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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Pacific Symphony Receives Getty Education and Community Investment Grant from League of American Orchestras to Expand its Santa Ana Strings Program

December 17, 2012

Pacific Symphony is one of just twenty-two American orchestras to receive a first-year Getty Education and Community Investment Grant. The grant was awarded to extend the life of the orchestra’s Santa Ana Strings program, and is in recognition of Pacific Symphony’s innovation and dedication to increasing its relevance to the community.

“As we continue our efforts to address real community needs, we’re honored to receive this support,” says Pam Blaine, Symphony vice president of education and community engagement. “We’re also very proud to have been selected. This endorsement validates our belief that the work we’re doing in our education and community engagement programs is important and innovative. We strongly believe that providing our students with access to music instruction through programs like this is essential to building a strong community. Through intensive violin instruction, students develop skills that are necessary to meet current and future challenges and lead more productive, fulfilling and successful lives.”

“More and more orchestras all over the country are finding innovative ways to help address community needs through music,” said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation’s commitment to encourage these important educational and community engagement programs is a great boost to orchestras’ ability to provide community relevance beyond the concert hall,” he commented.

The Symphony’s proposal requested funding to extend the life of the Santa Ana Strings’ pilot program, which launched last summer as a result of a partnership between the Symphony, Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) and the academic support program, THINK Together. The grant, along with a generous gift from Phil and Mary Lyons, provides for 300 fourth- and fifth-grade students to continue their violin study year-round.

The strings program began with more than 150 fourth- and fifth-grade Santa Ana students from Diamond, Harvey and King elementary schools participating in a five-week program that provided intensive summer instruction in the violin and culminated with a public performance as part of Target Symphony in the Cities in Orange County Great Park last July. A prerequisite for qualifying orchestras was the existence of partnerships with local cultural and/or community organizations, such as schools or social service providers. This year’s grants, part of a new three-year, $1.5 million re-granting program from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, will fund both new and established innovative programs including: long-term in-school partnerships and afterschool programs; health and wellness initiatives in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes; and programs for the underserved and underprivileged, including incarcerated youth.

A total of $425,000 was awarded for the first year grants, with individual grant amounts ranging from $14,500 to $37,500 per orchestra. 45% of the grants were awarded to educational programs, 43% to health and wellness programs, and 12% to those serving other populations.

Applicants for the grants came from every orchestra budget group. The initial 204 applicants were narrowed by an independent advisory panel to 44 semi-finalists; all were then judged on six criteria: the degree of innovation and relevance to community needs; the orchestra’s capacity to deliver; appropriateness to mission and community; appropriateness and strength of partnership(s); ability to assess outcomes; and professional development for musicians and staff.

The recipients for 2012-13 are:
Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, California Symphony Orchestra, The Central Ohio Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony Association, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, Sphinx Virtuosi, and St. Louis Symphony (further details here). A list detailing each grantee’s program can be found here.

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit to learn more.