Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Announces 2019-2020 Grant Recipients For PlayUSA

Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Announces 2019-2020 Grant Recipients For PlayUSA

Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute (WMI) today 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-Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Empire State Youth Orchestra, Hawaii Youth Symphony, Juneau Alaska Music Matters, and Trenton Music Makers-for a total of $500,000 in grants. In addition to financial support, the grantees join a nationwide network of innovative organizations committed to providing transformative music education opportunities for youth across the country.

New partners will receive one year of funding, and returning partners will receive two-year grants, both of which include consultation with Carnegie Hall staff, professional development for teachers, access to online resources and monthly webinars. In addition, an intervisitation will give partners a chance to come together in one national site and learn from each other's practices. PlayUSA grants may be used to underwrite teaching fees for music instruction; purchase or rental of musical instruments as well as instrumental repair; and other programmatic costs.

"We are excited to welcome five fantastic and inspiring music education organizations to the PlayUSA community and continue to support educators around the country that are bringing high-quality, thoughtful instruction to the next generation of talented young musicians," said Sarah Johnson, Carnegie Hall's Chief Education Officer and Director of the Hall's Weill Music Institute. "PlayUSA has built a robust and diverse national network of leaders in the music education field, and we look forward to collaborating and learning from one another in our fifth anniversary season, reaching more young people than ever before."

Prior to welcoming the new partners, PlayUSA's 2018-2019 season concludes with a summer convening held at Carnegie Hall from July 26-28 centered around the theme of "Artistry and Belonging," exploring ways to strengthen partnerships with families and local communities. PUBLIQuartet leads the keynote address and activity exploring belonging and social identity, and violinist Shaw Pong Liu and Clarissa Turner, the founder of Legacy Lives On, leads a session on the role of music in healing and dialogue. Additional guest artists include oboist Hassan Anderson, Rajeeyah Finnie-Myers of the DreamYard Project, and educators Margaret Jenks and Randal Swiggum. Dennie Palmer Wolf from the arts research firm WolfBrown will also work with students, teachers, and staff to evaluate the impact of PlayUSA for an upcoming whitepaper to be released in spring 2020.

For more information about PlayUSA, visit

About the New Grantees

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 (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.

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 (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 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.

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You