Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, today announced that Nashville Symphony has been recommended for two grants totaling $50,500. The first award, a Learning In the Arts grant of $18,000, will go to support the Nashville Symphony's music education initiative One Note One Neighborhood. The second award, an Access to Artistic Excellence grant of $32,500, will support public performances and a recording of new works of contemporary American composer Roberto Sierra. This is the second consecutive year that the Nashville Symphony has received two separate grants from the federal agency.
"The NEA sets high standards for bringing arts into the community," says Alan Valentine, President and CEO of Nashville Symphony. "The fact that we've received grants for two years running reaffirms the level of excellence in all that we do at the Nashville Symphony. These grants are also a powerful symbol of our dual commitment to music education and to promoting and preserving the work of this country's most imaginative creative voices. Thanks in part to the support of the NEA, we are able to make music accessible to everyone in our community."
One Note, One Neighborhood (ONON), the Nashville Symphony's innovative model solution for music education, provides comprehensive music services to underserved school clusters in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The program originated in East Nashville's Stratford cluster and has since expanded to the Pearl-Cohn cluster in North Nashville. Services offered include Young People's Concerts, in which students attend a live performance at the Schermerhorn, and professional development training, which provides teachers tools for incorporating music into classroom instruction. A unique afterschool component administered by the W.O. Smith Music School ensures that dedicated students have access to hands-on music instruction, along with instruments and transportation to and from lessons — all free of charge.
"This latest NEA grant in support of our music education programs enables us to deepen our pledge to the two school clusters currently participating in ONON," says Mitchell Korn, Vice President of Education and Community Engagement for the Nashville Symphony. "We will be able to expand these relationships by offering quality music education to students beginning in elementary grades, and on through middle school and high school. This initiative builds a solid foundation for each child involved and demonstrates the Nashville Symphony's long-term commitment to providing meaningful, life-changing opportunities for any child who wishes to pursue an education in music."
Throughout its 65-year history, the Nashville Symphony been involved in performing, commissioning and recording new works by this country's leading composers. With an active recording schedule that has yielded a total of 20 releases over the past decade, the orchestra will use its NEA Access to Artistic Excellence grant to help fund a new collection of works by Roberto Sierra. The Nashville Symphony, under the direction of Giancarlo Guerrero, will record live performances of two Sierra pieces, including the recently commissioned Sinfonia No. 4, at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on April 19-21, 2012.
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts. The diverse, innovative and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts."
Nashville Symphony is one of 1,145 not-for-profit national, regional, state and local organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency’s second round of fiscal year 2011 grants. In total, the Arts Endowment will distribute more than $88 million to support projects nationwide.