FY16 Challenge America
Grants to Orchestras
Application Deadline of April 26, 2015
Award Announced December 8, 2015
Some details of the projects listed below are subject to change, contingent upon prior Endowment approval.
Albany Symphony Orchestra (GA), $10,000
To support performances and outreach activities featuring flutist Joseph FireCrow. A member of the Cheyenne Nation, FireCrow will narrate, play, and sing Jim Cockey’s “The Gift of the Elk: A Suite for Native American Flute,” a symphonic composition based on a Cheyenne myth. In addition to performances, the project will also include outreach activities in local schools in rural Southwest Georgia.
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support a residency that will culminate in the world premiere performance of a composition by D.J. Sparr, featuring guitarist Ted Ludwig. The composition is inspired by Ludwig’s flight from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In addition to performances, electric guitarists Ludwig and Sparr will lead workshops for student musicians and community members from central and southeastern Arkansas, including a high percentage of low-income residents.
Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, $10,000
To support a concert and related activities featuring singers Christie Conover and Lisa Chavez and a performance of Mahler’s “Symphony No. 2.” In addition to the performance, soprano Conover and mezzo-soprano Chavez will conduct outreach activities for underserved populations in rural and geographically isolated communities. Activities will take place at local Title I schools and outlying rural schools on the Crow Indian Reservation, and with the Praise Choir at the Montana State Women’s Prison.
Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support a residency featuring violinist Midori. In addition to a public performance with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Midori’s residency will include a series of engagement activities at venues throughout Dubuque and the surrounding rural area. These activities are scheduled to be held at local elementary and middle schools, including Title I schools, as well as at a nursing home and a residential care facility for adults with disabilities, and may include master classes, workshops, and question-and-answer sessions.
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support performances, workshops, and related outreach activities featuring pianist Awadagin Pratt. The guest artist will be in residence with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra conducting free master classes for community members. He will also provide lecture-demonstrations for local Title I schools and senior community centers. Pratt’s residency will culminate in a public performance with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, which low-income students will receive free tickets to attend.
Georgia Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support a sensory-friendly concert performance. The concert, featuring guest artist Domenic Salerni, will adapt a classical music performance for members of the community with autism and sensory sensitivity, along with their families. Planned in partnership with Autism Speaks, the concert will take place at the Marietta Performing Arts Center.
Great Falls Symphony, $10,000
To support performances, a public post-concert question-and-answer session, and outreach activities featuring pianist Sean Chen and a resident string ensemble, the Cascade Quartet. In addition to performing with the symphony at the Great Falls Mansfield Theater, Chen and the Cascade Quartet will participate in outreach concerts and lead master classes for rural high school students. They will also perform in a concert preview that will be aired on Montana’s public radio station and perform during an open rehearsal for local piano students and piano teachers.
Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, $10,000
To support the annual Free Concerts for Seniors performance series featuring cellist Natalie Hs and violinist Alasdair Fraser, with related outreach activities. Concerts serving low-income older adults will be held at different community venues throughout Minneapolis such as the historic Nicollet Island Pavilion, Elliot Park, and the Cerenity Senior Care-Humboldt. Older adults will receive free transportation to all concerts.
Northwest Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support a concert and related educational programming, with a focus on Northwestern classical composers and musicians. Koichiro Yamamoto, principal trombonist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, will perform for the public, as well as participate in Symphony for Students, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra’s outreach initiative intended to serve low-income students in South King County. In partnership with the Highline School District, Yamamoto will lead master classes for underserved youth. Youth participants will also receive free tickets to attend the public performance at the Highline Performing Arts Center. The concert will include music composed by Northwest composers Samuel Jones and Sumi Tonooka. The guest composers will give a preconcert lecture and participate in a question-and-answer session after the performance.
San Antonio Symphony, $10,000
To support the 2016 Las Americas Festival and associated activities. The festival will showcase the work of North, Central, and South American composers, performers, and artists in events held throughout San Antonio. A diverse cross-representation of music from the festival will be toured and performed for area high school students, including students attending Title I high schools.
Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra, $10,000
To support a series of free, classical music concerts and associated outreach activities intended to serve rural communities in Utah. The project will provide transportation to the concerts for high school students in Tooele County and Brigham City, Utah. Soprano Melissa Heath will perform and the Timpanogos Symphony will present accessible, family-friendly classical repertoire, such as John Williams’ “Star Wars (Suite for Orchestra).”
Related Challenge America Grants
Association of the Performing Arts of India, $10,000
To support a performance and lecture-demonstration featuring Indian classical music. Sitar player Krishna Mohan Bhatt will be accompanied by tabla player Anindo Chatterjee, Saraswathi Rangnathan on the veena (a traditional Indian stringed instrument), and percussionist Ganapathi Ranganathan. The proposed lecture and performance will engage students from diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds who are participating in the South Florida Youth Symphony and students from high schools and colleges throughout the community.
Endless Mountain Music Festival, $10,000
To support the Endless Mountain Music Festival, a series of performances and related activities presented in venues throughout northern Pennsylvania and southern New York. Musicians will perform throughout the rural area and participate in outreach such as free concerts, pre-concert talks, music workshops, and open rehearsals. Artists such as harmonica player Corky Siegel, violinist Michael Ludwig, classical pianist Asiya Korepanova, and trumpet player Luis Engelke are under consideration for participation in the festival.
Fallbrook Music Society, $10,000
To support free performances by Sphinx Virtuosi, and associated outreach intended to serve low-income, primarily Latino youth. Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra comprised of African-American and Latino musicians, will provide a public performance for the local community at the Bob Burton Center for the Performing Arts, as well as in-school performances for local middle and high school students. The project will spotlight the importance of diversifying the classical music field. The guest artists will participate in pre-performance question-and-answer sessions with underserved youth, providing insight about their experiences as minorities within the field of classical music.
Music Center of South Central Michigan, $10,000
To support the presentation of a multimedia concert performance and associated outreach activities. Intended to serve a low-income, rural community, the performance will showcase flutist Amy Porter and composer Michael Daugherty in concert and will feature Daugherty’s “Trail of Tears” concerto about the displacement of Native Americans in the 1830s. The project will also include an artistic collaboration with the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, multimedia displays, and storytelling. The guest artists will visit local underserved schools and free tickets will be made available to local organizations for underserved audiences.