August 02, 2012 — Coral Gables, FL — The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami has received a $500,000 pledge from Los Angeles-based music philanthropist Virginia “Ginny” Mancini. This gift, part of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, will support the Artistic Director position of the Henry Mancini Institute at the Frost School of Music, currently held by multi-Grammy Award winning film composer and jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard.
Now in its fourth season at the Frost School of Music, the Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) brings engaging cross-genre orchestra and chamber music performances to the South Florida community through its HMI Outbound community engagement program. Each year more than 65 Mancini Fellows, who are primarily graduate students, are supported in part by a $500,000 three-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a $500,000 matching gift by University of Miami national trustee and business leader Adrienne Arsht. Individual patrons in the “Moon River Society” also support the HMI mission with additional scholarship funding for Mancini Fellows.
Ginny Mancini was a vocalist with Mel Torme and the MelTones in the 1950s and toured with big bands of the era. A long-time trustee of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and many other national music organizations, Mancini’s lifetime support of the performing arts was honored with the prestigious Frost Legacy Award in 2011 from the Frost School of Music. Her husband, the late Henry Mancini composed music for iconic motion pictures including “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Days of Wine and Roses, The Pink Panther, Peter Gunn, and Victor Victoria. With more than 2,300 film and television credits to his name (ASCAP), Henry Mancini’s music is widely recognized and beloved the world over.
“The mission of the Henry Mancini Institute has always been to provide young musicians with a broader training experience so they can thrive and grow in their careers,” explains Ginny Mancini. “Shelly Berg is the right person at the right time to take the Mancini Institute to a new level, as is new artistic director Terence Blanchard. Henry always told aspiring students to go where the action is. Today, the action can be anywhere in the world, or even technology-based. Our Mancini Fellows are forging new musical paths and I’m happy that the Mancini Institute is taking such a pivotal role in inspiring them.”
About the Henry Mancini Institute
The Henry Mancini Institute was founded in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based summer music academy by film and television composer Jack Elliott in honor of his colleague Henry Mancini and their mutual commitment to excellence in both music and education. The Institute’s Los Angeles summer music academy provided scholarships, room, and board to more than 800 students over a ten-year period.
In 2007 the Henry Mancini Institute moved to the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where it serves as a year-round graduate institute with focus on both cross-genre training and community engagement.
The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the Jazz Roots Series: A Larry Rosen Production at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County. In November 2011 the HMI Orchestra performed a star-studded Jazz Meets Gershwin concert hosted by Michael Feinstein and featuring Denyce Graves, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mark O’Connor, Monica Mancini, Frost Dean Shelly Berg, and HMI Resident Conductor Scott Flavin.
The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra recently recorded an original composition for orchestra by hip-hop artist and producer Pharrell Williams (release date to be announced). Upcoming performances and recordings include partnering with the sensational vocal group Take 6, as well as a NASA documentary for IMAX Theaters that will feature underscoring by Frost School of Music students under the supervision of HMI Artistic Director Terence Blanchard, Frost Dean Shelly Berg, Frost faculty Gary Lindsay and HMI Coordinator and faculty member Steve Guerra.
The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra was previously featured on an HBO special Unfair and Unbalanced featuring comedian Robert Klein, and the 2011 Grammy-nominated CD An Evening with Dave Grusin.
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