Presidential Lecture Series
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"The Power of Music to Inspire Positive Change"
April 9, 2012
Student Union Apollo Room
Grammy® Award–winning producer/engineer Mark Johnson has worked with some of the most renowned musicians and producers in music, film, and television over the past decade. Johnson is the co-founder of Playing for Change, which gained the public's awareness in 2009 when their version of the song "Stand By Me" accumulated over 30 million views on YouTube.
Through these inspiring global music videos, Mark sparked a worldwide movement aimed at breaking down social, economic, and political barriers through music. "Stand by Me" laid the foundation for the best selling CD/DVD set Playing for Change: Songs Around the World, which debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Pop Chart in April of 2009. In May 2011, Playing for Change released their second album PFC 2: Songs Around the World, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's World Music Charts. Mark is the founding board member of the Playing for Change Foundation, where he works with the nonprofit to build music schools for children around the world. Johnson has also been a keynote speaker at the United Nations, TED Global, the World Economic Forum in Davos, University of Michigan Martin Luther King Day Celebration, as well as the Million Dollar Round Table.