ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Eastman School of Music has begun celebrating it’s centennial this year, and they’re including a big announcement: a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, which will go to commission a piece meant to honor the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
This grant, from the Grants for Arts Project, supports this project for orchestra and narration. The piece will be crafted by Anthony Davis — a Pulitzer-Prize winning composer — and Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.
The piece is meant to debut this year on December 2nd, in a performance from the Eastman Philharmonia conducted by Timothy Long, and Harjo narrating. It will honor the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, also locally known as the Iroquois. The Eastman School of Music says that the school “stands on their land.”
“The Eastman School of Music is immensely grateful to the NEA for its support in the creation of such a unique work,” says Eastman Centennial co-chair Sylvie Beaudette in a statement. “We feel that this piece will fast become a part of the standard orchestral repertoire, similar to Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.”
“We are thrilled to play a role in diversifying the repertoire of orchestral music, not just for our own student’s experience, but for all orchestras,” says Dean Jamal Rossi. The NEA says this project is “among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000” in 2022 fiscal year funding.
This however, comes as the school announced earlier this month that they are postponing all January concerts, as they are working their centennial celebration, which kicked off in Fall 2021, and will run through 2022.