Forty years ago The Western
Wind was formed with the mission of spreading the special beauty and joy of a cappella
music. After establishing an international reputation through their stirring renditions of
Early American vocal music (the recording of which received a Grammy nomination in 1974)
and Renaissance music as well as new music written for the ensemble by
living composers, the group expanded its scope through an arts-in-education program in the New York City public school system.
Since starting its program in 1981, The Western Wind has affected the lives of
of kids, many of whom would otherwise have no other exposure to musical instruction. This
program is a model for how the professional arts community in New York City and other urban
areas can use its resources and talents to provide public school children with arts
education of the highest caliber. Through its use of a multi-cultural vocal music
repertoire, this program helps build bridges between the City's many ethnic groups and
teaches basic musical skills which enhance overall learning.
Please read our FAQ for more detailed information about the
program. We hope after you do, you'll consider supporting The Western Wind Goes To
School by making a tax-deductible contribution.
Frequently Asked Questions
|How is the program funded?
|Funding for the Western Wind Arts-in-Education program has come from The New York
State Council on the Arts, The National Endowment for The Arts, The New York Foundation
for the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Meet The Composer,
Consolidated Edison, District 21, District #3, PS 75 and PS 163 PTAs, The C. M. Paul
Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Morgan Stanley Foundation, the Edith C.
Blum Foundation, The Chase Manhattan Foundation, the Ann Pinkerton
Foundation, the Michael Tuch Foundation and private contributions.
|What are some of the successes of the program?
|This innovative program has been a major success and has drawn praise from
educators and the press. Students from the Mark Twain choral program developed to
a point where they have performed with the Western Wind on major New York concert
venues and received critical acclaim from the New York Times. These students have also
won awards at prestigious choral competitions, and many have gone on to specialized
high schools and to conservatories. Building on the success of the Mark Twain Program,
in 1991-2 The Western Wind inaugurated a program for elementary school students in
District #3 with the support of the Morgan Stanley Foundation.
Currently the ensemble is in residence at two New York City
high schools: Talent Unlimited High School in Manhattan and Edward
R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn.
|Where has the Western Wind offered its program?
|The Ensemble has worked with the Lincoln Center Institute, Arts Exposure, the New
York Philharmonic Max Program, the Harlem School for the Arts and the Nassau and
Suffolk County BOCES. In 1989 and 1990 The Western Wind was the
vocal music constituent for the arts in education program of the
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.