Wake Up Everybody
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Wake Up Everybody

Partners: Hill-Freedman World Academy

Duration: 2018-2019

Description: Third student album with Hill-Freedman World Academy; 2018–2019

“Music doesn’t discriminate
The problem with the world is all this hate
I know we don’t have the same race but our blood is the same
All over the world.”

—Camya Bradley, 10th grade, Hill-Freedman World Academy from the song “All Over the World”

WAKE UP EVERYBODY  is the third album created from the partnership between LiveConnections and Philadelphia public high school Hill-Freedman World Academy (HFWA).

The collection of 21 original student songs (and a cover of the 1970’s classic title song) takes its inspiration from the mission, songs and style of Philadelphia International Records. The influential label, founded in 1971 by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, produced the renowned “Sound of Philadelphia.”

The album is the culmination of a year-long project led by HFWA Music Technology teacher Ezechial Thurman and a team of LiveConnections teaching artists: Andrew Lipke, Kristal Oliver, Luke Carlos O’Reilly and LiveConnections Founding Director David Bradley.

Over the course of the 2018-2019 school year, as part of the school’s International Baccalaureate curriculum, all of HFWA’s 10th graders and a cohort of 11th and 12th graders dug into the Philadelphia International catalogue. Students drew inspiration from the label’s focus on “music with a message,” while also drawing on contemporary R & B, pop and hip-hop.

With guidance from Thurman, Lipke, O’Reilly and Grammy-nominated songwriter Oliver, the students wrote lyrics, individually and in whole class collaborations. Many tracks feature original student musical composition and production, a hallmark of the Music Technology program led by Thurman.

Other tracks feature LiveConnections artists and special guests, including Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia William R. Hite Jr., as well as notable Philadelphia musicians Laurin Talese (winner of the 2018 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition), rapper Chill Moody and keyboardist Eric Wortham II, a Hill-Freedman alumnus who has toured with Adele and Jill Scott. Eric Westbrook, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement, and Frank Machos, Executive Director of the Office of Arts & Academic Enrichment for the District, also appear on the record.

HFWA 10th grader Jaelynn Pearson said of the process, “Writing is a way to be heard when you feel like no one is listening. And with our LiveConnections artists, I knew I was being listened to; they’ve encouraged me so much to push myself harder and listen to myself. We have a story that is important to listen to and we can shine light where you can’t see.”

The original songs follow the title’s exhortation to “wake up” to what the world, and the students, are facing today. The album moves from the personal to the global, with students singing about love and family, social justice, their futures and the need to come together in a divided world.


About Hill-Freedman World Academy

Hill-Freedman World Academy is a special admission middle and high school in Northwest Philadelphia. We proudly serve students with a variety of backgrounds, talents, and needs. Hill-Freedman World Academy provides a rigorous academic environment that inspires individuality and fosters lifelong learners who are committed to being knowledgeable, caring, internationally-minded global citizens. Hill-Freedman is a school where “All Means All” and where students are challenged and encouraged to develop their talents, even those yet to be discovered.

Project Team
Hill-Freedman World Academy:
Anthony Majewski, Head of School/Principal
Ezechial Thurman, Music Technology Teacher, Music Composition & Production, Album Producer
Stephen Hands, ArtistYear Fellow, Video & Photography
Ikeya Sade, Marketing & Promotion
Andrew Lipke, Music Composition, Songwriting & Production, Album Producer
Kristal Oliver, Music Composition, Songwriting & Production, Album Producer
Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Music Composition & Songwriting, Album Producer
David Bradley, LiveConnections Founding Director, Album Producer
Christian Harrison (10th grade HFWA), drums
Andrew Lipke, bass
Luke Carlos O’Reilly, keys
Additional Musicians:
Amari Byrd (10th grade HFWA), drums
Adorah Jones (10th grade HFWA), guitars and organ
Ben O’Neill, guitars
Samuel Smith (10th grade HFWA), drums
Special Appearances:
William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D, Superintendent of Schools, vocals
Frank Machos, Executive Director, Office of Arts & Academic Enrichment, saxophone
Chill Moody, vocals
Laurin Talese, vocals
Eric Westbrook, Executive Director of Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement, vocals
Eric Wortham II, keys


Vocal producing by Kristal Oliver.
Album engineered and mixed by Andrew Lipke, Kristal Oliver and Ben Thomas.
Mastered by Ben Thomas.
Cover art by Isa Abdul-Rahman (12th grade HFWA ) & Amari Byrd (10th grade HFWA).
Jacket design by Darielle Davis.
Photography by Stephen Hands, Hill-Freedman students, Jaci Downs Photography.
Thanks to our Supporters
WAKE UP EVERYBODY was made possible in part by support from The Barra Foundation; CHG Charitable Trust; Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker, 9th District; The Independence Foundation; LiveConnections Kids Count Campaign; The NBCUniversal Foundation, NBC10 and Telemundo62; Patricia Kind Family Foundation; The Philadelphia School Partnership; The Philadelphia Activities Fund; Phillies Charities, Inc.; The Scholler Foundation; The School District of Philadelphia; The Seybert Foundation; The Wyncote Foundation.

THE PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE: High-Schoolers’ Original Album Pays Tribute to Philly International – Hill-Freedman World Academy high school student Joshua Banton wasn’t familiar with the music of Philadelphia International Records, the influential label founded in 1971 by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff which produced the…

PHILADELPHIA CITIZEN: The (New) Sound of Philly – When Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff produced the album “Wake Up Everybody” on the Philadelphia International Records label in 1975, could they—or anyone—have known just how prescient the title track’s lyrics would turn out to be? Wake up everybody no more sleepin’…

6ABC: LiveConnections Works to Create the Next Generation of Musicians – LiveConnections is a local nonprofit specializing in music education and collaborative concerts. “We believe in giving voices that haven’t had a chance to be heard, a place to be heard and we believe music can be a powerful force for social…

Also featured on WURD 96.1 FM and 900 AM

PRESS RELEASE – On Thursday, May 30, Hill-Freedman World Academy (HFWA), a public high school in the School District of Philadelphia, will release the original album WAKE UP EVERYBODY, the third offering from the school’s Hill-Freedman Records label. The label, and the album, are part of…