FY15 Challenge America Grants

Grants to Orchestras

Awards Announced December 2, 2014

Some details of the projects listed below are subject to change, contingent upon prior Endowment approval.

Adrian Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support an all-Beethoven classical concert and associated outreach activities. The orchestra will perform “Symphony No.7 in A Major” and join with pianist Philippe Entremont to perform “Piano Concerto No 1 in C Major.” Other activities will include educational performances at local middle and high schools; a free, open public rehearsal; a pre-concert educational program; and free tickets for students who participate in local orchestras in the rural community.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support performances, workshops, and related outreach activities featuring violinist Randall Goosby. Goosby, the first - place winner of the 2010 Sphinx Competition, will be in residence in Central Arkansas conducting free workshops and music demonstrations for community members and student musicians drawn from economically disadvantaged schools. The residency will culminate in a public soloist performance with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Boise Philharmonic, $10,000
To support a concert and related outreach and educational activities featuring saxophonist James Houlik. A public performance is scheduled to take place at Brandt Auditorium on the Northwest Nazarene University campus. Project activities will also include a pre-concert lecture by Houlik, as well as outreach programming that will take place at local universities and high schools in Nampa and Caldwell, ID. The intent of the project is to engage members of a rural and economically challenged community.

Burlington Chamber Orchestra, $10,000
To support the Music for Minors program.  A signature program of the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Music for Minors will engage a guest conductor to lead the orchestra in its Spring Celebration of Youth concert. In addition, project activities will include the commission of a new musical work from a student composer for the concert, and performance by a young solo artist during the concert. Project activity will also include outreach to public schools in Burlington and surrounding urban communities that have growing numbers of minority, low-income, and immigrant populations.

Catskill Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support a concert and lecture-demonstration featuring jazz bassist Ron Carter. The lecture-demonstration will be offered free of charge to students in this rural Upstate New York community. The  orchestra will provide as many as 200 free concert tickets to children.

Central Ohio Symphony, $10,000
To support The Great Animal Orchestra, featuring composer Richard Blackford. The project will be the U.S. premiere of “The Great Animal Orchestra Symphony” for orchestra and wild soundscapes by Blackford, inspired by the book, “The Great Animal Orchestra” by musician, acoustician, and sound environmentalist expert Bernie Krause. Blackford will guide community activities, attend the concert, and give illustrated talks on the Krause book for the benefit of residents of the rural Buckeye Valley East community, including elementary students of identified Title I schools.

Erie Philharmonic, $10,000
To support a residency featuring pianist Joyce Yang. Yang, the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medalist, will be the featured performer at the Erie Philharmonic’s Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody concert scheduled to take place at the Warner Theatre in Erie, PA. Residency activities will also include various outreach activities throughout the region, such as a master class at Edinboro University that will be free and open to the public in this rural community.

Fort Smith Symphony, $10,000
To support EARQUAKE!, an annual, free interactive concert series, intended to serve rural, low-income students. The series will feature violinist Sophy Monroe, composer Robert Mueller, and the Western Arkansas Ballet. Students will participate in composition activities taught by Mueller.

Grand Rapids Symphony, $10,000
To support the annual Symphony with Soul concert and related outreach activities. The project will include a collaborative workshop involving the Grand Rapids Community Chorus and the Grand Rapids Mosaic Scholars, a collective of young African-American and Latino students who are mentored by Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra musicians. The concert will feature rhythm-and-blues vocalist Gladys Knight and include the presentation of original music created during the collaborative workshop.

Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, $10,000
To support free classical music performances intended to serve low-income residents and ethnic minorities.  Violinist Bella Hristova will engage in a series of outreach concerts, including a free, in-school performance at Emmerich Manual High School and a concert held on the grounds of the Indiana Women’s Prison.

Manassas Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support the world premiere of a piano concerto composed by Jonathan Kolm and performed by Dmitri Shteinberg. The concert will also feature pieces by Carl Maria von Weber and Dmitri Shostakovich.  The project will provide transportation and tickets for low-income and at-risk youth in the Youth for Tomorrow and SPARK programs and their families to attend the concert.

Mid Texas Symphony, $10,000
To support a concert and associated outreach activities. The symphony will perform with violinist Nancy Zhou and students from the Lindenbaum Strings Outreach Program, which offers free string lessons to underserved children. Mid Texas Symphony staff will also present free performances at local schools in the rural community.                                

Pan American Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support an orchestral performances of music by Latin American composers, with related costs. Works will feature folkloric music, bolero, tango, zamba, and other categories of music with Latin American origins. The project is intended to serve the Hispanic community residing in Montgomery County, MD. Proposed guest performers include vocalist Guillermo Anderson from Honduras and vocalist Sofia Rei from Argentina. The Embassy of El Salvador will assist with the promotion of the event.

San Bernardino Symphony, $10,000
To support the Music for All Ages concert with youth orchestra Symphonie Jeunesse and associated activities. In partnership with the local school district, visual artist Michal Madison will work with students to create original pieces of art based upon the students’ interpretations of the music to be performed. The students’ artwork and poetry will be projected overhead at the concert and participating students and their families will receive free admission.

Sinfonia Gulf Coast, $10,000
To support performances featuring electric violinist, composer, and producer Tracy Silverman, with related outreach activities. The project will include in-school workshops for economically disadvantaged students, primarily located in rural Okaloosa and Walton Counties, as well as community engagement activities at local libraries. Silverman will also participate in a lecture about the arts and medicine that will take place at a local hospital.

Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support the presentation of This Land is Your Land: A Celebration of Woody Guthrie. The Tulsa Symphony will partner with the Woody Guthrie Center and the Guthrie Green to present the free public concert with composer David Amram as the conductor. The project will provide transportation for local elementary students and their families to the concert.

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, $10,000
To support the production of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” and associated outreach activities. Soloists Ava Pine, Ryland Angel, and José Adán Pérez will rehearse and perform with the YOSA Philharmonic,  the San Antonio Choral Society, and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio.  The soloists will conduct workshops and provide free tickets to the concert for choral students at local underserved and low-income schools.

Related Challenge America Grants

Artist Series of Tallahassee, $10,000
To support an artist residency featuring the New York Brass Arts Trio. In addition to a public performance, the Trio will conduct workshops for Title I school students in Leon and Gadsden County school districts and master classes with members of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra. The public performance is scheduled to take place in Opperman Music Hall at the Florida State University College of Music.

Music Center of South Central Michigan, $10,000
To support the presentation of an enhanced concert experience and associated outreach activities. The concert will showcase cellist Jacob Shaw and composer and pianist Andrew Hsu, with live video close-ups of the Battle Creek Symphony and guest artists for the audience. The guest artists will visit local urban schools, free tickets will be made available to local organizations for underserved audiences, and the concert will be rebroadcast through community access television to local senior centers, hospitals, and nursing homes.