Fort Wayne Philharmonic (Fort Wayne, IN)


  Children at a music class

Fort Wayne Philharmonic musicians interact with preschool children as part of the Preschool Music Program. Photo courtesy of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic has been crucial to the musical landscape of northern Indiana since its debut in 1944. Under the current direction of Edvard Tchivzhel, the philharmonic continues to bring the highest quality classical music to the community through a 38-week concert season and a variety of educational and outreach initiatives.

In FY 2003, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic received an NEA Arts Learning grant of $20,000 to continue the Preschool Music Program for the 2003-2004 school year, in collaboration with the Childhood Alliance of Northeast Indiana Head Start and the Early Childhood Alliance. Now in its fifth year, this program was created to battle the declining arts curriculum in minority and inner-city preschools of Fort Wayne, with the aim of exposing and involving these children in music through classroom activities and ensemble performances.

Two essential components of the Preschool Music Program include specialized classroom music curricula and two live ensemble performances by philharmonic musicians. Each of the participating teachers receive a music curriculum, which includes 24 lesson plans and two compact discs teaching music fundamentals through interactive activities with the students. Additionally, each preschool has access to a variety of rhythm instruments, which will allow students to learn musical concepts by hands-on participation.

The Preschool Music Program culminates in two ensemble performances led by Fort Wayne Philharmonic musicians. Each 30-minute “informance” offers students close interaction with both the musicians and their instruments. The Preschool Music Program will serve in total 17 Head Start and Early Childhood Alliance sites, which equals 36 classrooms and more than 900 “at-risk” children in the greater Fort Wayne area.


(From the 2003 NEA Annual Report)