The Walden School Awarded Prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Grant

May 18th, 2011

$35,000 Grant Will Support School’s Composition Immersion Program


“The Walden School is one of America’s greatest hidden treasures. Though there are many music camps, there isn’t another like The Walden School with its focus on nurturing musicianship through the act of composing and creating. The Walden School’s unique curriculum nurtures the talent we need for the future of classical music – building young musicians who truly understand the power of making music from the perspective of the composer.” – Joan Tower, composer

DUBLIN, NH – Imagine 100-plus world premieres in five weeks. That’s what The Walden School’s Young Musicians Program inspires each summer, when musically inclined students, ages 9-18, arrive on the beautiful campus for rigorous and innovative daily instruction that helps students find, develop and claim their creative voices. This work culminates in the creation of at least one compositional work by each student. Each work is critiqued and performed by faculty and fellow students, and by guest artists who are among the top artists in the field, who have included The Walden School Players, the Peabody Trio and the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, among countless others. The 2011 Young Musicians Program runs June 25 – July 31. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has recognized the vital importance of this Composition Immersion Program, also know as the Young Musicians Program, by awarding it a $35,000 grant. The 2011 grant marks the fourth NEA grant received by The Walden School in 10 years. The NEA is an independent agency of the federal government that advances artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The Walden School is one of 229 not-for-profit national, regional, state, and local organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency’s Learning in the Arts for Children and Youth grant support program, providing more than $7.4 million in funding. The grant was announced by NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, who states, “NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts. The diverse, innovative and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts.”

The Walden School’s Executive Director Seth Brenzel says, “The Walden School is thrilled with the grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Not only will the award allow us to sustain and grow our unique music immersion program for creative young musicians in 2012 and beyond, the grant helps to recognize The Walden School’s important contributions over the last 40 years to creative and innovative music education in the United States.” In other recent news regarding recognition of The Walden School:  On May 2, The Walden School received the 2011 New Music Educator Award from the American Music Center in honor of its creative philosophy and curriculum, and its contribution toward motivating and mentoring decades of successful students.  On May 5, The Walden School was named one of 50 finalists for the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NYHYP) by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Out of 471 nominations from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the School was named a finalist and is in contention for a $10,000 one-time grant and an invitation to attend the White House awards ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. The Walden School, founded in 1972, is an acclaimed summer music school and festival offering programs that emphasize creative application, specifically through music improvisation and composition. In residence since 1983 on the beautiful campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, the School provides an inspiring retreat-like environment ideal for creative music making, with a student/faculty ration of 4 to 1. The Walden School is the successor organization to the Junior Conservatory Camp. The School’s core programs include the Young Musicians Program for musicians ages 9 to 18, the Teacher Training Institute for music educators and the Creative Musicians Retreat for adults. The School’s Concert Series showcases free public performances by renowned artists and ensembles that interact closely with students. To learn more, visit www.waldenschool.org. The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov.

Contact: Seth Brenzel
Executive Director, The Walden School
Email: sbrenzel@waldenschool.org
Telephone: (415) 648-4710 (office)

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