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KSO Kids In Tune Program receives Getty Education and Community Investment Grant


Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra To Receive Getty Education and Community Investment Grant
From the League of American Orchestras To Develop Its
Kalamazoo Kids in Tune Program

Kalamazoo, MI March 25, 2015 – Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is one of only twenty-two orchestras from across the United States selected by the League of American Orchestras to receive Getty Education and Community Investment Grants. The grant was awarded to develop the orchestra's Kalamazoo Kids in Tune program, and is a recognition of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's innovation and dedication to increasing its relevance to the community.

Says KSO President and CEO Peter H. Gistelinck, "The KSO recognized the need in our community for greater access and fewer barriers to direct participation in music and the arts. Through Kalamazoo Kids in Tune, we are able to welcome students and families to explore for themselves the exciting world of the orchestra and to become part of a musical community. The skill these students are acquiring will open doors to success in school and life. The support of a Getty Education and Community Investment grant is a tremendous acknowledgement of the value of this work, and we are extremely grateful for the support."

"We are grateful to the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for their forward-thinking support," said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. "This year's grants give orchestras a significant opportunity to offer communities greater access to the orchestral experience. These programs demonstrate the remarkably wide assortment of populations orchestra musicians serve, from multi-generational Native musicians, student songwriters, and elementary school children in an entire California school district, to babies in the NICU, teens and adults in the criminal justice system, and the developmentally challenged."

Kalamazoo Kids in Tune is an after-school "orchestra immersion" program developed in partnership by Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo, and Kalamazoo Public Schools. The program infuses a CIS after-school program (known as a 21st Century Community Learning Center) with an intensive music and orchestra curriculum developed by the KSO and based on the ideals of El Sistema, the groundbreaking Venezuelan youth orchestra model. Students attend four afternoons per week. Every child selects a string, wind, brass or percussion instrument and takes part in group lessons, orchestra, sectionals, and regular school and community performance opportunities. Program time also includes mindfulness practice and other activities to support the development of positive self-regulation. Each day begins with a meal and ends with supported homework time.

The program was launched in fall of 2011 at KPS Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts. It currently serves 90 students in 1st-5th grade.

One KKIT parent adds, "both of my daughters are involved in KIT. They absolutely love it. Not only are they with their "family" afterschool, they get to play music which is very important to both of them and myself. And after all that they work on homework, which teaches them so much in its self! Thank you all!"

Orchestras receiving Getty Education and Community Investment Grants recipients for 2014-15 are: Allentown Symphony Orchestra, for El Sistema Lehigh Valley; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, for OrchKids; Central Ohio Symphony, for Reconnecting; DC Youth Orchestra Program, El Paso Symphony Orchestra, for Tocando; Grand Rapids Symphony, for Music for Health; Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, for Metropolitan Youth Orchestra; Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, for Kalamazoo Kids in Tune; Kidznotes; Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, for KSO Music & Wellness; Los Angeles Philharmonic, for Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA); Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, for Soul Strings; Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, for Progressions; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, for NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project); Orchestra of St. Luke's, for Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's (YOSL); Phoenix Symphony, for The B-Sharp Music Wellness, a W.O.N.D.E.R. Project: Alzheimer's Expansion pilot Initiative; San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, for Community Opus Project; Seattle Symphony, for NativeLands Community Composition Project; Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, for SYSO in the Schools; Spokane Symphony, for Music Heals; Stockton Symphony, for Harmony Stockton; and Yakima Symphony Orchestra for Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA).

A total of $425,000 was awarded for this year's grants, part of the League's three-year, $1.5 million re-granting program made possible by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. The orchestras, encompassing a full range of budget sizes, will receive individual grants ranging from $13,000 to $27,500 for a variety of community-based programs taking place during the 2014-15 season. 61% of the grants were awarded to after-school educational programs with social development components, 22% to health and wellness programs in hospitals, nursing homes, and treatment centers, 14% to in-school partnership programs, and 3% to orchestras' artistic programming with a focus on social issues and community dialogue. A prerequisite for qualifying orchestras was the existence of partnerships with local community or social service organizations. Details of each grantee program can be found linked here.

The initial 143 applicants were narrowed by an independent advisory panel of experts to 32 semi- finalists; all programs were then judged on a number of criteria, including innovation and relevance to community needs, strength of partnerships, extent and quality of professional development, and strength of evaluation activities, among other assessment categories.

For first-hand video accounts from grantee program stakeholders and others, visit the League's new online story bank. Health care providers, parents, musicians, orchestra administrators, and students are all spotlighted in a regularly updated array of videos, articles, and infographics, all showing the many ways in which orchestras serve communities.

About the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Michigan's premier musical organization, providing musical enrichment to over 80,000 adults and youth per year. The third-largest professional orchestra in the state, the KSO has won numerous awards and grants, including the Met Life Award for Arts Access in Underserved Communities, the National Endowment for the Arts for its extensive education programs, and a major Ford Foundation grant to found its innovative Artist-in-Residence program.

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 orchestras, 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 americanorchestras.org to learn more.

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Tags: American League of Orchestras, Getty Grant, Kalamazoo Kids In Tune, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, KKIT, kso