• First singing groups face-off on Saturday, Dec. 18
  • Nine New York City high school singing groups compete to win a $2,500 grant and the chance to perform at Hard Rock Cafe New York in Times Square
  • Celebrity judges announced for finals: Run DMC’s Darryl McDaniels and a member of Green Day’s Broadway musical American Idiot

New York, N.Y. – December 16, 2010 – This weekend marks the start of competition in the Wildlife Conservation Society’s first-ever city-wide singing competition at the Bronx Zoo: SING! for Wildlife presented by Hard Rock Cafe.

The competition will kick-off on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 12:30 p.m. in the Schiff Family Great Hall at WCS’s Bronx Zoo.  The first competitive performances will be by musical groups from the Martin Van Buren School, Christian Heritage Academy, Marymount School of New York, and Edward R. Murrow High School.

On Tuesday, Dec. 28, Repertory Company High School, and Gramercy Arts High School will compete.

The last three groups, Celia Cruz School of Music, St. Barnabas High School, and Martin Luther School will face-off on Wednesday, Dec, 29.

The final round will bring the remaining groups together in a head-to-head competition on Thursday, Dec. 30.  For the grand prize and the right to be called “The Best in New York,” the finalists will sing for a special panel of judges that include Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC (www.me-dmc.com) and a member of the Green Day’s hit Broadway musical American Idiot. 

The grand prize includes a $2,500 grant to support the winning choral group and a chance to perform at Hard Rock Cafe New York in Times Square. First prize will be a $1,500 grant for the choral group; second prize will be a $1,000 grant.

All performances will consist of four songs: one song that celebrates wildlife, the environment, or the planet; and three songs of the group’s choosing. Suggested song choices would include two contemporary songs and one holiday song.

As a part of this event, young musicians from other local cultural institutions will perform on various dates throughout the SING! for Wildlife competition. Competition will open with a special guest performance by the Brooklyn High School of the Arts on Saturday, Dec. 18. The South Bronx Based Renaissance Band, a group that works to empower youth to write and perform original songs that spread positive messages, will perform on Wednesday, Dec. 29. Music Unites Youth Chorus, a non-profit dedicated to bringing music education to underprivileged children in under-funded inner city school systems, will entertain crowds during the final round on Thursday, Dec. 30. 

A complete listing of competition rules and details can be found online at www.bronxzoo.com/sing.

Hard Rock Cafe New York’s partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society exemplifies the brand’s “Save the Planet” motto. Through the Sing! for Wildlife competition, Hard Rock reaches young musicians in the community and teaches them about the importance of conservation through song. Guests can show their support by visiting Hard Rock Cafe New York or WCS’s Bronx Zoo and purchasing Hard Rock’s limited-edition Bronx Zoo pin, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting WCS. Visit www.hardrock.com for additional details.

SING! for Wildlife supports culture and performing arts in New York City and supports the One Percent for Culture Campaign. For more information, visit www.oneforculture.org.

The Wildlife Conservation Society is thankful to the following sponsors for their support of the SING! for Wildlife competition:

Presenting sponsor:       
Hard Rock Cafe

Media Sponsor:
New York Daily News


Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org

Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.

Hard Rock International - With a total of 169 venues in 51 countries, including 133 cafes and 15 Hotels/Casinos, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. In addition to the two flagship Seminole Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., Hard Rock Hotels/Casinos are located in Las Vegas, Biloxi, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, Pattaya, Bali, Macau, Penang, Singapore and Punta Cana. Additional hotel and casino projects have been announced in Panama, scheduled to open in 2012; and Hungary, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in 2013.  Hard Rock International is owned by Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, Inc. For further details on Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, visit www.hardrockhotels.com. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.

If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation.