The NSO began the American Residency Program in 1992; it selects one state each year as the host for this unique project.
The goals of the Residency Program are 1) to share all elements of classical instrumental music throughout a given region, 2) to explore the diversity of musical influence within the state, and 3) to give the state a musical voice in the nation”s center for the performing arts through training programs, career development opportunities, and commissions. NSO manager, Cynthia Steele explains: “The American Residency is one of the signature projects of the National Symphony Orchestra and our musicians are incredibly committed and generous with their time and talents.”
The NSO will be in West Virginia from April 5 to April 13, and will participate in approximately 150 education and performance activities throughout the state. During its visit, NSO will conduct orchestral concerts in Morgantown, Wheeling, Glenville, Huntington, Princeton, and Charleston. There will also be a NSO Young People”s Concert in Charleston.
After the orchestra finishes its residency, up to six West Virginia students will be awarded full scholarships to attend the 2010 Summer Music Institute at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. And a West Virginia music educator will receive a 2010 NSO Teacher Fellowship, and the Orchestra will commission a chamber work from a West Virginia composer.
Because of the generous support of many organizations, especially the Kennedy Center and the U.S. Department of Education, all proceeds from ticket sales resulting from the events remain in the state to support local arts organizations.
NSO is seeking a West Virginia composer to write a new piece of music. The symphony is partnering with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History to commission the work. A resident West Virginia composer will be commissioned to write a work of about 10 to 15 minutes.
A panel convened by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the Appalachian Education Initiative will narrow the applications to three finalists. A National Symphony Orchestra jury making the final selection will be overseen by principal conductor Ivan Fischer.
I welcome the NSO to the Mountain State, and encourage all of our people to try to take advantage of this unique and wonderful opportunity.