News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Over $1.3 Million in a Special Round of General Operating and Capital Support Grants to Music Organizations

April 29, 2020 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the greater Philadelphia area’s rich ecosystem of music performance, education, and community engagement, The Presser Foundation announces a special and additional round of general operating grants to 85 music organizations, whichinclude current fiscal year grant recipients funded by the Foundation’s Advancement of Music and Special Projects programs. There is no application, there are no restrictions on use of funds beyond applicable guidelines, and the reporting requirements will be minimal.

The additional grants total $521,250 and will be paid immediately to help these organizations weather the current COVID-19 crisis, which has forced so many music organizations to curtail operations, cancelling performances and other activities. Individual grants range from $750 to $30,000. The average size is just over $6,100. These additional amounts supplement general operating grants awarded this year totaling $1,042,500.

The Presser Foundation is also pleased to announce the selection of grantees for capital projects totaling $795,000, including $545,000 in new commitments and $250,000 satisfying previous commitments, through its Capital Support program. The grant recipients are music presenting, music performing and music education organizations in the greater Philadelphia area and those which enjoy a legacy relationship with the Foundation. 

Jeffrey Cornelius, President of The Presser Foundation, commented on these grants: “The Presser Foundation saw an opportunity to extend potentially life-saving support to a broad swath of music organizations, without any re-application. We want our music organizations to come roaring back when it is safe to do so, because so many musicians and enthusiasts depend on them. Our Trustees pledge to serve as responsible stewards advancing the art of music and continuing the legacy of Theodore Presser with passion, integrity and respect. It is in this way that we hope to inspire others to support the music to the extent they are able to do so. We affirm the ways these organizations and this ecosystem have enriched our lives and recognize that they are aching to continue their important work.” 

2019-20 Special Round of General Operating Support Grantees (in alphabetical order)

Academy of Vocal Arts

Allentown Symphony Association

Anna Crusis Women’s Choir

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Ars Nova Workshop

Art Sphere, Inc.

Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos (AMLA)


Astral Artists, Inc.

Bay Atlantic Symphony, Inc.

Berks Youth Chorus


Bucks County Choral Society

Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey

Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem

Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

Chester Children’s Chorus

Choir School of Delaware

Choral Arts Philadelphia

CityFest, Inc./Wilmington Children’s Chorus

Commonwealth Youthchoirs

Community Conservatory

Community Music School Lehigh Valley

Community Music School of Collegeville

Community Youth Orchestra of Bucks County

Darlington Arts Center

Delaware County Youth Orchestra

Delaware Symphony Orchestra

Dolce Suono Ensemble


Friends of the Wanamaker Organ

Garden State Philharmonic Orchestra

Harrisburg Symphony Association

Kimmel Center, Inc.

Lancaster Symphony Orchestra



Lyra Society

Lyric Fest

Mamadele Foundation

Market Square Concerts

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

Moravian College

Music at Gretna, Inc.

Music for Everyone


Network for New Music


Opera Philadelphia

Orchestra 2001

Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts

Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus

Philadelphia Sinfonia Association

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band

Play On, Philly! (POP)

Princeton Symphony Orchestra

PRISM Quartet, Inc.

Project 440

Reading Symphony Orchestra

Riverside Symphonia

Settlement Music School

Singing City

State Theatre Regional Arts Center At New Brunswick Inc

Susquehanna Chorale

Symphony in C

Tempesta di Mare, Inc.

Temple University Music Preparatory Division

The Allentown Band

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem

The Crossing

The Dryden Ensemble

The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading, Inc.

The Georgia E. Gregory Interdenominational School of Music

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts

The Music School of Delaware

The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Princeton Festival

Trenton Children’s Chorus, Inc.

Trenton Music Makers

Tri-County Concerts Association, Inc.

Wilmington Concert Opera


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2019-20 Capital Support Grantees (in alphabetical order)

Haverford College

Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation

Kimmel Center, Inc., Academy of Music*

Lafayette College

Lebanon Valley College

Rider University – Westminster Choir College

Swarthmore College

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts*

University of the Arts*

*Previous Multi-Year Grantee

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