Next week I’m going back to my home town, Detroit, to conduct my high school marching band playing a medley of my greatest hits in the lobby of the theater I grew up in before a performance of my musical, The Color Purple, with the cast leading a sing-along. It’s a fundraiser to buy new uniforms for the Mumford marching band because with over 40 kids in the band, some of them are still marching around in threads from when I were there. Although I never made marching band as I never learned to play an instrument. I never learned how to read music either which should make my conducting this event most interesting to say the least!
My high school was made famous in Beverly Hills Cop when Eddie Murphy wore a Mumford Phys Ed T-shirt throughout the film. I won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop so my destiny and that of my high school are inextricably linked. Mumford is one of the largest schools in the city, 99% African-American and close to that percentage underprivileged. The Color Purple is about believing in and loving yourself, a rise from less nothing to everything that you never even dared to dream. I want to instill that hope in these kids.
I know most of you don’t live in Detroit – any of you who do please come to the Fox on Saturday April 9, from 11- 12:30 PM – but you can still help us march. Please donate to help this most fabulous high school and help invigorate the spirit of Detroit.
And please forward the invitation or give the links to anyone you think might be interested in attending the event or donating to the cause. We need all the $ we can get!