Philly after-school music program gets $1 million grant

Posted on: April 3, 2012

In Sunday’s (4/1) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reports, “Play On, Philly!, the upstart West Philadelphia after-school classical music program, has received a major vote of confidence in the form of a large gift: $1 million. The grant, double the program’s current annual budget, comes from a philanthropy, Seed the Dream Foundation, a new charity launched by Joel Greenberg, a founder of powerhouse Bala Cynwyd financial-trading firm Susquehanna International Group, and his wife, Marcy Gringlas. Stanford Thompson, 25, the Curtis Institute of Music graduate who put Play On, Philly! together on a shoestring budget, said he received a phone call from Greenberg in December, the morning a story about the program ran on The Inquirer’s front page. ‘Joel mentioned they had read the article and were excited about what was going on, and said they wanted to come to classes and wanted to meet as soon as possible,’ Thompson said. The potential impact of a gift that size is still sinking in, he added. … Play On, Philly!—modeled after Venezuela’s El Sistema program of immersing poor children in intensive music training for several hours a day—is in its first year at St. Francis de Sales School at 47th Street, just below Baltimore Avenue.”

Posted April 1, 2012