Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra is one of just twenty-two American orchestras to receive a first-year Getty Education and Community Investment Grant. The grant was awarded to help fund the organization's Progressions program and is recognition of MYSO's innovation and dedication to increasing its relevance to the community.
"Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) is part of the elite group of orchestras across the United States to receive the first-year Getty Education and Community Investment grant," stated Linda Edelstein, Executive Director. "As one of just 22 recipients from an applicant pool of over 200, MYSO will utilize these funds to continue to meet the needs of our community through our high-impact, high-intensity Progressions Program."
"More and more orchestras all over the country are finding innovative ways to help address community needs through music," said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen." The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation's commitment to encourage these important educational and community engagement programs is a great boost to orchestras' ability to provide community relevance beyond the concert hall," he commented.
Launched in 2003, Progressions, a string instrument training program for 3rd and 4th grade City of Milwaukee children, one of several of MYSO's Community Partnerships Programs, was founded with the goal of increasing the participation of underrepresented populations in both the MYSO ensembles and music programs across Milwaukee. Nearly ten years later, the program has grown to 80 students and provides group lessons, orchestra training and intensive private lessons for violin, viola, cello and bass. The continuing movement of Progressions graduates into more advanced ensembles is exciting progress and a clear indication of the success of the program, demonstrating MYSO's long-term commitment of support to these students and the life-changing dedication to music inspired by these programs.
A prerequisite for qualifying orchestras was the existence of partnerships with local cultural and/or community organizations, such as schools or social service providers. This year's grants, part of a new three-year, $1.5 million re-granting program from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, will fund both new and established innovative programs including: long-term in-school partnerships and afterschool programs; health and wellness initiatives in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes; and programs for the underserved and underprivileged, including incarcerated youth.
A total of $425,000 was awarded for the first year grants, with individual grant amounts ranging from $14,500 to $37,500 per orchestra. 45% of the grants were awarded to educational programs, 43% to health and wellness programs, and 12% to those serving other populations.
Applicants for the grants came from every orchestra budget group. The initial 204 applicants were narrowed by an independent advisory panel to 44 semi-finalists; all were then judged on six criteria: the degree of innovation and relevance to community needs; the orchestra's capacity to deliver; appropriateness to mission and community; appropriateness and strength of partnership(s); ability to assess outcomes; and professional development for musicians and staff.
The recipients for 2012-13 are:
Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, California Symphony Orchestra, The Central Ohio Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony Association, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Sphinx Virtuosi and St. Louis Symphony.
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America's orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org to learn more.