Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra Receives $18,000 Gift

(June 8, 2013) Savannah Friends of Music, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting music and music education in the community, recently presented Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra (AAYO) with a check for $18,000 to use for operating and artistic expenses.

The donation marks the Savannah Friends of Music's ninth annual gift to the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra. Over the years, the organization has contributed more than $165,000 to the AAYO for operating funds, plus additional scholarship support for the student musicians in the AAYO program to take private lessons.

“We're extremely grateful for this substantial gift, which represents approximately one third of our annual operating budget,” said Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra executive director Lorraine Jones. “Our youth program would simply not be possible without this generous donation.”

Savannah Friends of Music announced the donation at its annual meeting in May. The group raised nearly $72,000 over the past year and is also making generous donations to the Savannah Arts Academy, the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, the Savannah Children's Choir, and VOICExperience. The organization has nearly 300 members and has awarded more than $460,000 since its inception to support local music programs.

Founded in 2004, the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra is an educational outreach program serving students from primary grades through college. Students work with Savannah's best professional orchestra musicians and receive specialized instruction.

The goal of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra program is to offer music students the opportunity to play in an accomplished orchestra while developing their musical skills. The youth orchestra will launch its 10th season this August, featuring semester concerts as well as a junior and senior level concerto competition.

The winner of the Junior Young Artist Competition, for contestants up to age 13, will be featured in the fall concert on November 26. The Senior Young Artist Competition winner will perform at the spring concert on May 5, 2013.