Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Awarded PNC Arts Alive Grant

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Awarded PNC Arts Alive Grant

$25,000 Award Will Support the Summer 2012 BIG SING//Schubert


PHILADELPHIA – Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia was among twenty-five arts organizations that were awarded grants of a combined $1 million by the PNC Foundation through PNC Arts Alive. The PNC Arts Alive grant of $25,000 to Mendelssohn Club supports the chorus’ upcoming BIG SING//Schubert, an ongoing community series where the chorus and the audience sit together while the chorus performs with the audience. This year’s

BIG SING performance will feature culturally diverse guest choruses who will teach the Mendelssohn Club and their audiences some of their repertoire. Audience members describe BIG SING as “cinematic surround sound” through which they can feel the music’s vibrations, hear the music around and sing with the chorus. The 2012 BIG SING performance is scheduled for July 25 at the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia.

Speaking on behalf of Mendelssohn Club, Executive Director Janelle McCoy praised the support from PNC. “This generous gift will help underwrite BIG SING, our innovative series crafted for audiences to experience the music from the inside out. We remove the traditional barrier between performers and listeners and have the chorus and audience sit together while we both perform a choral masterwork together. BIG SING was our most popular engagement initiative last year. This year, Mendelssohn Club is joining forces with a Korean and an African Episcopal chorus as a way to help build a cultural bridge through music.”

Thanks to the support of PNC Arts Alive grant, Mendelssohn Club will continue the BIG SING series this summer and add a cross-cultural component to deepen engagement and community diversity. This year, Mendelssohn Club will sing Schubert’s Mass In G with Philadelphia Master Chorale, made up of Korean American singers and the St. Thomas Chancel Choir, one of the city’s preeminent African Episcopal choirs. Each group will rehearse with Mendelssohn Club and will also perform with the audience. In turn, the guest choruses will teach Mendelssohn Club some of their repertoire and perform it with the community.

“Art should be accessible to everyone,” said Bill Mills, PNC regional president for Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “We know that a vibrant arts scene improves our region by creating jobs, boosting tourism and generating millions in revenue. But accessibility to the arts can also make a profound difference in the lives of individuals—especially underserved youth and their families. The arts develop creativity, innovation, and collaboration—skills for the workforce of tomorrow.”

According to past grantees PNC Arts Alive has definitely increased access to the arts. Last year, PNC studied the projects in the first year of the Arts Alive portfolio and found that 73% of the projects successfully lowered barriers to participation in the arts among individuals with limited access.


PNC Arts Alive Background

The first $1 million in PNC Arts Alive grants was awarded to 23 groups in July 2009. The second $1 million went to 27 groups in May 2010 and the third $1 million to 26 groups in May 2011. This year 21 arts groups are receiving PNC funding, along with four service partners. (A full description of the grantees is below). For more information visit

PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million initiative from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). The goal of PNC Arts Alive is to help area residents gain access to the arts and to help arts organizations expand and engage audiences.

The fourth year of PNC Arts Alive grants represent a wide range of disciplines, audiences and participatory experiences from arts groups large and small, city and suburban. New to the Arts Alive portfolio are pop-up theater and music performances, novel audience engagement ideas, and information regarding free arts and cultural happenings in the region. Family arts programming and neighborhood-based initiatives are a common thread again in this year’s portfolio. To date, PNC Arts Alive has awarded more than 100 grants totaling $4 million to more than 50 arts organizations in the Greater Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey region.

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.


Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

One of America’s oldest choruses, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia performs choral music to create a shared transcendent experience among its singers and audiences. Through the excellence of its adventurous performances, Mendelssohn Club advances the development of choral music as an art form. For information about Mendelssohn Club’s concerts and programs, or to order tickets for the 2011-2012 season, visit You can also find Mendelssohn Club on Facebook at



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