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PYO Music Institute Receives Grant From National Endowment For The Arts

Grant will support PYO Music Institute's after-school music program, directed by Paul Smith. 

Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of PYO Music Institute (PYOMI), has announced that they have received the 2022 Grant for Arts Projects Award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support Tune Up Philly -- (Orchestral Pathways Program (TUP). This is the PYO Music Institute's after-school music program, directed by Paul Smith.

TUP focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum. PYOMI will receive $20,000 for general programmatic support for TUP, which is among 1,125 projects across America totaling more than $26.6 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2022 funding.

"The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including PYO Music Institute, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives," said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. "The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience."

Scaglione shared his great appreciation and said, "To be recognized by the NEA is always a great honor especially to be included with so many other worthwhile programs in the United States. Providing music instruction to students in Tune Up Philly is a very important aspect of PYOMI as we have the ability to reach hundreds of under-resourced youth each year and we see the positive difference music makes in their lives."

TUP Director, composer/guitarist Paul Smith added his appreciation. He said, "This first-time acknowledgement from the NEA is a testament that programs like Tune Up Philly are becoming a fabric of 21st century artistry. The more these education opportunities are recognized, the more success we will all have in reaching many more students."

About PYO Music Institute:

The renowned PYO Music Institute, now in its 82nd season, is one of the nation's oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance programs. PYO Music Institute provides talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training and is committed to supporting tomorrow's leaders. Its students go on to excel in many diverse fields and many become professional orchestral musicians, performing locally and all across the world. Many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are proud alumni of PYO Music Institute.

The anchor group is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 125 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 15-21. Young musicians 13-18 years old are featured in PYO's companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who also serves as Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. Young Musicians Debut Orchestra (YMDO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning- to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra featuring students aged 11-17 that often provides an introduction to large orchestral playing. Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute of Music Dean, Paul Bryan, is an all-brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. Prysm Strings and Prysm Strings Young Artists ensembles provide large string ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of Prysm Strings is Gloria dePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the conductor of Prysm Strings Young Artists is Andrea Weber. Tune Up Philly - Orchestral Pathways Program (TUP) is the PYO Music Institute's after-school music program, directed by Paul Smith who also directs the newest ensemble, Pizzicato Players, for 12 to 21-year-old student musicians. This ensemble was created to provide musical experience pathways in advanced and intermediate settings and to raise the profile for such plucked instruments as the Classical/Acoustic Guitar, Harp and "Folk" Harp, Mandolin, Lute and Theorbo.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, students participated in a range of virtual rehearsals and programs, enabling them to maintain their involvement and dedication to orchestral music. In-person rehearsals with the option for virtual participation returned in the spring of 2021, and students have returned to in-person rehearsals and performances for the 2021-2022 season.

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