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Fidelity FutureStage Announces Winners, Announces Successful End To School Year

Fidelity FutureStage®, a nationally-recognized initiative created by Fidelity Investments® to support arts education across the United States on both local and national levels, wrapped up the 2009-10 season with Fidelity FutureStage students performing in three unique finale concerts with world renowned orchestras in Boston, Chicago, and Houston, a fully staged theater production on Broadway in New York, and a special performance as part of the annual opening gala at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

In an era of steadily contracting funding for arts education, this year's Fidelity FutureStage program boasted dramatic increases in reach by extending the program to 2,240 public high schools and middle schools throughout the five participating cities. Fidelity Investments wholly supported the program with donations of more than $600,000 in new musical instruments, as well as funding private instruction, field trips, and completely realized full-scale finale productions, all with the purpose of giving students across the country the tools and support to experience the life-changing power of the arts.

In addition to their undeniable material impact on arts education programs throughout the nation, this year's innovative Fidelity FutureStage programs have also provided life-changing experiences that will help shape the futures of music and theater students across the country. After his performance with the Houston Symphony on June 30, seventeen-year-old cellist Joseph Ong, a Harvard-bound Fidelity FutureStage Music Competition winner from Houston, testified to the impact the program has had on his present and his future. "Music has always been a driving force in my life," said Ong. "I am inspired by the chance to be on stage and work with the dedicated musicians at the Houston Symphony, and my experience in the Fidelity FutureStage competition has helped cement my desire to have music as a part of my life, both in college and beyond."

Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops, a partner orchestra of the Fidelity FutureStage program, expressed enthusiasm about this year's efforts, and the impact on students and members of partner orchestras alike. "It was an absolute delight to work with these talented young performers from our public schools and to be able to watch them experience the extraordinary power of music," said Lockhart. "Whether these students go on to professional music careers or become regular concert goers, the opportunities provided by Fidelity FutureStage are sure to inspire a life-long love of music."

Although this year has marked significant strides toward Fidelity FutureStage's ongoing goal of empowering students to harness the power of arts education, FutureStage activities have been fueling students' dreams since 2006. In the four short years since they launched, Fidelity FutureStage music and theater programs have touched more than 24,000 students representing 182 public schools in 27 cities across the country, and these programs continue to expand in hopes of reaching as many students as possible.

"Since we created Fidelity FutureStage, our goal has been to invest in America's next generation, bringing the power of music and theater into the lives of as many students, schools, and communities as possible," said Jennifer K. Brown, executive vice president, Fidelity Investments. "Our goal is to provide opportunities these students might not otherwise have, in effort to inspire them to dream big, strive for new goals, and realize their potential. In this way, Fidelity aims to prepare young people in our communities for the future stages of their lives."

FutureStage Playwriting Contest winner Kathy Roszczeda, who will be attending Queens College in the fall, echoed this sentiment: "I wasn't aware that I was capable of anything even remotely like this...to see my work brought to life on A real BROADWAY stage -it's amazing!"

About Fidelity FutureStage: Resources, Experiences and Mentorship
Fidelity FutureStage was created by Fidelity Investments to support music and other arts education programs in local schools and communities. The program grew from the company's long-standing commitment to arts and culture including its support of many of the nation's leading symphonies, Broadway productions and community arts organizations.

Today, working with some of the world's most recognized orchestras - including the Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic - Fidelity FutureStage provides unique educational opportunities for students to explore and expand their interests in music, including: the donation of new musical instruments, field trips to symphony rehearsals and concerts, classroom workshops by symphony musicians, professional mentoring and opportunities for student ensembles to perform in public forums.

Fidelity FutureStage music programs are underway in Boston, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, with additional support and special activities ongoing at public schools around the country.
Since 2006, Fidelity FutureStage music and theater programs have touched more than 24,000 students representing 182 public schools in 27 cities across the country. To date, the program has donated more than 1,200 new instruments valued at over $1.4 million.

For more about Fidelity FutureStage and the 2010 finale performance events visit www.futurestage.com.




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