Grant Recipients

Four local groups receive first round of Snowman Foundation grants

SEATTLE, Wash. (July 14, 2011) – Four Puget Sound-area groups that support musical programs for children are recipients of grants from The Snowman Foundation. The funding is the initial phase of awards being presented from proceeds raised at the fourth annual “Ten Grands” concert on April 1, 2011 at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.

The sold-out concert, a program of the Snowman Foundation, raised more than $30,000, with all proceeds designated to musical arts programs for children.

The beneficiaries of the first phase of this year’s grants and gifts include four past recipients.  “We are delighted to continue supporting these groups, which collectively give the gift of music to hundreds of underserved kids in our area,” said Snowman Foundation board member Stephen Dewalt, who oversees the Seattle grants. 

The four organizations received grants ranging from $2,500 to $8,000.  Recipients include InvestED, Northwest Choirs, Seattle Music Partners and Washington Music Educators Association.

InvestED (formerly Saul & Dayee G. Haas Foundation) provides immediate, needs-based funding for students at secondary schools throughout Washington state. Last year, more than 16,000 students were assisted with small amounts of short-term, item-specific funding – items such as musical instruments and stipends enabling participation in music education activities.

Northwest Choirs, consisting of Northwest Boychoir and Vocalpoint! Seattle performs at concert halls, community churches and civic venues around the state.  The 200 participants include boys ages 6 to 18 and girls ages 12 to 18 from 115 diverse public and private elementary, middle and high schools throughout the Puget Sound region.  The Snowman grants provide scholarships and financial assistance for participation in summer camps and public concerts. The choirs have participated in the past two “Ten Grands” concerts.

Seattle Music Partners provides a free after-school music program for underserved elementary and middle school students in Seattle’s Central District.  Its programs also provide a unique opportunity for skilled musicians to give back to their community. Commenting on his own attendance at the group’s recital, Dewalt said he continues to be impressed with the quality of their programs and the delivery of music education to all kids.

Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) received funding for its Young Musicians Excelling (YME) program.  YME provides scholarship and financial aid to high school students throughout the state, with a special focus on those who receive free or reduced-price lunches, so they may participate in WMEA all-state bands, orchestras, choirs and jazz groups.  Representatives from WMEA will be assisting with the 2011-2012 “Ten Grands Young Artists” competition.

In addition to the monetary grants, two special gifts were included this year. 

One patron underwrote the cost of more than 150 tickets so students could attend the Ten Grands concert, which featured performances by nearly two dozen young musicians who competed in the “Young Artist” competition.

The complimentary tickets were allocated to Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, Cocoon House (serving youth in Snohomish County), Community for Youth (a mentoring program at Seattle high schools), Olive Crest (which serves at-risk children and their families), and the Salvation Army.

The second special gift was a grant from a donor who Pierce County who helped underwrite the cost of two pianos for a pair of YMCAs in Pierce County.  The new pianos, specially designed by Sherman Clay of Seattle & Bellevue, were presented in April to the Morgan Family YMCA and the Tacoma Center YMCA.  Both instruments will be used to expand the Y’s arts program through music development and appreciation.   

Dewalt said he expects to announce another round of grants within the next few months. “Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, supporters, volunteers and audience members, and despite the sluggish economy, we raised more than $30,000, and we continue to receive donations and offers support the Snowman Foundation’s mission.”

One such offer came from Evergreen Washelli Funeral Homes, which selected the Foundation to the beneficiary of a “Dig that Jazz” concert in its memorial park, located near the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery.  The public event, featuring world renowned jazz artist Deems Tsutakawa & The New Seattle Groove, will be held August 6 from 6 to 9 p.m.  Guests are invited to bring picnics, or they may purchase light fare and wines on site. Tickets are available by calling Brenda  at the cemetery office, (206) 362-5200.

About The Snowman Foundation

The Snowman Foundation, established in Portland, Ore. in 1999, was created in part as a response to budget cuts affecting K-12 and community-based music programs. Foundation founder Michael Allen Harrison, a popular pianist, composer and artistic director, formed the organization as a way to “share the joy, the healing, the learning, and the life-changing gifts music has to offer.”

Grant recipients are selected based on need through grant applications (available online at snowmanfoundation.org).

The Snowman Foundation has raised more than $2 million for scholarships, instruments, music lessons and other programs for disadvantaged youth. Since its formation, it has supported the work of numerous nonprofit community groups that share the Foundation’s vision to give the gift of music to children.

The Snowman Foundation’s primary source of funding is the annual “Ten Grands” concerts in Portland and Seattle, with additional monies raised from recordings, smaller scale productions and direct donations.

RBC Wealth Management has been the presenting sponsor for the Ten Grands concerts in Seattle since 2008, its inaugural year, and has renewed its sponsorship for 2012.

The fifth annual Ten Grands concert in Seattle is scheduled for May 12, 2012 at Benaroya Hall.  Tickets go on sale in September through the Benaroya Hall Box Office, benaroyahall.org or by phone, (206) 215-4747.

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