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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Guild Members Receive "Widening the Stage" Grant

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Guild Members Receive "Widening the Stage" Grant

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Mar 21, 2012

Four Guild member organizations, Harmony Project, Levine School of Music, Merit School of Music, and Settlement Music School (reported on earlier this month), are among the six grantees to receive funding from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Widening the Stage Program. The Foundation awarded a total of $1.26 million to music education programs across the United States to increase advanced instruction and performance opportunities for talented, low-income students, ages 8 to 18.

"Musical talent exists in all communities," said Dr. Lawrence Kutner, the Foundation's executive director, "but not all communities have the financial resources to nurture that talent to its fullest potential.  As young, exceptional musicians progress, private lessons, quality instruments, ensembles and summer institutes become critical, but are often financially out of reach for low-income students.”

Grant recipients all share a deep commitment to cultivating excellence in talented musicians, regardless of financial barriers, and are dedicating outstanding faculty to work with young artists.  
 
“We are inspired by the passion these leaders are bringing to the Widening the Stage initiative and are eager to learn with them how to make college or conservatory a reality for talented young musicians up against significant financial hurdles,” said Emily Froimson, the Foundation’s senior director of programs.

Guild Member Grantees:

Harmony Project (Los Angeles, CA): $249,918 to create the Academy, which will offer an intensive music education to 24 to 32 Harmony Project students who demonstrate exceptional talent, character, drive and musicianship. Harmony’s Academy will include year-round private lessons, theory and skills classes, master classes and chamber music coaching. Academy students, in turn, will develop leadership abilities as peer mentors providing weekly semi-private lessons to beginning and intermediate Harmony students.
 
Levine School of Music (Washington, DC): $237,500 to expand its Honors Program with advanced training, recitals, discounted or free instrument rentals, and professional development activities for 16 outstanding young musicians from disadvantaged families in Greater Washington, DC.  Levine will also award scholarships to 25 intermediate-level students to prepare them for successful auditions into the Honors Program.
 
Merit School of Music (Chicago, IL): $250,000 to create a Conservatory Feeder Program that will prepare low-income students for entry into its Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory. Merit will expand programming through private lessons, sectionals and the availability of quality instruments at community sites in South Side Chicago neighborhoods and increase aid for private lessons for on-site students.
 
Settlement Music School (Philadelphia, PA): $250,000 to expand its ensemble program at four diverse community sites within Philadelphia. Fifty qualifying students will be accepted into the ensemble program, while another 30 will receive year-round private instruction to prepare for successful ensemble auditions. Program activities will include master classes; string, winds, jazz and choral ensembles; solo and group performances; instrument loans; parent workshops; and leadership institutes focused on preparing for college auditions, music careers and related topics. The program will include Settlement’s first-ever touring ensemble.

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This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. www.nationalguild.org