News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Special Project Grants

The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of eleven Special Projects totaling $290,700 in both single year and multiple year grants. These grants are in addition to multi-year commitments to Astral Artistic Services, Inc., Rider University – Westminster Choir College, and Project 440 totaling $49,000. Lucinda S. Landreth, President of the Board of Trustees, commented, “We are proud to support so many worthy music presenting, music performing and music education organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area whose projects are innovative, compelling and fill a clearly defined community need.”


Special Project Grants: (in alphabetical order)


  • Allentown Symphony Association: Organ Festival
  • Bowerbird: Julius Eastman: That Which Is Fundamental
  • Bucks County Choral Society: Voices of the Future
  • Cathedral Choir School of Delaware: Wilmington Bach Festival
  • Lyric Fest: Recording Project
  • Network for New Music: ArtMusic 2018
  • Philadelphia Chamber Music Society: Four Quartets – The Premiere Project
  • Piffaro, The Renaissance Band: Hammer Blows that Changed the World: Music of the German Reformation
  • Tempesta di Mare, Inc.: Reclaiming Telemann
  • The Mann Center for the Performing Arts: New Frontiers: Launch, Explore, Discover
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra: Bernstein Centennial Celebration


More information on the Foundation’s grant making activity can be found on it’s website


Summer greetings on behalf of the Board and staff of The Presser Foundation!

We hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer! It is a time for us to reflect, plan and, in the spirit of transparency, share some thoughts with our stakeholders.
With our charge and commitment to focus on music philanthropy, we expect our grants to help leverage your programs and to realize your goals. We see the Greater Philadelphia music community as a catalyst for innovation, a magnet for talent and fuel for economic growth. Our challenge is making the most of our assets by managing the Foundation in a way that will sustain it for the future so that it can continue to support so many wonderful music organizations.
The Foundation has consistently gifted over $3 million annually in five program areas. While our Finance Committee constantly thinks about the investment of our resources; our various grant making committees think about the impact achieved when those resources are put to work in the community.
As a result of substantial committee and staff effort, there are three areas we are going to continue to focus on and refine in 2016-17.
(1) Ensure that our Advancement of Music grants, which provide needed operating support, are consistently sized according to the grantee organization’s capacity.
(2) Better articulate and share examples of Special Project support. While Advancement of Music supports the core programs of a music organization, a Special Project grant is meant for those projects that are outside the “norm.”
(3) With over 100 years of grant making, first by Mr. Presser and then by The Foundation that was established after his death, there exist numerous buildings (known widely as Presser Halls) across the country.  The challenge for a foundation of our size is continuing to support these buildings while allowing for the support of new local Capital Projects.  In this way, we are experimenting with a new “Legacy Gift” to show meaningful support to institutions which share in our rich history.
We are looking forward to helping you realize your organization’s plans and to working with you over the next year. 


News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Capital Support Grants

April 27, 2016 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of grantees for Capital Support.  These grants, totaling $715,000 this fiscal year, are designated for capital projects that advance the cause of music education or support music philanthropy. Capital projects include the construction of new facilities and the renovation or expansion of existing facilities. New this year is a Legacy Gift to honor the life and relationships of Mr. Theodore Presser.  A $25,000 grant was given to University of Mount Union, where Mr. Presser attended and was an Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music.

Dr. Jeffrey Cornelius, Chair of the Capital Support Committee commented on these grants, Theodore Presser’s philanthropic vision guides the decisions of the Capital Support Committee of the Board of Trustees.  From the many fine project applications we receive, we carefully select those most consistent with the funding guidelines of The Foundation, which stem directly from Mr. Presser’s intentions.  We are delighted with the quality of the proposals for which we are providing funding and to join with other funding sources of these organizations in seeing these projects come to reality.

2015-16 Capital Support Grantees (in alphabetical order)

Illinois Wesleyan University, Presser Hall

Kimmel Center, Inc. | Opera Philadelphia | Pennsylvania Ballet | The Philadelphia Orchestra, Academy of Music

Lebanon Valley College

The Mann Center*

Rider University, Westminster Choir College*

Temple University, Boyer College of Music and Dance*

University of Mount Union, Legacy Gift

University of the Arts

WCR Center for the Arts, Inc.*

*Previous Multi-Year Grantee


News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Advancement of Music Grants

February 24, 2016 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of grantees for Advancement of Music. These grants, totaling $700,000, provide general operating support to music presenting, music performing and music education organizations within a 100-mile radius of Center City Philadelphia.

Michael Stairs, Chair of the Advancement of Music Committee, provides comment, “On behalf of The Presser Foundation, we are gratified to support such a vibrant and high-quality group of musical organizations.  These grantees create exciting, rewarding and meaningful experiences for both students and audiences of serious music.  It is an honor to provide critical general operating support to these thriving organizations in the Greater Philadelphia Area.” 

2015-16 Advancement of Music Grantees (in alphabetical order)

Academy of Vocal Arts

Allentown Symphony Association

Ars Nova Workshop

Astral Artistic Services, Inc.

Bucks County Choral Society

Cathedral Choir School of Delaware

Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

Chester Children’s Chorus

Choral Arts Philadelphia

Commonwealth Youth Choirs

Community Conservatory

Community Music School Lehigh Valley

Community Music School of Collegeville

Darlington Arts Center

Delaware County Youth Orchestra

Delaware Symphony Orchestra

Dolce Suono Ensemble

Kimmel Center, Inc.

Lancaster Symphony Orchestra


Lyric Fest

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia


Network for New Music


Opera Philadelphia

Orchestra 2001

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band

Play On, Philly!

PRISM Quartet, Inc.

Reading Symphony Orchestra

Settlement Music School

Singing City

State Theatre Regional Arts Center at New Brunswick, Inc.

Symphony in C

Tempesta di Mare, Inc.

Temple University Music Preparatory Division

The Allentown Band

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem

The Crossing

The Mann Center of the Performing Arts

The Music School of Delaware

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Trenton Community Music School

Tri-County Concerts Association, Inc.


Christmas in Germany, December 2016

Christmas in Germany December 2015Christmas in Germany – Dresden Vespers

A collaboration among Piffaro: The Renaissance Band, Tempesta di Mare, and Choral Arts Society

Photo: December 18, 2015 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
Credit: William DiCecca

Audio of Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme, Michael Praetorius available at:

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