Waterbury Symphony receives $1 million for free education program

Posted on: November 1, 2013

In Thursday’s (10/31) Republican-American (Waterbury, Connecticut; subscription required), Brynn Mandel reports that the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra has received a $1 million gift for its Bravo Waterbury music-education program from Ruth Ann Leever, “who also provided seed money to launch the initiative at the private, nonprofit Children’s Community School last year. ‘We’re really excited,’ said Steve Collins, executive director of WSO. ‘We’re almost speechless.’ … Modeled after a highly celebrated national orchestra training and social uplift program in Venezuela called El Sistema, Bravo Waterbury seeks to engage students in musical study while imparting skills, attributes and lessons that extend beyond what one might usually learn with a violin’s bow or trumpet’s mouthpiece. Bravo Waterbury … started with 35 students … last year [and] grew to 55 from kindergarten through fifth grade. After the regular academic day has concluded, students spend about three hours daily, three to four days a week, with Bravo’s instructors, many of whom are professional musicians. Two weeks ago, Bravo expanded to the newly opened Brass City Charter School, to serve about 110 students in prekindergarten through first grade…. The WSO expects Bravo to grow citywide … over the next five to 10 years.”

Posted November 1, 2013