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Teen pianist to benefit local public television

September 28, 2018

Pianist, singer and composer Ethan Bortnick won’t be the only teen performing on stage Friday night.

More than 150 singers from Austin Public Schools and Pacelli Schools will join the 17-year-old for several songs during his “Generations of Music” concert at Austin High School.

Bortnick will be performing an array of songs, ranging from his own compositions to classics like “Sweet Caroline,” “Come Fly With Me” and “With a Little Help from my Friends.”

KSMQ Public Television President and CEO Eric Olson said the night will be a great highlight of local talent.

“It is a full concert by Ethan, with the added benefit of our local youth joining him on stage for a few songs,” Olson said. “It will be a wonderful experience for all. We are so thankful for the cooperation we have received from Austin and Pacelli schools.”

That community cooperation is something that Bortnick sets as a prerequisite for all of his concerts, especially since a large portion of the money goes back to the local PBS station, his father and manager Gene Bortnick said.

“The biggest thing is that Ethan’s a music advocate, and the way a lot of kids get music is through public television; he uses concerts to give back,” Gene Bortnick said. “The kids get inspired because he’s performed with everyone from Justin Bieber and The Black Eyed Peas to Tony Bennett and Celine Dion, and we love seeing so many kids get excited.”

Bortnick has been performing around the world for 10 years and has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Oprah,” where he was named one of Oprah’s All Time Smartest, Most Talented Kids. He has collected more than $50 million for charities in the process.

“Ethan got this bug to use his music to help others, and now public television is his mission,” Gene Bortnick said. “Public television is one of the only ways to get music, arts and science into every home. We want a big audience out there to support the local kids.”

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