Philharmonic, NTN Driveshaft partner for music education program at FFY

The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s youth music education programs are reaching out to another part of the local community with the help of a local manufacturer.

NTN Driveshaft Inc. is funding the initiative that begins as a free violin program — with take-home instruments — Sept. 16 at Foundation For Youth, 405 Hope Ave. That news, which Philharmonic Music Director David Bowden called “a major announcement,” was made at the Philharmonic’s annual meeting Monday at the Columbus Area Visitors Center downtown.

The local professional orchestra long has earned accolades from music leaders, other orchestras nationally, Grammy-winning artists such as Sylvia McNair and others for devoting about 20 percent of its $943,000 annual budget to youth music education.

The orchestra’s before-school and after-school strings classes are in every public elementary school in Bartholomew County, according to orchestra leaders. Vanessa Edwards, also the Philharmonic’s principal second violin, coordinates the program.

“This is something about which NTN is very, very passionate,” said David Bowden, the Philharmonic music director. “And we are delighted that we can work with them at Foundation for Youth.”

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.