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.
THE PRESSER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD TRUSTEES
August 1, 2014 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The Presser Foundation announces the following Trustees elected for a 3-year term. The new board members were installed as of June 19, 2014. Their terms will last through June 30, 2017.
Martin A. Heckscher
Radclyffe F. Thompson
Robert Capanna, President of the Board of Trustees of The Presser Foundation noted, “Serving on the board of a thriving foundation like The Presser Foundation requires dedication, time, and a commitment to music philanthropy. We are incredibly grateful for the service of Michael, Martin, Radclyffe (Mike), and Jeff for providing their time and talents to strengthening our organization.”
Michael Stairs is organist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has held the Buck Chair in Music at The Haverford School in Haverford, PA. Mr. Stairs earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and holds an Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. For many years he was an assistant organist at the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ and now serves on the Executive Board of Friends of the Wanamaker Organ. Michael is also a member of the Philadelphia Organ Quartet, which performed on four Allen instruments at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Philadelphia. A much sought-after recitalist and educational consultant, Mr. Stairs has made numerous recordings, including several on the famed Longwood Gardens organ. Michael serves on the boards of the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ and The Garrigues Foundation in addition to The Presser Foundation where he chairs the Advancement Committee.
Martin A. Heckscher was an associate and then partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Duane Morris & Heckscher from 1959 to 1994. The only interruption to this affiliation was a 2.5-year stint as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia from 1966 to 1968. Since 1994 Mr. Heckscher has been a partner at Heckscher Teillon Terrill & Sager in Conshohocken. Mr. Heckscher was a co-founder, board member and president of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia from approximately 1976 to 1988. He has served on numerous nonprofit and for profit boards in addition to The Presser Foundation including: the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries, Pennsylvania Hospital and PSFS. Mr. Heckscher was a trustee of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation and the Dolfinger McMahon Foundation.
Radclyffe F. Thompson is a Senior Business Development Consultant of Pennsylvania Trust, specializing in trust sales. He has over 30 years of experience in new business development and estate planning at Pennsylvania Trust and in the trust divisions of The Bryn Mawr Trust Company and Provident National Bank. Mr. Thompson is on the board of The Bruce Montgomery Foundation for the Arts, and the Development Committees of Saunders House/Bryn Mawr Terrace Nursing Homes and The Singing City Choir in addition to his service at The Presser Foundation where he chairs the Assistance Committee. He is a board member and treasurer of The Free Quaker Society and is on the Stewardship and Finance Committees for the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr.
Jeffrey Cornelius served as a member of Temple University’s music faculty from 1972 to 2012. As Professor of Choral Music, he taught in the Choral Department and conducted the University Singers. Dr. Cornelius served as Dean of Temple’s Boyer College of Music from 1993 to 2001. He holds degrees from King College, Westminster Choir College, and Temple University, where he was a student of Robert Page. Active as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician, and lecturer, he is past president of the ACDA of Pennsylvania. Guest conducting has included all-state, regional, district, and other festival choruses, in addition to preparing Temple’s choirs for performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He has authored numerous articles and papers; has served on accreditation review teams for colleges and universities around the nation; and has served as board- or panel-member of many cultural organizations in addition to The Presser Foundation where he serves as chair of the Capital Support Committee, including The Musical Fund Society, the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
THE PRESSER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES NEW STAFF AND 75TH ANNIVERSARY GRANTS
July 1, 2014 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The Presser Foundation announced the retirement of Executive Director Mariel Frank on June 30, 2014, after a 30-year tenure of outstanding service to the Foundation and the musical community it supports.
The Foundation appointed Teresa Araco Rodgers as the new executive of the Foundation starting July 1. Rodgers, who earned a Master’s Degree and a Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, has been working with the Foundation for the past two years implementing an on-line grant management system and other technological upgrades. She will be assisted by Janine Baschoff, a non-profit veteran with a special interest in financial management and planning, who will assume the role of Grants Manager.
“Teresa brings a strong business background balanced with a solid understanding of the nonprofit world and charitable giving strategies focused on impact”, said Robert Capanna, President of the Foundation Board. “We have every confidence that Teresa and Janine will help us effectively support music performance and education throughout the region.”
The Foundation also announced a one-time round of grants totaling $350,000 for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in celebration of the Foundation’s 75th Anniversary for special programs celebrating and highlighting the role of Philadelphia-born or based composers and performers in the development of American concert music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In addition, the Foundation is soliciting proposals for a full-length research article on the life & work of Theodore Presser, due October 1, 2014.
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. The Foundation offices are now located at Friends Center at 1501 Cherry Street Philadelphia.
75TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL PROJECT GRANTS
Choral Arts Philadelphia – The O Antiphons: A Philadelphia Composer “Songbook” (2014-15)
counter)induction – Listening In: George Crumb at 85 (2014-15)
Curtis Institute of Music – Jennifer Higdon Viola Concerto Commission (2014-15)
LiveConnections – The New Sound of Philadelphia: Boundary Crossing World Premieres By Philly Composers for Philly Artists (2014-16)
Lyric Fest – Composer in Residence Program (2014-15)
Network for New Music – Vincent Persichetti Centennial (2014-15)
Philadelphia Youth Orchestra – PYO’s Diamond Jubilee Concert Dedicated to The Presser Foundation for its 75th Anniversary (2014-15)
PRISM Quartet, Inc. – Philadelphia Story (2014-16)
Sister Cities Girlchoir – Marian Anderson Tribute Concert (2015-16)
Symphony In C & Astral Artists – Beyond Barber: Composing Philadelphia (2015-16)
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Philadelphia Commission II Micro-Festival (2015-16)