News & Updates

News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces 2015-16 Special Project Grants

Posted by on Dec 22nd, 2015 in News & Updates | 0 comments

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)

  • Allentown Symphony Association: Latin Rhythms
  • Astral Artistic Services, Inc.: Next Score
  • Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia: Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Chester Children’s Chorus: Collaboration with Media Chamber Chorale
  • Delaware Symphony Orchestra: Recording with Brasil Guitar Duo
  • Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia: Honeger’s King David
  • Opera Philadelphia: War Stories
  • Philadelphia Music Teachers Association: Dr. Andor Kiszley Carnegie Hall Solo, Ensemble and Concerto Recital
  • PRISM Quartet, Inc.: Color Theory: Saxophones & Percussion
  • Rider University – Westminster Choir College: Transforming Space
  • Project 440: All City Enrichment
  • The Mann Center for the Performing Arts: Firebird Spirit Rising
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra: Charles Dutoit Celebration – War Requiem

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


Settlement Music School Germantown Branch Dedication

Posted by on Dec 7th, 2015 in News & Updates | 0 comments

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. IMG_4511

News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces New Officers, Trustees and Honorary Trustees

Posted by on Jun 23rd, 2015 in News & Updates | 0 comments

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.


News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces 2014-15 Capital Support Grantees

Posted by on May 6th, 2015 in News & Updates | 0 comments

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.

*Multi-Year Grantee



Grantee News from the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

Posted by on Apr 21st, 2015 in News & Updates, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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.”

More information on the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia can be found on the organization’s website:



News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces 2014-15 Advancement of Music Grants

Posted by on Mar 10th, 2015 in News & Updates, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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.
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
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


News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Special Project Grants

Posted by on Dec 23rd, 2014 in News & Updates | 0 comments


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



Posted by on Nov 18th, 2014 in News & Updates | 0 comments

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.

News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Scholar To Write Article on Theodore Presser

Posted by on Oct 28th, 2014 in News & Updates | 0 comments

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:


The Presser Foundation on

Posted by on Oct 9th, 2014 in News & Updates | 0 comments

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 here.


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