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League of American Orchestras Announces Recipients Of Ford Musician Awards

The awards recognize professional musicians’ deeply impactful work outside the concert hall.

Five orchestra musicians will receive Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras at the League's 76th National Conference, Online June 7-17, 2021. Supported by Ford Motor Company Fund, the awards recognize professional musicians' deeply impactful work outside the concert hall, much of it virtual this year due to the pandemic.

The 2021 awardees work with both adults and children in a rich variety of community settings, using music as a therapeutic tool for adults with severe and persistent mental health challenges; providing pop-up concerts during food bank distributions; bringing orchestra musicians to a regional hospital and the many constituents it serves; organizing front-porch private violin lessons and schoolyard group classes during the pandemic to breach the digital divide; and bringing the joy of music to toddlers and their families.

"The musicians we see on stage making great music together in an orchestra are all treasured individual members of their communities. Many of them are using their talents and humanity to teach, to inspire, and to draw out the power of music for comfort and healing," said League President and CEO Simon Woods. "This award honors that work, and the incredible generosity of spirit that underpins it. We're grateful to Ford Motor Company Fund for their years of support for this important program-made even more meaningful due to the pandemic."

"These five musicians have truly gone above and beyond for their communities over the past year, creating lasting positive impacts during such an uncertain time," said Yisel Cabrera, Manager, Government and Community Relations, Ford Motor Company Fund. "When people couldn't get together in person, being able to connect through music brought joy to so many."

Since 2016, 25 professional orchestra musicians from across the country have received awards. Honorees were selected through a competitive application process; each musician receives a cash award of $2,500 and complimentary registration to the League's National Conference. The musician's orchestra receives a grant of $2,500 to support professional development for its roster of musicians, as well as complimentary registration for one staff member to attend the Conference.

The 2021 awardees will be recognized at the League of American Orchestras online Conference during the Opening Session on Monday, June 7 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. They will also present their work at "Partnering Effectively," a joint constituency meeting for musicians and education and community engagement staff, on Monday, June 14 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Videos of the musicians' work will be posted on the League's website after the Conference.



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