The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State a $400,000 grant to support the continuation of the Classical Music Project through June 2017.
The goals of the Classical Music Project—entering its sixth season—are to raise the profile of Center for the Performing Arts classical music presentations and to engage Penn State students, faculty and the community with classical music programs. The aim is to provide opportunities for students to gain an understanding and appreciation of classical music that will last throughout their lives.
“We are extremely grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their continuing support,” said George Trudeau, director of the Center for the Performing Arts. “We look forward to engaging students and the community with the multidimensional Classical Music Project artists and programs we’ve envisioned for the coming three years.”
The Center for the Performing Arts, along with its Penn State partners, will organize a multifaceted program with the following key elements:
The project will bring a wide range of professional instrumental and vocal ensembles to Penn State during the next three seasons for intensive multi-day residency and performance projects. A number of artists and ensembles will return over several seasons. A partnership with Sphinx, an organization that supports classical music of color, will bring Sphinx artists to Penn State in the second and third years of the project.
Student Ambassador Program
A Student Ambassador Program will be developed in partnership with the Penn State School of Music. Classical Music Student Ambassadors—selected for their musicianship, leadership and commitment to music advocacy—will be provided with residency training and will create and implement student-centered engagement and advocacy programs.
The center supports the creation of works and presents co-commissioned music through its membership in the national classical-music-commissioning consortium Music Accord. In order to provide opportunities for direct contact with some of the leading creators of new classical music, composers of works being presented will be invited to engage in residencies with students, faculty and the community.
In collaboration with the Penn State Alumni Association, the project will continue the Classical Coffeehouse series at the Hintz Family Alumni Center. In partnership with Residence Life, the project will bring classical music ensembles into student living environments, and a range of student organizations will be engaged to take ownership of student life programs.
Penn State Altoona Partnership
The project’s partnership with Penn State Altoona will continue to bring two classical ensembles to the Altoona campus and the surrounding community each season for residency and performance programs.
The project will continue the faculty and curricular relationships developed during the first three years, including the innovative online course “Under the Hood: How Classical Music Works.” Identifying and supporting connections between classical music and other domains will be a focus of the project in partnership with the College of the Liberal Arts, the Schreyer Honors College and other academic units. The project’s new faculty liaison, Carrie Jackson, associate professor of German and linguistics at Penn State, will lead those efforts. Marica Tacconi, professor of musicology at Penn State, will continue her involvement with the project as faculty liaison for the School of Music.