The Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service





Congratulations to 2017 awardees Mark Dix, Michael Gordon,
Diane McElfish Helle, Eunsoon Lee-Corliss, and Peter Zlotnick

The Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service are made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.

2017 Awardees

Five orchestra musicians will receive Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras for their important work in hospitals, correctional facilities, schools, museums, and more. The League program celebrates orchestra musicians and the inspirational work they do in their communities.

The musicians will be presented with their awards at the League of American Orchestras’ 72nd National Conference in Detroit, June 6-8, and will discuss their work at an elective session for Conference delegates.


Mark Dix
The Phoenix Symphony

Photo Credit: The Phoenix Symphony                  


Michael Gordon
Principal Flute
Kansas City Symphony

Photo Credit: David Bickley       


Diane McElfish Helle
Grand Rapids Symphony 

Photo Credit: Terry Johnston                   



Eunsoon Lee-Corliss
Assistant Principal Violist
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Photo Credit: Knoxville Symphony


Peter Zlotnick
Education Manager/Principal Timpani
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra

Photo Credit: Tanya Odom


About the Awards

The musicians were selected by a panel of industry professionals through a competitive nomination process to receive the awards, which include a $2,500 grant to each musician, as well as an additional $2,500 grant to the musician’s home orchestra to support professional development focused on community service and engagement for musicians.

This work takes place in schools, hospitals, retirement homes, places of worship, and wherever people gather for civic, cultural, and social engagement. Those served may include low-income/at-risk populations, homebound elderly, immigrants, veterans, prisoners, and students of all ages, as well as members of the general public who may not otherwise have access to orchestral music.

Read the program press release.

Information on the Conference session featuring the award recipients.

Information on how to register for the League's National Conference.

2016 Awardees

Five exemplary orchestra musicians were presented with the inaugural Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service at the League’s National Conference in Baltimore on June 10, 2016. Read the press announcement and an article in Symphony magazine.


Check out the webinar presentation, which features all five awardees and is moderated by Eric Booth, president, Everyday Arts, Inc. 


Penny Anderson Brill
Michael & Carol Bleier Chair
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PA)                                                            

Photo Credit: Alicia Dal Lago              


Shannon Orme
Bass Clarinet
Detroit Symphony Orchestra (MI)

Photo Credit: Cybelle Codish


Jeff Paul
Principal Oboist
South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SD)

Photo Credit: Jeff Paul


Brian Prechtl
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (MD)

Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra


Beth Vandervennet
Oakland Symphony


Photo Credit: Seano Whitecloud


Questions? Contact Mi Ryung Song at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2017 marks the second year of the League's second partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, which was previously the title sponsor of Ford Made in America, the largest commissioning consortium in the country's history.