2002 MetLife Awardees

American Composers Orchestra

The New York City-based ACO was recognized for "Coming to America: Immigrant Sounds/Immigrant Voices," a project that was launched in October 2000 and concluded its pilot year in May 2001. It included "informances," a series of performance/dialogue events in community, cultural, and educational settings; a forum that convened experts in ethnomusicology, music history, and anthropology; the involvement of immigrant composers in interactive workshops in city schools; concerts that included music by four immigrant composers and three world premieres; and both pre- and post-concert activities that stimulated dialogue with the audience.

Los Angeles Philharmonic

To better serve a county that is 46 percent Latino, 13 percent Asian, and 9 percent African-Americanand whose 10 million residents speak more than 100 languagesthe orchestra has performed more than 60 neighborhood and community concerts since 1991. These events are supported by community host committees representing churches, schools and school districts, municipal governments, colleges, park and recreation departments, newspapers, and chambers of commerce. The orchestras Community Advisory Committee provides "welcoming" services at the Neighborhood Concerts and the follow-up New Connections events.

New Mexico Symphony Orchestra

The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, based in Albuquerque, has encouraged participation from its sizeable Native American and Hispanic communities through concerts involving composers and performers from these ethnic groups; extensive visits to schools, community centers, and pueblos; musical selections performed with multi-lingual narration; consultation and institutional ties with organizations representing Native American and Hispanic constituencies; and a commitment to treating community engagement as a "state of mind that informs everything the organization does, and manifests itself in hundreds of ways."

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

In 1992 the orchestra initiated IN UNISON, a program that presents free concerts for the African-American community in churches that have agreed to purchase a minimum number of discounted tickets to the SLSOs concerts in Powell Symphony Hall. The Community Partnership Program (CPP), created in 1994, provides musicians with paid time off in exchange for time spent in community performances. In nearly 300 CPP events each year, most of them free, soloists and ensembles from the orchestra play in such venues as nursing homes, parks, schools, and places of worship.

Santa Rosa Symphony

In partnership with Santa Rosa High School, the Santa Rosa Symphony created a community-wide project centered on the oratorio A Child of Our Time, Michael Tippetts musical and poetic response to the Nazi pogroms against German Jews. Throughout the 2001-02 school year, students of English, history, mathematics, art, multi-media, photography, drama, dance, and music explored themes of oppression and intolerance and responded with their own works of art. These were displayed in the concert hall lobby during the orchestras four performances of the oratorio under Music Director Jeffrey Kahane in April. Students also presented pre-concert dance and drama performances. The entire collaboration was documented on film by Verité Productions. (Kahane described the orchestras community engagement efforts in the November/ December 2001 SYMPHONY.)