Press Release 11/12/2012 - IN UNISON Grant
ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY RECEIVES $160,000 FROM MONSANTO FUND
TO SUPPORT IN UNISON® PROGRAM
St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Symphony announced it has received $160,000 from the Monsanto Fund to support the IN UNISON® program. The IN UNISON program is designed to provide music-related resources to predominantly African-American churches in the region while increasing community access to Powell Hall. The grant will be used to continue and strengthen the program’s mission, including funding music scholarships for minority students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in music or music education.
This year, for the first time, an IN UNISON scholarship recipient has been named to the St. Louis Symphony’s Youth Orchestra. Joseph Hendricks, a bassoon player, makes his debut with the Youth Orchestra during its upcoming concert on Friday, November 16 at 7pm.
“The IN UNISON program is a fantastic opportunity for St. Louis-area youth to experience the power of music and the educational advantages that are a part of it,” said Deborah Patterson, president of the Monsanto Fund. “We are proud to fund this program and further the community’s access to the arts.”
“As a flagship program of the St. Louis Symphony’s community engagement efforts, IN UNISON speaks very directly to the importance of the St. Louis Symphony’s ongoing and always deepening relationship across and with a rich diversity of communities,” said Fred Bronstein, President/CEO of the St. Louis Symphony. “The history of the program is robust, and its future bright thanks to the continuing commitment of our partners in the IN UNISON churches around St. Louis, and to Monsanto for recognizing the importance of these partnerships.”
The IN UNISON program began in 1992 with five churches, and today reaches more than 20,000 people in more than 40 churches in St. Louis. Through the program, St. Louis Symphony musicians visit churches and provide music for services and other events. IN UNISON church members are eligible for discounts at Powell Hall. In addition to its college scholarships, IN UNISON also provides financial assistance to church youth so they may attend summer music camps and/or receive year-long music instruction.
The IN UNISON Chorus was founded in 1994 and is comprised of IN UNISON church members and others in the community. The group regularly performs twice a year at Powell Hall: during A Gospel Christmas (Thursday, December 20, featuring Take 6) and for the Lift Every Voice: Black History Month performance (Friday, February 22, 2013 featuring soloist Wintley Phipps). The IN UNISON Chorus is led by Kevin McBeth.