Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) has announced the 2019–2020 grant recipients for PlayUSA, a program that supports a wide range of instrumental music education projects across the United States, all specifically designed to reach low-income and underserved students on a local level. For its fifth anniversary year, Carnegie Hall has selected 17 organizations, including 5 new partners receiving a total of $500,000 in grants.
These are the new recipients:
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (Chicago, IL)
Founded in 2004 by Orbert Davis and Mark Ingram as America’s definitive “Third Stream” orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP) provides rich, accessible, and multicultural music experiences that bridge the gap between jazz and classical music. CJP performs works from jazz big band standards to classical symphonies while creating a new aesthetic through cross-genre collaborations. CJP also provides access to music education through Jazz Alive, a weekly music education program for Chicago Public School students, and Summer Jazz Academy, a two-week program that immerses students in music theory and practice. Chicago Jazz Philharmonic performances entertain and inspire, and the community-based education programs improve lives from school age through adulthood.
Empire State Youth Orchestra (Schenectady, NY)
Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) is changing the lives of its musicians and the communities in which they live and perform, using music as a catalyst for social change. To further expand its impact, ESYO launched CHIME in 2015. CHIME (Creating Harmony Inspiring Musical Excellence) provides free daily music instruction to some of the region’s most underserved elementary and middle school children—youth who might not otherwise have the ability or income to seriously pursue music. Through CHIME, ESYO hopes to ensure the musicians of tomorrow are as diverse as the communities they seek to inspire. ESYO challenges more than 600 of the most talented youth from the Capital Region of New York, Western New England, and all walks of life to achieve musical excellence through intensive instruction and high-level performance. Through 12 performing ensembles and CHIME, ESYO is igniting a lifelong love of music in the youngest members of our communities, breaking boundaries, and fostering new connections.
Hawaii Youth Symphony (Honolulu, HI)
Established as a non-profit organization in 1964, the Hawaii Youth Symphony (HYS) promotes and celebrates the importance of music study on academic achievement and social-emotional development through its mission to develop youth to their fullest potential through orchestral music. Its programs serve youth from complete beginners through advanced performers, in settings ranging from chamber music to full symphony orchestra, band, and jazz ensembles. HYS aspires to make music a right, not a privilege, and aims to empower children everywhere with the joy, skills, and character building that music-making uniquely provides. Each year, the organization serves more than 700 students ages 7–18 from over 100 schools statewide.
Juneau Alaska Music Matters (Juneau, AK)
Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) is an El Sistema-inspired, tuition-free school readiness and enrichment program in Juneau, Alaska’s capital city, that uses music and community partnerships to promote academic success for all students. JAMM directly serves 500 students in three public elementary schools, including two Title One schools. In the 2019 – 2020 season, JAMM will expand into a middle school as well. JAMM and its partners—including the Juneau Symphony—are highly committed to at-risk students through programming that takes place both during and after school.
Trenton Music Makers (Trenton, NJ)
Trenton Music Makers is a free, high-intensity string program for students in grades 2–12. Young people learn violin, viola, cello or bass, and play as an orchestra, in addition to studying theory, choral singing, and bucket drumming. They are empowered to find and use their voice, and to work closely together to cultivate harmony and pursue ambitious goals for their orchestra and their city.
And these are the returning recipients: