HomeAbout UsKso NewsAwardKalamazoo Symphony Orchestra to Receive Getty Education and Community Investment Grant to develop Kalamazoo Kids in Tune Program

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra to Receive Getty Education and Community Investment Grant to develop Kalamazoo Kids in Tune Program


Kalamazoo, MI January 27, 2016 – Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is one of only twenty-two orchestras from across the United States selected by the League of American Orchestras to receive a Getty Education and Community Investment Grant. The grant was awarded to develop the orchestra’s Kalamazoo Kids in Tune program, and is a recognition of the KSO’s innovation and dedication to increasing its relevance to the community.
Says KSO President and CEO Peter H. Gistelinck, “The KSO recognizes the need in our community for equity in access to full participation in music and the arts. Increasing access to musical experiences is a key priority within our newly completed strategic plan. Through Kalamazoo Kids in Tune, we are able to welcome students and families into 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 continuing to support this critical program,” said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “Orchestras continue to expand their vital role in civic and community life, with musicians acting as ambassadors, advocates, and educators. The League is a catalyst in this work, as we share success stories and ideas with the entire orchestral field, helping orchestras deepen their relationship with their communities and develop diverse audiences.”
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 80 students and recently expanded from 1st-5th grade to include 6th grade “graduates” as members of the “KKIT Leadership” program.
One KKIT parent adds, “Both of my daughters are involved in KIT. They absolutely love it. Not only are they with their "family" after school, 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!”
Getty Education and Community Investment Grants recipients for 2015-16 are:

  • Allentown Symphony Orchestra, for El Sistema Lehigh Valley
  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, for OrchKids
  • El Paso Symphony Orchestra, for Tocando
  • Empire State Youth Orchestras for CHIME: Creating Harmony Invigorating Music Education
  • Grand Rapids Symphony, for Music for Health
  • Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, for Metropolitan Youth Orchestra
  • Juneau Symphony for Juneau, Alaska Music Matters (JAMM)
  • 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
  • New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, for NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project)
  • New West Symphony for Harmony Project of Ventura County
  • Orchestra of St. Luke's, for Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL)
  • Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra for RSO/SPHERE Partnership
  • San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, for Community Opus Project
  • Seattle Symphony, for Lullaby Project
  • Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, for SYSO in the Schools
  • The Phoenix Symphony, for The B-Sharp Music Wellness, a W.O.N.D.E.R. Project: Alzheimer’s Expansion Initiative
  • Waterbury Symphony Orchestra for Bravo Waterbury!
  • Yakima Symphony Orchestra for Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA)

A total of $425,000 was awarded for this year’s grants, the fourth year of the $ 2 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 $15,000 to $27,500 for a variety of community-based programs taking place during the 2015-16 season. A prerequisite for qualifying orchestras was the existence of partnerships with local community or social service organizations.
The initial 115 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.
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.

Tags: award, Getty Grant, Kalamazoo Kids In Tune, KCIS, KKIT, KPS, KSO education programs, program development