On September 28th, the string orchestra from St. Ann’s school in East Harlem performed at the Ford Foundation in celebration of the 15th anniversary of its Good Neighbor Committee. The Committee is a special philanthropic initiative of the Foundation that allows non-grantmaking staff members the opportunity to support local organizations. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Ford Foundation.
As a 2011 recipient of a grant from the Good Neighbor Committee, ETM was invited to showcase the talents of partner school students at this special event. In front of an audience that included both Foundation staff and representatives from organizations that have been supported by the Committee over the years, St. Ann’s student orchestra performed as the sole representative for grant recipients in the education division.
With only a few days of practicing together since the start of the new school year, 22 returning members of the orchestra gathered their violins, violas, cellos, and basses and demonstrated their diverse musical styles by playing Ode to Joy, Best’s Coronation Scene, and the American folk song Turkey in the Straw.
Frank Nunez, a Committee member for education grants, noted, “We were so happy and thrilled to have the kids come and play for us.” He also shared in the Foundation staff’s amazement that these young musicians had been able to prepare three pieces for performance in such limited time. Likewise, the students were honored to participate in the event and excited to perform at the prestigious Foundation.
As the new year of string orchestra at St. Ann’s school gets underway, interested 4th-graders have now joined these seasoned 5th-8th grade performers for orchestra rehearsal.
We look forward to more performances with the entire ensemble later this school year.