Atlanta Music Project
MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett are gifting $2.739 billion to 268 organizations that work to support and center new voices and “build power from within communities.” In a short post on her blog titled “Seeding by Ceding,” Scott explains her perspective, describing how wealth has established and maintained systems of inequity, and advocating for donors to be decentralized from processes of change.
The 2021 Lewis Prize for Music Accelerator Awardees have been announced!
The Lewis Prize for Music seeks out, honors, and supports programs they consider to be “catalysts” in the U.S. field for community-driven, high-quality music learning opportunities. The goal is to target and amplify programs that spark positive change in society. Listed among this year’s finalists is Atlanta Music Project, under the direction of Dantes Rameau and Aisha Moody; last year’s three grant recipients included Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI.
The Atlanta Music Project has announced a refreshing new initiative: the AMP Academy Rare Instrument Program. Virtual one-on-one lessons for instruments, including oboe, bassoon, viola, percussion, French horn, and voice, are available tuition-free to any young person in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, regardless of their prior experience. Students admitted to the AMP Academy Rare Instrument Program will receive weekly virtual lessons with an AMP teaching artist, perform solo recitals, and even participate in masterclasses with renowned artists. Learn more .
Three new podcasts have been launched to broaden your musical perspective. First, Garrett McQueen has co-created a classical music podcast called Trilloquy with Classical MPR host Scott Blankenship. The podcast seeks to explore and uplift classical music of all cultures beyond the Western European canon. The Lewis Prize has also announced the launch news of Original Score, an Indigenous perspective on music, a new podcast produced by Navajo composer and Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP) teaching artist Michael Begay. Read more and share widely using their Announcement Toolkit. And finally, the Atlanta Music Project has launched a podcast series hosted by Cofounder and CEO Dantes Rameau. Titled The Next Movement, it features in-depth video interviews with artistic luminaries that culminate in Q & As with AMP students and faculty. Watch Episode 1 here.
Atlanta Music Project held a new first for the El Sistema field in May—a Virtual Symposium for high school music students focused on “The College Years.” Over two days, and with panels of authoritative speakers, the sessions addressed a broad range of issues that music students wonder about. Recordings of the sessions are now available on AMP’s Facebook page (scroll down), and soon all will be available on AMP’s YouTube channel.
Aisha Moody, Cofounder and Chief Program Officer, Atlanta Music Project, GA
In February of this year, the Atlanta Music Project presented a monthlong concert series celebrating music of the African Diaspora. The Music of the African Diaspora Concert Series garnered much attention and welcomed larger audiences than most AMP events. Its success led us to make the series an annual event, not only due to our supporters’ positive response but also because of its impact on our young musicians during and leading up to the concerts.
During February, Black History Month, the Atlanta Music Project (AMP) will perform a month-long, seven-concert series showcasing the music of the African diaspora. The new series celebrates the vast musical contributions made by Africans and descendants of Africa, combining the history and tradition of African music with its modern-day influence and cultural relevance. Pieces to be performed include Shosholoza, an Nguni song from South Africa; The Battle of Jericho, a spiritual arranged by Moses Hogan; and Alegre, by Cuban composer Tania León. In addition, classical music written by composers of African descent, such as Joseph Boulogne (also known as The Black Mozart) and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, will be performed.
Adewunmi R. Oke, Development Associate, Atlanta Music Project
Nine years ago, 19 elementary schoolchildren gathered at the Gilbert House, an old house in southwest Atlanta, to begin their journey towards becoming musical artists. Over the course of the following decade, these children were joined by hundreds of others; together, they all practiced, performed, and evolved into dedicated young artists. Some students played string instruments and wind instruments, while others sang. Across the city of Atlanta, Atlanta Music Project (AMP) students have performed at both small community centers and large venues like the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Ismail Akbar, Teaching Artist, Atlanta Music Project
When I landed in Detroit, Michigan on January 29th for the El Sistema USA Symposium, warnings about the extreme winter temperatures were all over the radio, but I needed to find out on my own. So I took a short walk in my Atlanta “winter clothes”: sneakers, a small coat, no gloves. At that moment, I realized that the next time I went outside in Detroit would be to catch the plane back to Atlanta!