BSO's Orchkids Announces Expansion to Third Location: Mary Winterling Elementary School
Music & Arts provides thousands of dollars worth of instruments to students
Baltimore, Md. (October 24, 2011) - The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces the expansion of its OrchKids program to the new site of Mary Winterling Elementary School ("MWES"). Inspired by BSO Music Director Marin Alsop's artistic leadership and community vision, OrchKids is a year-round during and after school program that provides music education, instruments, tutoring and mentorship to youth in Baltimore City at no cost to its participants.
Now in its fourth year, OrchKids adds Mary Winterling Elementary School (MWES) as its third location. A pre-K through 5th-grade Baltimore City Public School, MWES is located on 220 N. Bentalou Street in the Lexington neighborhood of West Baltimore. An area faced with persistent challenges of poverty, crime, drug use, unemployment and substandard housing, MWES seeks to "facilitate a safe, orderly environment, and provide opportunities for all students to progress by maintaining an effective partnership among school, home and community." The addition of MWES marks a significant milestone in achieving the BSO's vision of expanding OrchKids into more city schools, and eventually into more neighborhoods. Orchkids participants at MWES, along with those students at OrchKids' existing Lockerman Bundy Elementary School (LBES) and New Song Academy sites, will benefit from a three-year commitment of $90,000 worth of instruments and support from Maryland-based Music & Arts, a band and orchestra instrument retailer and lesson provider, with help from long-term partner and early education sponsor PNC.
Located two blocks from OrchKids' "hub" and largest host site, LBES, the program will initially serve approximately 80 pre-K and kindergarten students attending MWES. This year, students will take musicianship classes during the school day. In keeping with OrchKids' gradual and sustainable growth model, the OrchKids program at MWES will grow as the students grow: a grade level will be added each year as the participants matriculate through elementary school. Beginning next year, students will also benefit from afterschool tutoring, music instruction and free meals. In addition, MWES OrchKids will work in close collaboration with students at the hub site, given the close proximity of the two schools. For example, MWES OrchKids will join LBES OrchKids to watch guest performers, attend OrchKids concerts and, eventually, for orchestral rehearsals.
"We have seen the positive impact that OrchKids has had on the region and we are thrilled to welcome its benefits for our children at Mary Winterling," said MWES Principal Nakia Carter of the OrchKids site opening. "Music is an invaluable tool for teaching skills that extend beyond the classroom, such as discipline, confidence and cooperation with peers. I eagerly look forward to watching these youngsters grow both as musicians and as thriving individuals."
For more information about OrchKids, contact Cheryl T. Goodman, OrchKids Director of Administration and Fundraising, email@example.com or 410-783-8025.
OrchKids is a year-round after-school music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighborhoods. Under Music Director Marin Alsop's artistic leadership and direction, OrchKids is a cornerstone of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's efforts to expand the Orchestra's relevance within the City's broad and diverse community. In collaboration with several community partners, OrchKids provides music education, instruments, meals and mentorship at no cost to Baltimore's neediest youngsters.
The program is inspired by Venezuela's El Sistema, the music program that in 30 years has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in that country's most impoverished areas. Like El Sistema, OrchKids is intended primarily to address the most pervasive social challenges affecting underserved youth, using music to cultivate fundamental life skills such as self-expression, cooperative learning, discipline and creativity. With assistance from The Family League of Baltimore City and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the BSO has implemented several assessment tools to track if OrchKids participants are achieving social, academic and musical outcomes.
For the 2011-2012 school year, OrchKids serves more than 350 pre-K through fifth grade students at Lockerman Bundy Elementary School, New Song Academy and Mary Winterling Elementary School in West Baltimore and a new site, to be announced, in East Baltimore. Under OrchKids Director of Artistic Programming Dan Trahey, students receive classroom music instruction during the school day and in after-school sessions four days a week from 3:30-6:15 p.m. A typical after-school session includes classroom music instruction, group instrument lessons, tutoring assistance and a nutritious meal, courtesy of East Side Entrees. OrchKids also frequently have the opportunity to take field trips to local organizations and attend BSO concerts.
About Music & Arts
Music & Arts has served students, teachers, and families through retail stores and school representatives since 1952. Based in Frederick, MD, the company specializes in sales and rentals of music instruments, instrument repairs, and music lessons- especially for the beginning and student musician. Music & Arts now has over 100 retail locations across 20 states.
Like the BSO, Music & Arts firmly believes that music makes an important difference. The company is committed to supporting music education in our schools, and attempts to make music learning accessible for everyone. This commitment inspired Music & Arts' early investment in the OrchKids program - donating $50,000 of instruments across two years (2009-2010 and 2010-2011). With this donation, Music & Arts provided each OrchKids with an instrument of his/her own to learn and practice while solidifying their position as a vital contributor to Baltimore's diverse communities. Recently, Music & Arts reaffirmed their belief in the promise of OrchKids by dedicating $90,000 worth of instruments and supplies to support the program's planned expansion over the next three years (2011-2012 through 2013-2014). In addition, Music & Arts is providing an annual instrument repair credit of $5,000 to support instrument upkeep and maintenance. Find your nearest Music & Arts location by visiting www.musicarts.com
For many years, PNC's outstanding partnership has helped the BSO deepen its impact in the greater Baltimore community, including a 2007 award of $1 million in seed funding to launch the BSO's groundbreaking, multi-year ticket-pricing initiative that made all subscription seats available for just $25. In 2010, PNC expanded its extraordinary commitment to the BSO with a leadership gift of $500,000 to underwrite the Orchestra's signature brand of outreach and access initiatives through 2013. In alignment with PNC Grow Up Great, a bilingual program in early childhood education, an annual portion of PNC's grant is dedicated to supporting OrchKids' continued development and expansion.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. PNC has extended its signature cause, PNC Grow Up Great, by $250 million over 10 years to enhance early childhood education and school readiness. For more information, please visit www.pncgrowupgreat.com.