Celebrating Orchestra Musicians' Inspiring Community Work

Orchestra musicians are devoting increased personal resources to community engagement and educational activities that extend beyond the concert hall, and pivoting in new and creative ways to deliver this work virtually during the pandemic. To recognize the commitment of extraordinary musicians and the impact of their achievements, the League of American Orchestras seeks applications from musicians and nominations by orchestra administrators for the 2021 Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service. Now in its fifth year, the awards program, made possible through the generosity of Ford Motor Company Fund, celebrates and honors these professionals, their orchestras, and their communities. 




APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, February 8, 2021 (11:59pm)


About the Awards

  • Five musicians will be selected through a competitive application process.
  • Each musician winner will receive a cash award of $2,500 and a complimentary registration to the League’s National Conference. 
  • The winning musician’s orchestra will receive a grant of $2,500 to support professional development for its roster of musicians and a complimentary registration for one staff member to attend the League’s National Conference. 


  • Your orchestra must be a League member in good standing. (Youth, collegiate, and international orchestras are not eligible.)
  • The community engagement work you do is performed under the umbrella of your orchestra, but need not be a paid position. 
  • You must be a full-time member of the orchestra, with at least one year’s employment at the time of application. (Substitute musicians and conductors are not eligible.) 
  • You have been performing this community engagement work for at least one full calendar year. 
  • At the League’s online National Conference, June 7-17, 2021, you agree to participate as a panelist in an education and community engagement session featuring the Ford Musician Awards winners and to attend a session to be recognized and accept your award. 
  • Awardees and their orchestras are required to produce a 3-minute video showcasing their work to be presented during the National Conference and featured on the League’s website.
    • A $1,000 honorarium will be provided to assist in the production of this video. 
    • Examples can be found by visiting our Ford Musician Awards website
  • The League welcomes applicants from all backgrounds. Past applicants are encouraged to apply again. Previous winners are not eligible. 


Past Awardees


 Past recipients of the Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service.

For a deeper look into the impact Ford musicians are making in their communities, check out these two resources: the 2017-2019 winner videos, and this article highlighting the 2017 awardees in the League's Symphony magazine.



Please contact James Barry, Senior Manager, Artistic and Learning Programs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service, a program of the League of American Orchestras, are made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.