Latest grant will help ensure that the music continues for talented inner-city youth

January 19, 2004

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY — The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester — which operates Rochester’s Ronald McDonald House and supports local programs that improve the health and well-being of children — has given a $20,000 grant to Eastman Pathways, a program between the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester City School District that benefits inner-city youth through music.

Specifically, the grant will go directly into the Eastman Pathways Endowed Fund, which was established in 2003 through a three-year, $1 million grant under the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. That award included $240,000 in outright funding to support Pathways operations in 2003-05, and $760,000 in endowed support to help permanently sustain the program. The Eastman School must match the endowment portion of this grant by raising an additional $760,000 by June 2006.

“Ronald McDonald House Charities has generously supported Eastman Pathways on an annual basis since the program’s inception in 1997,” said Eastman School Director and Dean James Undercofler. “We are extremely grateful for their recent gift to the Pathways Endowed Fund, which will help ensure that this exceptional program will be available to talented Rochester City students for years to come.”

Since 1997, Eastman Pathways has provided approximately 70 motivated City school students each year with scholarship aid that allows them to pursue music studies through Eastman’s Community Education Division (CED) at little or no cost. Fourth- through twelfth-graders may take weekly music lessons on an instrument or in voice, as well as a variety of music classes taught through the CED. Scholarship recipients follow different paths (hence, the name) depending upon their ages and ability levels. Those showing exceptional musical ability and commitment ultimately may be eligible to pursue a rigorous course of study through paths intended to help them prepare for entry into an undergraduate degree program in music and for admission to Eastman’s collegiate division. Each path requires commitment and communication among students and their parents, CED faculty, and music teachers from the City School District.

“We are thrilled to help ensure the long-term continuation of this unique program,” said Matt Kreiner, chair of the Ronald McDonald House Charities grants committee.

Eastman Pathways is a program of the William Warfield Partnership, a collaboration since 1996 between the Eastman School and the Rochester City School District (RCSD). Named after the world-renowned bass-baritone and graduate of both the RCSD and Eastman, this partnership is designed to provide a variety of diverse music opportunities for RCSD students and teachers.