BMI Foundation Awards $15,000 Commissioning Grant to Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Published: 11.14.2016

The BMI Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to GRAMMY-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus in support of its annual commissioning activities for the next three years, including its 25th anniversary project, Silent Voices. In this year-long multimedia, multi-composer initiative, choristers age 12-18 inspire change by giving voice to those who have been marginalized based on social, cultural, or religious standing. The Chorus has commissioned a diverse group of acclaimed artists to create music exploring themes of race, gender, and inequality. Featured composers include Sahba Aminikia, Jeff Beal, Rhiannon Giddens, Caroline Shaw, and DJ Spooky. The series of live concerts and radio performances will culminate in a world premiere at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in May 2017.

“The BMI Foundation’s mission is to encourage music education, as well as the creation of new works,” said Deirdre Chadwick, President of the BMI Foundation. “The Brooklyn Youth Chorus has maintained a strong commitment to music education, providing access to their excellent programs regardless of ability to pay; and an equally strong commitment to the idea that a large portion of any musician’s training ought to be the study and performance of the music of their time and place. With this grant, we commend the Chorus for its outstanding artistry, visionary commissioning, and commitment to social equity."

Brooklyn Youth Chorus is a collective of young singers and vocal ensembles re-envisioning choral music performance through artistic innovation, collaboration, and their distinctively beautiful sound. With an incredibly versatile range and repertoire, Brooklyn Youth Chorus combines intensive voice training and music study with exceptional performance experiences. Its artistic excellence and achievement has made it the go-to chorus for leading New York orchestras, popular recording artists, and arts presenters. Founded in 1992 by Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker, Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s after-school program encompasses over 500 students in multi-level training divisions and advanced performing ensembles. For more information, visit

The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization, incorporated in the state of New York in February 1984, and dedicated to the creation, performance and study of music, in fields including but not limited to music education, the preservation of the indigenous American jazz form, and the creation and exposure to audiences of contemporary music, particularly in the areas of classical, jazz, and musical theatre. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation may be made on our website. For exclusive news and content, follow @bmifoundation on Twitter and like “BMI Foundation” on Facebook.