Core News Facts
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Young Musicians Foundation, the 55-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the careers of pre-professional musicians, will be presenting its Debut Orchestra in a special concert for Los Angeles high school students, sponsored by State Farm and organized through Teach For America. The concert performance, under the baton of YMF Musical Supervisor and Conductor, Case Scaglione, and featuring the organization’s full 96-piece ensemble, will take place at the recently opened Helen Bernstein High School auditorium in Hollywood, at 1:30 p.m., on Friday, April 17.
As many as 900 students are expected to attend the concert of Mahler’s Symphony, No. 1, “Titan.” For many, this will be their first concert experience with a live, full classical orchestra, as well as the school’s first such event since opening its doors earlier this school year.
This will also be the first such YMF outreach concert subsidized by one of the organization’s corporate sponsors, State Farm. The cooperative event was the inspiration of Scaglione. The 26-year-old conductor was presented as YMF’s new Musical Director in November. Scaglione is a passionate advocate for bringing music education and the enjoyment of classical music to a wider, young audience that may not normally have access to such an experience.
“We are thrilled and very grateful to both State Farm and Teach For America for being vital contributors to the effort of creating this special outreach event,” said YMF Executive Director Edye Rugolo. “For many of these students, we expect that this will be their first exposure to live classical music.”
Rugolo points out that many arts programs no longer exist in Los Angeles public schools due to budgetary restrictions. “It is YMF’s goal to inspire some of these children to pursue the study of a musical instrument or voice instruction,” she said.
“Working together, we can improve the quality of life for all Californians and strengthen our viability as a business, said Rand Harbert, senior vice president, State Farm California. “Everyday, State Farm agents and employees help people recover from life’s many uncertainties and reach their dreams. State Farm is proud to partner with Teach For America in helping to bring excellence to the classroom and with the Young Musicians Foundation in their efforts to help young people realize their full potential, academically and artistically.”
“Teach For America is proud to be able to assist YMF and State Farm in realizing this valuable outreach program,” said Kristin Jensen, corporate and foundation relations, Teach For America. “Our goal is to expand educational opportunities for all students. Giving children the opportunity to experience a live concert and to realize that music instruction is a possibility through organizations such as YMF may prove to be an invaluable experience for their future development.”
Recently, YMF kicked off “Be Instrumental,” their annual donation drive. The purpose of Be Instrumental is to collect new and used instruments that will be given to underserved local elementary school children that are interested in learning to play a musical instrument but whose schools do not have music-instruction programs. Donors are encouraged to call YMF office at (310) 859-7668 to schedule a drop-off time. YMF will have the instrument appraised and issue a tax-deduction letter to the donor. Donors may also make a monetary contribution to support the program.
Sunday, April 19, the YMF Debut Orchestra will present its final concert of the 2008-2009 season again performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, as well as the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto, No. 2. Connie Kim-Sheng is the pianist. The concert is free to the public and will take place at The Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills at 4 p.m.
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About Young Musicians Foundation: Founded by Sylvia Kunin in 1955, Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) has been a national treasure and the Los Angeles “home team” for more than 50 years. YMF is one of the oldest and most respected youth organizations on the West coast serving young musicians both locally and nationwide by providing performance opportunities, financial assistance, and music education programs to thousands of young musicians at all stages of development each year. YMF administers the following youth programs: Debut Orchestra, Conductor-in-Training post, BMI Composer-in-Residence, Scholarship Program, Chamber Music Series, Arts Management Training Program, National Debut Competition, School Outreach Program, Mentor Artists Program, National Orchestra Camp, and Instrument Loan Program. More information is available at ymf.org.
About the Debut Orchestra: The Debut Orchestra is the second oldest pre-professional training orchestra in the country and is comprised of 70 talented musicians ages 15-25 from the greater Los Angeles area. Alumni of the orchestra perform with nearly every major orchestra in the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The orchestra’s rich history includes more than 40 premieres, including works by such world-renown composers as Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl and Michael Torke. Musicians are selected each year through blind auditions adjudicated by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other eminent Los Angeles-based musicians. Orchestra members receive a scholarship to support their studies. The thousands of Debut alumni in orchestras around the world illustrate the importance and success of the training they receive.
About Teach For America: Teach for America is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 by Princeton University senior Wendy Kopp as her undergraduate thesis. Kopp was convinced that many in her generation were searching for a way to assume a significant responsibility that would make a real difference in the world and that top college students would choose teaching over more lucrative opportunities if a prominent teacher corps existed. Kopp raised $2.5 million of start-up financing, hired a skeletal staff and launched a grass roots recruitment campaign. Today, Teach For America is a national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic majors and career interests who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunities. More information is available at teachforamerica.org.
State Farm, PA Specialist
(818) 324 – 1204