Gluck Foundation Donates $1 Million to Expand Outreach and Student Performance Programs in UCLA Music Department
The Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation has committed $1 million over three years to the Department of Music in the School of the Arts and Architecture to support the Gluck Fellows Music Performance Program and Opera UCLA. This grant is one of the largest Campaign UCLA gifts to date specifically targeted for the arts.
"We are enormously grateful to the Gluck Foundation for its generosity and its confidence in our ability to achieve the goals of our shared missions in outreach, music education and opera," said School of the Arts and Architecture Dean Daniel Neuman. "We at UCLA are committed to meaningful service to the Los Angeles community. This grant will enable us to reach out to musically disenfranchised audiences, bringing them the inspiration and exhilaration of live performance, and to provide much-needed support for music education in the public schools. And our students gain invaluable pre-professional experience performing and teaching, as well as managing and organizing performances."
The grant will expand the annual funding for the program, which supports outreach for small ensembles, soloists, and musical theater; musical training and master classes in public high schools; a fellowship in music management; and other scholarship and fellowship funding.
"In assessing our giving, we look for tangible results for the people in the community and for multiple winners. We have found these in the outreach programs at UCLA," Dr. Jon Kaswick, president of the board of directors of the Gluck Foundation.
Students who already benefit from the support of the Gluck Foundation say the performance opportunities are an invaluable learning tool.
"Every minute of live performance experience is worth gold," said graduate student David Borgo, leader of the Gluck Fellows Jazz Combo. "You become very versatile, and you learn what works musically and what doesn't." Graduate student Isabelle LaForet Lee, a member of the Piano Trio, agreed. "I've learned how fulfilling it is to bring music to others, especially people who don't have the ability or the resources to go out to live performances," she said.
Last year, 27 student musicians participated in the Gluck Fellows Music Performance Program, performing before more than 2,500 people at more than 65 sites.
"Our goal is to become a premier performance institution, on a par with the major conservatories but different from them in that we offer an education that blends outstanding performance training with a solid academic foundation," said Jon Robertson, chair of the music department. "To achieve this, we need to provide performance opportunities and financial support for music students. The Gluck grant recognizes the stature we have already attained and takes us on a fast track to further enhancing the professional status of the School. This kind of support would be impossible with state funding alone, which only covers the basics. It requires the generosity and vision of private funders such as the Gluck Foundation."
Opera UCLA also will benefit from the Gluck Foundation's three-year commitment of funds, which will help support the long-term planning essential to mounting complex opera productions and developing an internationally renowned opera program, the hallmark of the world's great university music institutions and conservatories.
To inaugurate Opera UCLA, the department is presenting Verdi's "Falstaff" in spring, 1998. Vincent Liotta, a nationally known opera director and expert in the field of academic opera performance, will lead this production. Sets will be designed by students from the School of Theater, Film and Television, and two community outreach performances will provide low- to moderate-income families and inner-city high school students with an opportunity to experience opera.
"As individuals become aware of what gifts like this accomplish, we hope they will be inspired to support other efforts to reach out to the Los Angeles community in a constructive manner," Neuman said. "The university and the School are committed to helping the community, and in partnership with the Gluck Foundation, we are able to take a more activist involvement in the arts and hopefully effect change."
Aiming to raise $1.2 billion by June 30, 2002, Campaign UCLA was launched in May 1997 as the most ambitious private fund-raising effort in the history of public higher education. This comprehensive undertaking will engage thousands of members of the UCLA family -- alumni and friends, corporations and foundations, faculty and staff -- in partnerships to support academic programs, students, faculty and facilities across the campus.
One phone number. Lots of entertainment options. The UCLA Arts Line. Call (310) UCLA-ART. For more information on the School of Arts and Architecture, visit our Web site at http://www.arts.ucla.edu.