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The Arts Action Fund is pleased to highlight Play On, Philly! (POP). Arts Action Fund member Stanford Thompson serves as the West Philadelphia based program’s Executive Director. The mission of POP is to “. . . develop critical executive functioning skills, provide an environment of opportunities, and increase achievement by providing daily musical training.”
POP is working in conjunction with the St. Francis de Sales School to provide music education outside of the classroom to children in challenging socio-economic conditions. The program serves 110 students ranging in age from 6 through 13. Since September, the children have attended after-school music classes three hours per weekday; and are expected to receive 650 hours of musical instruction this year.
The students chose one instrument of study from the string, woodwind, or brass family respectively. Beyond their instrumental work, the students also participate in general music classes, choir, percussion ensemble, jazz, and composition. In addition to this well rounded education in music, the students are also exposed to a number of performance opportunities including the POP Symphony Orchestra, the string orchestra, the wind ensemble, and the chamber music program.
“Our primary goal is to build a foundation for a prosperous and sustainable society in Philadelphia,” says Thompson. “By making this investment in children to acquire high-level executive functioning skills, they will soon pay back society through a lifetime of productivity and responsible, engaged citizenship.”
POP Symphony Orchestra will perform ten concerts this season in venues in Philadelphia and across the region. The students will work collaboratively with the area’s best the fine arts, education and social organizations. They will partner with Musicopia, the Philadelphia Sinfonia, Mann Music Center, Drexel University and the Salvation Army, among many others.
The Action Fund congratulates Stanford Thompson on the program’s success. We will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of all of our members to ensure that the arts and arts education continue to thrive nationwide. For more information on POP, email info@PlayOnPhilly.org.
Cello and viola studio November 2010 concert at the TEDxPhilly Conference in the Perlman Theater of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Kevin Monko