L to R: Dr. Richard Bell, Assistant Professor of Music at Clayton State University, Dantes Rameau, Executive Director of the Atlanta Music Project, Thomas Giffen, Director of Development at Clayton State University. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr./Solidarity Films

AMP Executive Director Dantes Rameau (center) holds the new Atlanta Music Project Endowed Scholarships with Clayton State University partners Dr. Richard Bell, Assistant Professor of Music (left), and Director of Development Thomas Giffin (right). Photo by Anthony Alston Jr./Solidarity Films.

The Atlanta Music Project and Clayton State University Announce Music Scholarships for Underserved Students

AMP-5year Logo Transparent claytonstatelogo_blueorangeClayton State University and The Atlanta Music Project (AMP) announced on May 2, 2015 at the AMP Orchestra’s Spring Concert at the Woodruff Arts Center, a joint program that will provide endowed funding for AMP graduates to continue their education with the Clayton State Music Department. Once the endowed effort is fully funded, The Atlanta Music Project Endowed Scholarships will provide monies for graduates of AMP, a music education program in metropolitan Atlanta for underserved youth, who want to continue their music education at the university in Morrow, Georgia. The scholarship funding will be utilized for students who major or minor in music at Clayton State. There will also be monies for Clayton State students who are assisting young musicians in the AMP program. The initial gift for the endowed scholarship was contributed from an anonymous donor.

“This is an exceptional opportunity for our students,” explains Dantes Rameau, co-founder and executive director of the Atlanta Music Project. “As a member of the Sistema Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory I was inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s world famous music education program. I was impressed with how they connected the learning of music to the building of community. AMP’s mission has always been as much social as it is musical and now that goal can continue through Clayton State and add the opportunities that a higher education can offer into the equation of success for our students.”

READ & LISTEN: WABE 90.1’s Lois Reitzes interviews Dantes Rameau and Professor Richard Bell about Clayton State’s Atlanta Music Project Endowed Scholarships

Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project provides intense, tuition-free music education to underserved youth in their neighborhoods. As executive director of the Atlanta Music Project, Rameau has raised over 1.3 million dollars for the organization and has grown programming to 115 students, 15 teaching artists, and three sites. A fourth site adding 85 new students is planned for the fall of 2015. The Clayton State gift represents AMP’s first joint scholarship effort with a university in the region.

“As our students go through our program, we are seeing that their commitment to the pursuit of musical excellence is developing their confidence, perseverance, and ambition, all important character traits for a successful future,” Rameau reported. “We are proud and grateful to be working with the music education program at Clayton State and we know their faculty appreciate the quality of the young people enrolled in our program.”

AMP’s music program is rigorous with classes taking place after school from three to five days per week, for two hours each day.

“We have admired the work of The Atlanta Music Project organization from its inception,” reported Dr. Susan Tusing, chair of the department of visual and performing arts at Clayton State. “AMP provides instruments, classes, world-class artists for students to learn from, and numerous performance opportunities. Obviously that type of student, and the kind of talent that program produces, is what every leading music program in the state is looking to attract.”

AMP classes include orchestra, choir, music theory, ear training, African drum and dance, and instruction in voice and orchestral instruments.

“AMP and Clayton State are presently actively seeking additional private funding from individuals and foundations that also believe this type of partnership represents extended hope and opportunity for dedicated students and the communities that both organizations serve,” Tusing commented.

Additional informational about how to make a gift The Atlanta Music Project Endowed Scholarship Fund may be obtained by contacting Lindsay Aleshire, marketing and operations manager for The Atlanta Music Project, at 678-235-4267 or lindsay@atlantamusicproject.org.

About the Atlanta Music Project

Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project provides intense, tuition-free music education for underserved youth right in their neighborhood. AMP’s mission is to inspire social change by providing Atlanta’s underserved youth the opportunity to learn and perform music in orchestras and choirs. Currently in its fifth year of programming and serving 115 students at three sites, AMP provides all its students with an instrument, a teaching artist, classes, and numerous public performance opportunities. AMP does not hold entrance auditions – the only requirement is commitment to attending all classes. AMP’s programs include: the AMP Orchestra; AMPlify, the choral program of the Atlanta Music Project; and the AMP Academy, providing advanced musical training to AMP’s most talented and dedicated students. AMP’s young artists have performed at Atlanta’s most prestigious venues, including the Woodruff Arts Center, Spivey Hall, The Rialto Center for the Arts and Philips Arena. In the next three years, AMP will expand to serve over 300 students at multiple sites. For additional information visit www.atlantamusicproject.org.

About Clayton State University

Located in South Metro Atlanta and founded in 1969, Clayton State University is committed to cultivating an environment of engaged, experienced-based learning, enriched by active community service, that prepares students of diverse ages and backgrounds to succeed in their lives and careers. With more than 7,000 students enrolled in four Colleges and in one of Georgia’s largest dual-enrollment programs, the University has been ranked among the top institutions in the region offering the best value in education. Special initiatives of the University include the Small Business Development Center through the College of Business that offers one-on-one counseling to new and existing businesses in South-Metro Atlanta region, and the Film and Digital Media Center which provides a path to working in the film industry and boasts a 10,000 square foot professional production and sound studio, Lucy Huie Hall. Clayton State competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. For more information, please visit http://www.clayton.edu.