North Carolina Symphony, Wake County Public Schools Receive Prestigious Yale Distinguished Music Award


A partnership between the North Carolina Symphony (NCS) and the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has received a prestigious Yale Distinguished Music Award. Symphony Education Director Sarah Gilpin and Martin Middle Magnet School orchestra director Anita Hynus will attend Yale’s fifth biennial Symposium on Music in Schools, which will take place June 4-7 in New Haven, Conn.   

This year’s Symposium will focus on partnerships between professional music organizations and public school music programs.  NCS and WCPSS have partnered for decades on music initiatives for Wake County students, including education concerts, master classes, and open rehearsals.  Featured speakers include MacArthur Fellow Sebastian Ruth, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, and author/journalist Joanne Lipman.

The 2015 winners comprise 39 partnerships hailing from 19 states and the District of Columbia. Music organizations include orchestras, jazz, opera, community music schools, and concert presenters.  Other participants include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Cliburn Competition, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

The Symposium facilitates high-level discussion about the importance of music in young people’s lives. In addition, the event recognizes teachers nationwide with the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Awards. The biennial event was made possible by an endowment created by the Yale College Class of 1957. “Our hope for this Symposium,” said Michael Yaffe, Associate Dean of YSM and the director of the event, “is to highlight the numerous ways that school districts and professional musicians leverage their strengths to create sustainable partnerships, and to create an ongoing network for these partnerships to communicate.”

This year’s Symposium participants will spend three days in strategic sessions exploring their role in creating quality music activities for school children, and how and why their partnership is such an important way to accomplish these aims. It will also explore the political, philosophical, and practical reasons why partnerships must have clear missions, sustainable models, research capabilities, and connections to the public school curriculum.

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