The Sherman Symphony Orchestra has received a grant of $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support its educational outreach programs.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations across the country, including the Sherman Symphony Orchestra. The arts help communities to thrive,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD., chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Meaningful engagement with the arts can have many benefits, from contributing to collective healing and mutual understanding to strengthening local economies.”
The Sherman Symphony’s education programs engage developing minds by providing affordable, high-quality music education, said conductor Daniel Dominick. Since 2002, the 5th Grade Children’s Educational Concert has been many students’ first live orchestral experience: 2,000 students learn instrument families, concert etiquette, and various genres of music each year. In addition, as many as 400 students see classical concerts annually through the Free Student Ticket Program. Sherman High School media students have the unique opportunity to record Classical Series concerts through the Symphony’s Broadcast partnership with local news channel KXII.
While band programs are common in Grayson County, Sherman hosts the only string orchestra program. Most Sherman orchestra students face economic challenges: 68% of Sherman ISD students are economically disadvantaged, and only 15% of orchestra students receive private lessons. Since 2019, all Sherman orchestra students have benefited from sectionals with Symphony musicians through SSO Scholars. Practice Partners is an after-school peer mentoring program that pairs beginning orchestra students with high school string players for monthly practice sessions. Second and fourth grade students enjoy chamber music presentations and performances as Musical Chairs brings Sherman Symphony musicians to area schools., Austin College Summer Music Camp—a collaboration between the Sherman Symphony and Austin College—is a middle and high school day camp that cultivates musical development through rehearsing and performing chamber music.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue supporting students’ education with a wide variety of musical experiences,” said Leslie Whelan, SSO education director. “The Sherman Symphony Orchestra was founded with the intention of sharing music and educational opportunities with students in the greater Texoma region, and this grant enables us to further our mission in a rapidly growing community.”
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.