Orchestra Iowa has received $381,000 from the U.S. Department of Education, and the Seattle Symphony announced that it has successfully raised $1.7 million in the past six weeks, inspired by an anonymous $850,000 challenge. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley reported on September 2 that the U.S. Department of Education has released $381,000 to Orchestra Iowa. “These funds will help Orchestra Iowa teach young Iowans about classical music through various activities and events,” said Grassley. The funds will support in-school and afterschool activities; role modeling and mentoring by orchestra musicians; live concerts and radio and television programming reflecting national music standards; and multimedia materials for use in homes, in schools, and in afterschool programs. The Seattle Symphony received a $850,000 challenge gift on July 22; it was matched 100 percent through what the orchestra describes as “heroic efforts” on the part of orchestra staff and board before the fiscal year closed on August 31. By late August, the orchestra had received $766,468 toward the $850,00 match; President and Executive Director Thomas Philion reports that “it was down to the wire” when the orchestra received word that the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts & Sciences had pledged the capping gift.

Posted September 4, 2009