National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $15,000 to the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) for its Composition Program. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the New York Youth Symphony, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”
The NYYS Composition program, under the direction of Dr. Kyle Blaha, provides tuition-free music education to 16 students between the ages of 12 and 22. The students participate in seminars with eminent composers and musicians, including this season’s guests Evan Ziporyn, Melinda Wagner, Ted Hearne, and Sean Shepherd, among others. Reading sessions with professional musicians, including the Attacca Quartet, organist Ryan Jackson, and the Decoda ensemble allow students to learn how to strengthen their craft through hands-on experiences. Each season culminates in a performance of original student works at Symphony Space.
Shauna Quill, Executive Director of the NYYS said, “We are thrilled for the continued support from the NEA, and proud to be recognized for our composition program which provides tremendous training and opportunities for young composers.”
About the NYYS
The New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) is a leader in music education, performance, and commissioning in the New York metropolitan area. Founded in 1963, the New York Youth Symphony's first performance at Carnegie Hall featured a young Israeli violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Now in its 54th season, the organization has grown significantly and offers groundbreaking and rigorous programs in composition, conducting, chamber music, jazz, and commissioning – and in the last two years, international touring opportunities. Its mission is to educate and inspire young musicians through exceptional ensemble training and performance opportunities. In addition the NYYS aims to develop the next generation of musical citizens, whose involvement in music lasts a lifetime, and whose assets built by music engagement will fuel their success in life – personal development, creativity, self-discipline, resiliency, and an ability to work well with others.