The League of American Orchestras has named the winners of its fourth annual Ford Musician Awards—and all five awardees are AFM members.
The awards, made possible through the Ford Motor Company Fund, celebrate professional orchestral musicians who provide exemplary service in their communities and make a significant impact through education and community engagement.
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra violinist Victoria Griswold of Local 3 (Indianapolis, IN) was recognized for writing the Teddy Bear Series programs, introducing young children to orchestral instruments through stories, live music, and movement.
Chicago Sinfonietta Principal Percussion Jeff Handley of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) was recognized for creating Audience Matters and SEED, two in-school residency and instrumental programs for students from underserved communities.
New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) Principal Cello Rebecca Patterson of Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven, CT) was recognized for her work with the NHSO Harmony Fellowship Quartet and Recording Composition Class. The program allows students from underrepresented communities to create new works that merge classical and hip-hop traditions, that are then recorded together with NHSO musicians.
Louisville Orchestra Principal Trombone Donna Parkes of Local 11-637 (Louisville, KY) was recognized for her work with hearing- and speech-impaired children, teaching skills such as singing, clapping with rhythm, and dancing.
New York Philharmonic Associate Principal Viola Rebecca Young of Local 802 (New York City) was recognized for hosting the philharmonic’s Very Young People’s Concerts, chamber music performances where she does everything from tap dancing to riding a scooter around the stage, engaging toddlers and young children with music.