Orchestra Boot Camp named Knight Arts Challenge winner

The Orchestra Boot Camp, which helps 100 Miami-Dade students with intensive classical music training on teacher workdays, will be strengthened with a $105,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

This is the fourth time Knight has awarded Miami Music Project a grant from Knight Arts Challenge, which funds the best ideas for bringing South Florida together through the arts.

After a very successful launch of the first boot camp in February 2015, Miami Music Project will continue this tuition-free program during Miami-Dade County Public School teacher planning days. The Orchestra Boot Camp helps students in continuing their journey towards excellence in music performance by receiving the benefits of this newly developed initiative.

Previously, world-renowned conductor and founder of Miami Music Project, James Judd served as a mentor for musicians from the Orchestra Boot Camp and worked in detail on challenging musical passages and sections of the orchestra’s repertoire.

“The Miami Music Project Orchestra Boot Camp benefits the overall development of children,” Judd said. “With Knight Foundation’s support, we can continue to offer invaluable and unforgettable musical experiences to our students.”

Funding from Knight Foundation to the Orchestra Boot Camp benefits Miami Music Projects’ endless goal of developing social inclusion. This includes the selection of new locations for creating environments in which students from different cultural, social and economic background can interact and collaborate with orchestras and other music ensembles. As being Miami’s only El Sistema-inspired program, Miami Music Project has built a similar platform in helping students improve their socialemotional, well-being and behavioral development through music. Much like Miami Music Project’s chapters in Little Haiti, Liberty City and Doral, students will receive musical instruction and instruments at no cost.

“The Miami Music Project has grown from James Judd’s idea and passion into a vibrant organization offering the city’s only El Sistema-based curriculum. Providing more high-quality instruction on teacher planning days will advance the abilities of these young musicians,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation.

“The continued recognition and support from the Knight Foundation, the very organization that provided seed funding to Miami Music Project, is uplifting and motivational to all of us involved,” said Anna Pietraszko, Miami Music Project executive director. “This grant will help further develop our students’ musical skills, at the same time enhancing their academic and social achievements.”

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