Bard College Receives $2 Million Grant from the Mellon Foundation to Launch Innovative Masters Program in Orchestral Performance Studies
“I would like to thank the Mellon Foundation for this generous grant to our new graduate program in orchestral studies, which is modeled after the successful program of our Center for Curatorial Studies,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “We appreciate the Mellon Foundation’s support of innovative programs such as this one, which binds together the arts and the humanities. This new program extends the same contextual approach we value in the visual arts to practitioners of music in an orchestral setting.”
The curriculum of The Orchestra Now involves intensive practical and academic study. Orchestra rehearsals are held 4–5 days a week and courses 2–3 days a week. Courses in orchestral and curatorial studies, taught by Bard College faculty, guest scholars, and performing artists, provide a historical and critical understanding of the orchestra’s past and present roles in society and its responsibility to remain responsive to a changing musical landscape. A Teaching Artist Program, developed by the Longy School of Music of Bard College, deepens orchestra musicians’ understanding of their responsibility to new audiences and provides the members of The Orchestra Now with opportunities to engage in community outreach projects with mid–Hudson Valley schools, regional concert series, and community music education programs. The graduate curriculum culminates in self-designed independent study projects, involving such activities as forming and managing a performing ensemble, curating a program of solo and chamber works to explore a topic of social importance, participating in transcribing a masterwork for new or unusual instruments, or working with community members to explore and express their life experience in words and music.
The Orchestra Now, a training orchestra composed of the program’s members, will be in residence at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The orchestra and its graduate curriculum are a collaboration of Bard College, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and The Bard College Conservatory of Music and its Graduate Conducting Program.
The graduate students who constitute The Orchestra Now are chosen by competitive audition and academic review from the finest conservatory graduates in the United States and abroad. The entering class is a cohort of forward-thinking, exceptional musicians who are redefining what it means to be an orchestra. All musicians accepted into The Orchestra Now receive a full-tuition scholarship along with an annual fellowship stipend of $24,000 and health benefits. For more information, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit bard.edu/orchnow/.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, is an independent, nonsectarian, residential, coeducational college offering a four-year B.A. program in the liberal arts and sciences and a five-year B.A./B.S. degree in economics and finance. The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program in which students pursue a dual degree—a B.Music and a B.A. in a field other than music—and offers an M.Music in vocal arts and in conducting. Bard also bestows an M.Music degree at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and an M.Music degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies on its Annandale campus. Bard and its affiliated institutions also grant the following degrees: A.A. at Bard High School Early College, a public school with campuses in New York City, Cleveland, and Newark, New Jersey; A.A. and B.A. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and through the Bard Prison Initiative at six correctional institutions in New York State; M.A. in curatorial studies, M.S. in economic theory and policy, and M.S. in environmental policy and in climate science and policy at the Annandale campus; M.F.A. and M.A.T. at multiple campuses; M.B.A. in sustainability in New York City; and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture at Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. Internationally, Bard confers dual B.A. degrees at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Russia (Smolny College); American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan; and Bard College Berlin: A Liberal Arts University; as well as dual B.A. and M.A.T. degrees at Al-Quds University in the West Bank.
Bard offers nearly 50 academic programs in four divisions. Total enrollment for Bard College and its affiliates is approximately 5,000 students. The undergraduate College has an enrollment of more than 1,900 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. For more information about Bard College, visit www.bard.edu.
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