Grant Awarded to Youth Orchestras of Essex County
The New Jersey Cultural Trust recently awarded the Youth Orchestras of Essex County (YOEC) a $15,000 grant. With the new funding, YOEC is reviewing its organizational structure to address the needs of student musicians and their parents in a 21st century volunteer organization.
YOEC, NJ’s longest operating youth orchestra, provides opportunities for young musicians from Essex County and the surrounding areas to play classical music together under the batons of well-known conductors. Its student musicians range from elementary school through high school and play in three ensembles, Overture Strings, Junior Orchestra, and the Essex County Symphony Orchestra. A member of the League of American Orchestras, YOEC holds weekly rehearsals and semi-annual concerts at the South Orange Middle School.
The NJ Cultural Trust was created in July 2000 as a public/private partnership to help ensure a stable and healthy nonprofit cultural industry in New Jersey that is sustainable even in the toughest of economic times. The Trust provides grants to support capital projects, endowments and institutional and financial stabilization of arts, history and humanities organizations in New Jersey. Grant funding comes from interest earned on the Cultural Trust Fund, which is a permanent investment fund. www.state.nj.us/state/culturaltrust/
The grant will help YOEC strengthen its organization as it faces the challenge of an ever-changing volunteer membership. Each year, 110 to 150 young musicians join YOEC and their parents are expected to help run all aspects of the organization. The grant seeks to “build leadership and to establish organizational systems.”
YOEC has contracted with OMG! Organizational Management Group, a South Orange consulting group that specializes in helping non-profits develop strong, effective organizations.
“The grant from the NJ Cultural Trust is a terrific opportunity for us to strengthen YOEC for the long-term,” said Chris Borstel, YOEC Board of Trustees president. “It will help us think about how to make a strong arts organization stronger and how to keep it vital for
the new century.”
About half of the YOEC musicians are from South Orange, Maplewood and Millburn, with the rest from 18 surrounding towns, including: Bloomfield, Caldwell, Chatham, Fairfield, Florham Park, Glen Ridge, Linden, Little Falls, Livingston, New Brunswick, North Caldwell, Pine Brook, Roseland, Union, Verona, West Orange, Westfield and Woodland Park.
Auditions for 2011-2012 are May 16 and 17. www.yoec.org