Project Update January 2006|
Our class music project is shifting into high gear. Here are some highlights:
As part of our 50th reunion class gift, a proposed $5 million endowment to the School of Music has been officially recognized by the University. It is Endowment # 15714, with the title "The Class of 1957 Music Education Endowment." It reads: "Funds available through this endowment will be used by the School of Music to promote music education in public elementary and secondary schools in the United States."
To kick off the Endowment funding, Don Roberts has most generously pledged a matching gift of $2.5 million. There’s evidence that classmates are moving quickly to pick Don’s pockets.
The Endowment has been incorporated into the Music School’s long-term planning in four areas: to underwrite a senior professor of music education; to continue the work our class has already been supporting in the New Haven school system; to train Music School students as music teachers, with practical experience as interns in New Haven schools; and to host a bi-annual National Symposium on Music Education.
The first Symposium will be held at the time of our 50th reunion in 2007. In addition to convening experts to discuss how best to integrate music into the public school curriculum, the Symposium will honor excellent music teachers and administrators from around the country.
The noted pianist Emanuel Ax, a long-time supporter of our Class project, has agreed to play a benefit concert at the 2007 Symposium.
Our pilot project to expand music education at the Lincoln-Bassett school in New Haven has not only raised academic achievement at the school (L-B has been removed from Connecticut’s list of failing schools), but it has also drawn the enthusiastic participation of Music School students. Eighteen of the School’s 200 students applied to be interns in New Haven schools this year -- up from six last year.
Yale’s Office of New Haven Affairs recently recognized our class efforts with a reception for Lincoln-Bassett teachers. Acting Dean of the Music School Tom Duffy, whose first degree was in music education, spoke eloquently about the crucial role music teachers can play in the social and intellectual development of young people.
A central goal of our class project has always been to help bring classmates together. To this end, classmates around the country will be able to get involved in the 2007 and future Symposiums by recommending and/or sponsoring honorees and attendees. More information will be forthcoming about this.