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Garth Newel Music Center

Mission: Garth Newel Music Center (GNMC) explores, shares, and cultivates interest in chamber music in an intimate setting of historic significance and natural beauty.

Community Need: The Highland High School (HHS) was the only organized music education band program in the area and there were no opportunities for students younger than high school or those interested in string instruments before the Allegheny Mountain String Project (AMSP) began in 2010.  Schools have had to cut arts education and it is impressive that the HHS has been able to sustain its band program, but it is unlikely in the near future that funding will be available through state education streams to include school orchestra programs in such a rural community.  Without support to pay for scholarships, teaching space, and other administrative expenses the program would be too costly for many Highland County families.

Primary Activities: GNMC provides live professional performances (50 concerts and events) each year.  They offer exceptional hospitality through gourmet meals by a resident artist-chef where the musicians and audience sit together over a fantastic meal. Guests can also book a room at the historic Manor House for bed & breakfast style hospitality on the beautiful grounds with walking trails and breathtaking views.

Their education programs are central to their mission.  Each year GNMC hosts an amateur chamber music retreat for adults who want to continue learning; a young artist’s fellowship program for college-age students heading into music careers; and a teacher training weekend for string teachers who want to deepen their creative teaching skills. Their largest scale educational program is the AMSP

Constituents Served: Anyone can attend a GNMC concert with the purchase of a ticket and costs are subsidized by grant support AMSP student and one parent can attend for free). In 2017, GNMC held 44 with attendance of 3,018 people. GNMC offers two concert series that are free, pay-as-you-wish concerts.

The AMSP is available to all school age students who can attend activities in one of their three teaching locations: Highland Center (Monterey); Garth Newel Music Center (Hot Springs) and The Clifton Forge School of the Arts (Alleghany County).  Though there are enrollment costs, scholarships are given on a need-based scale and no student is ever turned down for inability to afford fees.

Program Details:  This request is for the Allegheny Mountain String Project [AMSP], the comprehensive string music educational initiative of the GNMC. This program provides string instrument education including private lessons, workshops with visiting artists, small ensemble opportunities and the area’s only youth orchestra. AMSP helps families rent low cost instruments and offers scholarships to students who cannot afford the full cost of private lessons.   However, Highland County has the largest need for scholarship funding and the fewest opportunities for grant and private donations. Much of AMSP instructional time is spent in classical instruction but learning how to think creatively is a hallmark that makes the program unique. They bring in artists from around the country that are very good at working with young people, inspiring them and getting them playing together no matter how advanced. It also brings a diverse economic and geographic population together over their shared love of music.

Amount Requested: $3,500

Operating Budget: $1,227,233

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