
The VH1 fundraising event continued throughout the weekend, with a SoulCycle Ride for Charity and promotions with John Varvatos in East Hampton and Uber. Additionally, a corresponding VH1 Save the Music Honors auction ran online from July 10 through 30. Auction memorabilia included items from Hamptons fans Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Mariah Carey.