Nashville Symphony Receives $90,000 in NEA Grants To Support Education Outreach and a New Recording Project

April 22, 2010

The National Endowment for the Arts today announced that the Nashville Symphony will receive two awards totaling $90,000 for fiscal year 2010/11. A $40,000 award, in the category of "Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth," will be used to expand the Symphony's innovative One Note, One Neighborhood education initiative. An additional $50,000 award, in the category of "Access to Artistic Excellence," will help fund a future recording by the Symphony of music by noted American composer Richard Danielpour.

"This funding will greatly benefit two of the Nashville Symphony's core concerns —– enhancing music education throughout the Nashville area, and creating recordings that allow us to share our music with listeners around the world," said Alan D. Valentine, the Nashville Symphony's President and CEO.

The $40,000 education grant allows for the expansion of One Note, One Neighborhood, which has been at work since April 2008 in the Stratford cluster of the Metro Nashville School District. The federal money will make it possible to extend the program to the Pearl-Cohn cluster, where the Symphony will provide comprehensive music education resources for additional underserved children and youth. Heralded as a model for symphony orchestras nationwide, this cutting-edge initiative represents a close partnership between the Symphony, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School. It offers, without cost to students, classroom curriculum materials, Suzuki lessons and private instruction, musical instruments, concerts and other learning opportunities at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and travel to and from music lessons and concert events. One Note One Neighborhood also provides professional development for teachers. It's estimated that the upcoming extension into the Pearl-Cohn cluster will ultimately serve just over 2,000 students in grades 1-12.

"We currently reach more than 145,000 people annually through our education and community engagement programs," said Mitchell Korn, Vice President of Education and Community Engagement for the Nashville Symphony. "I'm particularly proud of the success of our One Note One Neighborhood program, which is already changing lives through a well-integrated set of music education tools for students and teachers at targeted schools. Our greatest hope is that, over time, we will make an even bigger difference in the lives of Middle Tennesseans."

The $50,000 award for a new recording will help fund an all-Danielpour CD for worldwide distribution on the Naxos label. The first two selections, Danielpour's Songs of Solitude and Rocking the Cradle, will be recorded in November 2010 when Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and the orchestra will also perform those pieces as part of the 2010/11 SunTrust Classical Series. Danielpour himself will be in town to participate in rehearsals, performances and the recording session. Additional Danielpour works planned for the CD will be recorded at a later date.

Born in 1956, New York native Danielpour has become one of the most sought-after composers of his generation. He has written symphonies and concertos as well as works in the genres of ballet and opera. He has said that music must have "an immediate visceral impact and elicit a visceral response," and his engaging, accessible style has been characterized as possessing "expansive, sweeping, romantic gestures" as well as "arresting, introspective, melodic beauty." In November 2007, the Nashville Symphony performed Danielpour's A Child's Reliquary.

Overall, the Arts Endowment is distributing $97,632,100 through 1,323 grants to nonprofit national, regional, state and local organizations nationwide. Read the NEA announcement using this link.