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DO-GOODER Spotlight: Project 440

The Do-Gooder Spotlight is GroundSwell's blog post spreading the word about individuals and organizations working to better their communities. Today we are giving a shout-out to our friends at Project 440.

Founded in 2006 in Georgia, Project 440 was established to present classical music engagement programs for young people. However, when they started to recruit  kids to join, the founders realized that young musicians were often so focused on training and developing their own careers that they neglected to share their gifts with the world around them. Additionally, they learned that very few music programs incorporated community service into their curricula. As a result, in 2010, Project 440 shifted its focus to training young musicians on the importance of service through music. By emphasizing the importance of community engagement, the program mobilizes musicians to help make classical music an inclusive, dynamic, and relevant art form in the 21st Century. The Philadelphia chapter of Project 440 launched December 2, at the Kimmel Center. 

The Philadelphia chapter is overseen by Joseph Conyers, who currently serves as the appointed assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Conyers believes that music is a powerful tool that connects us and can be used to build strong, solid communities. With the guidance of Conyers, Project 440 has three programs that they are working on to foster music education.

440 Fellowship: The goal of the 440 Fellowship is twofold: 1) to produce great artists who are not only consummate performers, but who are active and engaging teaching artists – ambassadors for classical music who serve their communities through education and community engagement activities; and 2) to work in concert with established cultural institutions to enhance their role and impact.

Project 440’s Collegiate Seminar: is a flexible program built upon the great successes of Project 440 High School Seminar. In addition to enlightening students on the many exciting career paths of a 21st century musician, the program teaches young musicians to use their own musical gifts to enhance the lives of others. Courses presented are the Audition Process (with a focus on the ins and outs of auditioning for professional orchestras), Entrepreneurship & Networking, and Community Engagement & Interactive Performance.

High School Seminar: After receiving training from P440 teaching artists and staff, students are charged with presenting a community engagement performance anywhere in their own community. The goal of the program is to highlight the array of career paths for a young, burgeoning musician and to ignite an early appreciation for community engagement and educational outreach. 

You can watch them in action here and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to catch them performing sometime soon!