Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra receives $300K grant; will perform and record music by emerging composers

Posted on: July 25, 2022

The Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, based in Philadelphia, has received a $300,00 grant from the Mellon Foundation to support its community-centered programming over the next three years. In announcing the grant, orchestra founder Jeri Lynne Johnson said the Mellon grant represents the largest investment in the organization’s mission since its founding in 2008. As part of the grant, Black Pearl will undertake a new project called the “Kaleidoscope Initiative” to support emerging composers, especially composers of color. The project, Johnson said, “represents an expansion of Black Pearl’s mandate to normalize diversity in classical music by focusing on creating access and opportunities in the creative process of music-making.” Black Pearl will perform world premieres of works by three composers. Each performance will be recorded; Johnson noted that such recordings play an important role in building a composer’s creative career through competitions, prizes, fellowships, job positions, and promotion for performance with other orchestras.