Perlman Music Program receives $15,000 infusion for Manatee, Sarasota


SARASOTA -- The board of directors of Woman's Exchange Inc. has awarded The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast a $15,000 grant to fund its Education Outreach Program.

Margaret Ann Behrends, PMP/Suncoast development director, said the three-week in-school residency is funded entirely through grants, sponsorships and individual patrons.

"We're honored that the Woman's Exchange has acknowledged this program again this year with such a generous grant," said Behrends.

"Thanks to the grant we received from the Woman's Exchange last year, our in-school residency program reached nearly 4,000 local students. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the advent of our 10th anniversary."

Now in its fifth year, PMP/Suncoast's Education Outreach Program brings professional teaching musicians and alumni of The Perlman Music Program into area schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties during three separate one-week residencies.

Members of the acclaimed Ariel Quartet were the artists-in-residence for the 2012-13 season and will return for the 2013-14 season during October, February and May to present interactive performances and hands-on training for music students and teachers.

Behrends said the program served 23 schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels during the 2012-13 season.

"Our Education Outreach Program provides area music students and educators the rare opportunity to witness the creative process up close and to interact with professional musicians on a personal level," said Behrends. "Some students may decide to further their music studies -- all will leave these sessions better informed, and perhaps more passionate, about classical music. This approach is the raison d'etre of The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast. We're not simply training classical musicians of tomorrow -- we're building the classical music audiences of the future."

The PMP/Suncoast Education Outreach Program was launched in October 2009 with the support of The Juilliard School, Columbia University's Teacher College, Toby and Itzhak Perlman and the faculty of The Perlman Music Program.

The program is led by education administrator and PMP/Suncoast board member, Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton; Kim Miles, music educator at Bay Haven School for Basics Plus, partners with PMP/Suncoast staff to develop the curriculum packets, connecting musical concepts with academic subjects and Common Core Standards; and Owen Bradley, the North Port High School music educator who coordinates residency visits with participating schools.

Elizabeth Power, PMP/Suncoast executive director, said the organization is thrilled to receive the grant.

"The Woman's Exchange consistently empowers our region's top nonprofits to continue doing the good work they do," said Power. "This generous grant opens a world of possibilities for thousands of area students and educators."

For more information, go to or call 941-955-4942.

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