November 29, 2010 — Coral Gables — The University of Miami Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute was awarded $500,000 by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in conjunction with the 2010 Knight Arts Challenge. This award will be used to produce “HMI: Outbound,” a new community outreach program to engender a new cultural niche in South Florida, a cross-genre orchestra, i.e., an orchestra that merges classical, jazz, world and pop music to create new musical outcomes. The creation of the dynamic HMI outreach program will bring accessible and exciting film and chamber music to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens and other community venues, plus genre-bending school concerts to teach just how “cool” and relevant great music is.
The Knight Foundation grant has been matched with a generous $500,000 cash contribution by philanthropist and business leader Adrienne Arsht, bringing total new funding for the HMI: Outbound program to $1,000,000.
The Knight Foundation grant combined with Adrienne Arsht’s donation will also help bring special guest artists to HMI outreach performances and help scholarship new “Mancini Fellows” to participate in the Institute.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge is a five-year, $40 million initiative to bring South Florida together through the arts. Ms. Arsht, the naming donor for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County, is a trustee of the University of Miami.
“By bringing performers out of the concert halls and into our everyday lives, we’re reminded about just how enriching and engaging the arts can be,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts. “Add the genre-bending line-up, and the Outbound program will be a wonderful way to expose new audiences to great music.”
Shelton G. Berg became the dean of the UM Frost School of Music in 2007, and soon after attracted the esteemed Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) with its rich history of groundbreaking musical and multimedia activities to become a year-round institute within the School. Dean Berg and HMI are attracting a unique cohort of stellar multi-genre performers to the South Florida region, who will transform the arts and increase access to music through collaborations with remarkable guest artists and film composers in community concert experiences, under the direction of HMI resident conductor, Scott Flavin.
The Frost HMI Orchestra has already performed for HBO and PBS specials, a major record label, and is the resident ensemble of the Arsht Center’s JazzRoots Series produced by Larry Rosen. The Henry Mancini Institute’s growing popularity in South Florida and its youthful zeal makes an ideal pairing for attracting new audiences to its live music and multimedia productions and creating a new musical niche in the region.
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