“Phish fans help mentoring program”, 8/18/01 Times Union (Albany, NY):
The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra will expand its mentoring programs into Shenendehowa High School’s music room after recently receiving a $5,000 boost from the Mockingbird Foundation, an organization founded by fans of the band Phish. The grant will enable the symphony to conduct a three-month residency that pairs music students with the symphony’s concertmaster and string quartet for individual and group coaching. The SSO has operated a similar program at Schenectady High School for the past five years. “The mentoring program offers students an opportunity to assess the role of music in their lives,” said Christine Mason, executive director of the Schenectady Symphony. “We hope to inspire them, increase their technical skills, and expand their classical repertory.” Students work with concertmaster Michael Emory as well as a violinist, cellist and bassist for five separate sessions. The program ends with a free classical concert performance featuring the orchestra playing with the students. The grant was awarded by the Mockingbird Foundation, an organizatoin formed in 1997 by fans of the rock band Phish to support music education across the country. The annual [sic] awards are funded by the proceeds of two separate projects: “The Phish Companion,” a book about the band and “Sharin’ in the Groove”, a tribute album recorded by various artists. So far, the foundation has awarded schools and organizations nearly $135,000 to purchase instruments, hire instructors and pay for scholarships.