The Presser Foundation Announces Special Project Grants
December 22, 2015 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of thirteen Special Projects totaling $366,500 in both single year and multiple year grants. 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)
More information on the Foundation’s grant making activity can be found on it’s website www.presserfoundation.org.
The Presser Foundation Board President, Lucinda Landreth, spoke on behalf of The Foundation at the Dedication Ceremony for Settlement Music School Germantown Branch (6128 Germantown Avenue) on Saturday, December 5, 2015. The Germantown Branch has completed the first part of a major renovation totaling $1.8 million.
The Germantown renovation project has been years in the making, and has been made possible by a combination of public and private funders (including The Presser Foundation), as well as cooperation from neighbors and community organizations, in order to make the improvements that will equip the branch to serve as an anchor institution for the neighborhood. Most notably, the branch and adjacent parking lot have been reconfigured to accommodate 4 acres of stormwater runoff, creating water management solutions for a large portion of Germantown in addition to Settlement’s own property.
June 23, 2015 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce new Officers: President – Lucinda S. Landreth; Vice President – Jeffrey Cornelius; Secretary – Sharon Sorokin; Treasurer – William M. Davison, 4th.
Ms. Landreth had a successful career in investment management and currently serves as independent trustee of Delaware Investment Family of Funds. In addition to her work at The Presser Foundation since 2007, Ms. Landreth is an active volunteer, holding various positions at Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and LEADERSHIP, Inc., amongst others. Commenting on her new appointment, Ms. Landreth remarked, “The Presser Foundation has been supporting retired music teachers and music students at over 200 undergraduate and graduate institutions, and providing general operating, capital and special project support to musical organizations for more than 75 years. It has a very well respected history of philanthropy and it is a privilege to be asked to guide the Foundation, its staff and dedicated Trustees to continue this legacy.”
Trustees expressed their gratitude to Robert Capanna for the ten years he served as President presenting him with a special resolution and commission for a new piece of music in partnership with Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Remarking on the milestone, Mr. Capanna said “I am very pleased to end my tenure as President of The Foundation with a successful transition to a wonderful new management team, a much-improved on-line grant application process and terrific new leadership for the Board of Trustees. By leveraging the expertise of our board and limiting our administrative expense, The Presser Foundation is well positioned to continue to have a positive impact on the musical life of the Philadelphia region.”
Trustees elected for a three-year term through June 30, 2018 include: Peter Burwasser, Robert Capanna, William B. McLaughlin, III, Ellen Rosen, Corey R. Smith and Mark Wait. Ellen Rosen, a new Trustee, is a former business executive who worked at various financial services companies. Ms. Rosen serves as Treasurer of The Print Center and on the Board of Alliance Française. She also volunteers at the Henry C. Lea School library for the West Philadelphia Alliance For Children.
Anthony Checchia and Robert W. Denious served as Trustees of The Presser Foundation since 1991 and 1995 respectively. In recognition for their exemplary service, the gentlemen received the title of Honorary Trustee and each given the opportunity to provide a grant to a musical organization.
May 5, 2015 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of grantees for Capital Support. These grants, totaling $760,000 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.
Dr. Jeffrey Cornelius, Chair of the Capital Support Committee commented on these grants, “Theodore Presser’s commitment to advancing the cause of music and music education was especially far reaching, resulting in a Foundation that takes a multi-faceted approach toward meeting his vision. The Capital Support initiative, one of many support areas within the Foundation, has long underwritten “bricks and mortar” projects that help institutions carry out their respective missions in facilities that maximize the goals of the applicant organization and the Foundation. These projects, because of the significant financial outlay required for building and renovating facilities, often make the critical difference in enabling non-profit music organizations, whether academic or presentation-oriented, to meet an optimal standard of excellence. This year’s grantees are making outstanding contributions to the cause of music and music education, and the Foundation is delighted to be able to support them in this way.”
2014-15 Capital Support Grantees (in alphabetical order)
Academy of Vocal Arts*
Elizabethtown College, Zug Memorial Hall
The Longy School of Music of Bard College, Bakalar Library
The Mann Center*
Rider University, Westminster Choir College*
Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts*
Settlement Music School, Germantown Branch
Stetson University, Presser Hall
Temple Univeristy, Boyer College of Music and Dance*
WCR Center for the Arts, Inc.
Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the new-music collective Bang on a Can, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields. The work, commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and supported by The Presser Foundation with a Special Projects Grant, has been described by the Pulitzer jury as “a powerful oratorio for chorus and sextet evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century.”
The official prize description is as follows: For distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Anthracite Fields premiered in Philadelphia on April 26, 2014. You can watch this video to learn more about “The Making of Anthracite Fields.”
March 10, 2015 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of grantees for Advancement of Music. These grants, totaling almost $650,000, provide general operating support to music presenting, music performing and music education organizations within a 100-mile radius of Center City Philadelphia.
Michael Stairs commented on the Advancement of Music grants, “Nothing gives me more joy as Chair of the Advancement Committee than giving grants to area musical organizations that are performing high quality music in a high quality manner. These fine organizations report back to us that they feel grateful for the support of The Presser Foundation throughout their seasons.”
2014-15 Advancement of Music Grantees (in alphabetical order)Academy of Vocal Arts Allentown Symphony Association Ars Nova Workshop Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos Astral Artistic Services, Inc. Bowerbird 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 Musicopia Network for New Music OperaDelaware Opera Philadelphia Orchestra 2001 Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Piffaro, The Renaissance Band PRISM Quartet, Inc. Reading Symphony Orchestra Settlement Music School Singing City Symphony in C Tempesta di Mare, Inc. Temple University Music Preparatory Division The American Boychoir School The Bach Choir of Bethlehem The Crossing The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading, Inc. The Mann Center of the Performing Arts The Peabody Preparatory of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University The Philadelphia Orchestra Tri-County Concerts Association, Inc. Valley Forge Chorale
THE PRESSER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SPECIAL PROJECT GRANTS
December 23, 2014 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of three Special Project grantees including Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; Piffaro, The Renaissance Band; and Settlement Music School. These grants, totaling $52,500, are in addition to the $184,500 in 75th Anniversary grants and $91,500 in commitments to multi-year Special Projects. The Presser Foundation is proud to contribute well over $325,000 to so many worthy music presenting, music performing and music education organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area.
New Special Project Grants:
• Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia: A Fused Muse: Technology Meets Composition $15,000
• Piffaro, The Renaissance Band: The Dresden Vespers $30,000
• Settlement Music School: A Concert Performance Celebrating a 21st Century Repertoire for a 21st Century Music School $7,500
Committed Multi-Year Special Project Grants:
• Independence Charter School: Mariachi at Independence Charter $20,000
• Philadelphia Chamber Music Society: Philadelphia Connections $50,000
• Tempesta di Mare: Performance at the Kimmel Center $15,000
• The Crossing: The Crossing in Residency at JS Jenks Academy for Arts & Sciences $6,500
More information on the Foundation’s grant making activity can be found on it’s website www.presserfoundation.org.
The Presser Foundation announces a change in the due date for Capital Support Proposals. In order to accommodate a site visit, The Presser Foundation requests that Proposals for Capital Support be submitted by February 1st. This change has been posted on The Presser Foundation website and will be communicated by staff to potential grantees.
If you have any questions related to this grant making area or this change of date, please contact a member of staff.
October 28, 2014 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The Presser Foundation announces the selection of Dr. E. Douglas Bomberger to write a full-length research article on the life and work of The Foundation’s benefactor, Theodore Presser.
The Trustees put forth a request for proposals for a full-length research article to provide a better understanding of Mr. Presser’s background, influences, and accomplishments in relation to the events and ideas of his time and place. Dr. Bomberger, chosen amongst a pool of thirteen applicants to receive a $35,000 grant, will complete extensive research. It is the hope of the Trustees that the article will be published in a suitable academic or professional journal.
Peter Burwasser, Trustee and Chair of the Sub-Committee to select the scholar noted, “The Presser Foundation looks forward to the first major biography of Theodore Presser with great anticipation and excitement. Dr. Bomberger’s winning proposal for this project demonstrated superb research capabilities, enthusiasm about the subject, and a fine, lively writing style. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands.”
About Dr. E. Douglas Bomberger
Dr. Bomberger, Chairman of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Elizabethtown College, is a leading expert on nineteenth-century American music. He is the author of MacDowell (Oxford, 2013) and served as senior editor for nineteenth-century music for the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, second edition. He holds a PhD in historical musicology from the University of Maryland-College Park and an MM in piano performance from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Before accepting the chairmanship of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Elizabethtown College in 2005, Dr. Bomberger taught at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for eleven years.
About The Presser Foundation
The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the Deeds of Trust and Will of the late Theodore Presser. It is one of the few private foundations in the United States dedicated solely to music education and music philanthropy. The Presser Foundation supports music performance and education through undergraduate and graduate scholar awards, operating and program support for music organizations, capital grants for music building projects, and assistance to retired music teachers. Much of the grant making focus of the Foundation is on organizations and institutions in the 100-mile radius surrounding Center City Philadelphia. For more information: www.presserfoundation.org
The Presser Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on music education and advancement that awards approximately $3 million a year ($2 million locally), has recently taken steps to modernize and boost its transparency.
…Before his death, Presser himself outlined the Foundation’s five areas of grantmaking. He also established the Mount Airy-based Presser Home for Retired Music Teachers.
Two years ago, however, in recognition of the “changing times,” the Foundation’s trustees took a harder look at their operations, including ways to modernize, cut costs, and divert more charitable dollars directly to grantmaking.
Read more of the article on generocity.org here.