Grammy winner Melissa Manchester helps Southern California college students realize their musical dreams.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Grammy-winning star Melissa Manchester is using her music muscle to help the next generation of musicians. She has a new album out - with a little help from college students, alumni and faculty members of the Citrus College Blue Note Orchestra.

"The miracle of Citrus College is that this is a two-year program but the world can open up for them," said Manchester. "On my last album, 'You gotta love the life,' I brought in Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick and Al Jarreau, and everybody was just going, 'what is going on?' It was fantastic."

"She's taken us to Hawaii. We've toured with her as her touring band," said student and orchestra member Anthony Garcia. "And it's just - because of her, there's been so many doors that have been opened up for us young guys, you know?"

"What it teaches them is hard work, perseverance, dedication, work ethic. No matter where you go, no matter where they go from here, that will serve them well," said Robert Slack, dean of visual and performing arts at Citrus College.

The orchestra is rehearsing for a benefit concert that take place Friday at the Armstrong Theatre in Torrance. It's a fundraiser for Art Attack Foundation, which is dedicated to helping young performers realize what they're capable of accomplishing.

"I grew up in an under-privileged community and to see me go from, you know, the streets of Compton up to doing stuff like this, it definitely shows kids that it's possible," said Citrus College alum Anthony Bonner.

The orchestra also play on Manchester's latest album, "The Fellas." For more information on the concert and the foundation, go to
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.