New Albany News

Symphony orchestra receives $10,000 grant

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The New Albany Symphony Orchestra has received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its April 6 season finale.

The performance will be geared toward the hearing-impaired, said Linda Brill, symphony marketing director.

The April 6 performance will close the 2013-14 season with a performance by 16-year-old Israelle Johnson, a deaf violinist who plays the viola in Upper Arlington High School's concert orchestra.

Johnson, who lives in Baltimore in Fairfield County, said she was born with hearing loss, but can hear the viola when using her hearing aids.

She said she became fascinated with music listening to her family sing karaoke.

Johnson started playing violin at age 11 and switched to the viola the next year because, she said, it was easier for her to hear the instrument's lower pitch.

The April 6 concert also will feature Canadian pianist Jon (Jackie) Kimura Parker performing Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams, during which a multimedia show will be projected on screens in conjunction with the music.

Heather Garner, the symphony's executive director, said the concert features Ludwig Von Beethoven's second piano concerto. She said Beethoven was an inspiration for the theme, since he went deaf later in life.

The grant was awarded from the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Fast-Track category, which "offers $10,000 matching grants to support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability," according to information from the symphony orchestra.

The symphony orchestra was chosen from 294 applicants. The endowment provides 150 grants totaling $1.5 million this year, according to the symphony orchestra.

Earlier this year, the symphony orchestra received a $250,000 grant from PNC's Arts Alive initiative that will support the same performance.

PNC granted $2.5 million to eight arts programs in central Ohio this year "in an effort to expand the reach and economic impact of arts programs in central Ohio," according to PNC's website.