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CalArts School of Music named in recognition of Herb Alpert

April 9, 2008, Valencia, California--Eight-time Grammy® award winner and A&M Records co-founder Herb Alpert and his wife, Grammy®-winning vocalist Lani Hall, have made a $15 million gift to the School of Music at CalArts. President Steven D. Lavine announced that the school would be renamed The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts in recognition of this historic gift and The Herb Alpert Foundation's long-time support of CalArts.

Alpert recalls the moment he sensed the connection to CalArts: "I knew it the first time I walked around CalArts' campus—I could feel the energy and passion in the air. Here was this place to take great leaps, to prepare artists to reach beyond what they know. These are artists who understand that art is what defines us—that it has the power to transform."

"The new Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts will be a great school of musical possibilities," stated Dean David Rosenboom, who holds the Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music. "I am profoundly grateful for The Herb Alpert Foundation’s support of CalArts and for sharing our vision that such a school continues to be the best possible environment for the unfettered, creative evolution of musicmaking. This gift strengthens our leadership in music education, preparing our young musicians with the increasingly flexible and ever-broadening set of skills they need to find their original voices, realize them in today’s shifting professional environment, and then offer them as gifts to our global musical culture."

"Herb and Lani stand with us in championing the individual artist, one who charts an independent creative course," said Lavine. "As artists themselves, Herb and Lani exemplify that same spirit of independent experimentation we nurture at CalArts: to cross the boundaries between the arts, to connect tradition with innovation, and to define the future of the arts. Herb and Lani's commitment to CalArts in addition to their support of the recently named The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will strengthen Southern California as the world’s epicenter for innovative musicmaking."

"Through The Herb Alpert Foundation, we have sought to partner with organizations that focus on providing artists with unbounded opportunities," stated Rona Sebastian, president of The Herb Alpert Foundation. "We have been impressed by CalArts' shared commitment over the many years of our relationship to the full range of arts training, from K-12 education, through college or conservatory professional training, to the post-college transition to the professional world, which is core to the mission of CalArts' downtown REDCAT [The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater] facility. We are genuinely delighted to increase our support so that it can continue its innovative approach to music education."

Over the last 16 years, the intersection of education interests between the Alperts and CalArts has been reflected in The Herb Alpert Foundation's support of the Dizzy Gillespie Chair in Music; the Dizzy Gillespie Recording Studio; programming at REDCAT; K-12 youth education through the Community Arts Partnership (CAP) program; and student scholarships. The cornerstone of this relationship has been a partnership over the past 14 years to present the Alpert Awards in the Arts. The five $75,000 fellowships given each year to mid-career artists in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theater and visual arts are administered by CalArts with funding from The Herb Alpert Foundation. With this new $15 million endowment gift, The Herb Alpert Foundation’s support of CalArts totals nearly $24 million.

Herb Alpert first gained fame as the celebrated trumpet player and leader of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, bringing Latin sounds into the pop music limelight in the 1960s. The co-founder of A&M records, he has five No. 1 hits, eight Grammy® Awards, 15 Gold and 14 Platinum albums to his name. In 2007, Herb Alpert, along with Jerry Moss, was honored with the prestigious lifetime achievement Grammy® Salute to Industry Icons Award.

The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts offers rigorous training in a unique variety of musical styles and cultures--from chamber and large ensemble repertoire to jazz idioms, from theatrical vocal works to experimental media, from the many disciplines of improvisation and composition to diverse musical traditions from around the world. This vibrant mix helps each student to expand his or her artistic and cultural horizons and develop a global, creative perspective. The school's faculty consists of innovators and leaders recognized internationally for both their unique, creative work and their vision as music educators.

This gift will endow three faculty chairs, student scholarships, and new and existing music programs. The first faculty chair position to be announced is in the school's groundbreaking Performer-Composer Program, which is unique in the world. An international search will identify a chair holder who will play a critical role in helping to shape a new Performer-Composer Program leading to the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree. This program will allow students who have progressed through the master's level to engage more deeply in their original visions and obtain an advanced degree that will help fuel their professional careers. Additionally scholarship support will increase the number and range of scholarships offered to exceptional students who set the challenging pace that is vital to the school.

The endowment also provides programmatic opportunities that will foster collaboration, creative exchange and entrepreneurship among the students and faculty. In addition to the new doctoral program, plans include expansion of international initiatives to increase the cultural mobility of students and faculty, performance opportunities that are critical in the development of students' abilities, exploration of closer links between music education and the liberal arts, library resources, and concert series programming. Additionally, the creation of a student-run music label will give students creative liberty and help develop their entrepreneurial skills as they gain concrete experience in the business and technology of music production.


For over 17 years, Rosenboom has led the innovative and experimental curriculum at The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts together with an array of notable composers and performers among its faculty. "This has been an overwhelmingly gratifying team effort, working together with such wonderful colleagues to build our programs," said Rosenboom. "Throughout the years, a steady stream of world-renowned visiting artists has also enriched the studies of CalArts students."

"CalArts is a beacon of inspiration which casts its light across time zones to Europe," stated John Wallace, Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Chair of Conservatoires UK. "When I need a shining example of how culture and creativity shape economies to share with our public sector paymasters back here in the UK, I utter two syllables: CalArts. From the latest world-beating developments, it looks as though those two syllables will be on my lips permanently into the future."

In November 2006, CalArts announced the $125 million Campaign for CalArts, which seeks to grow the endowment, build and equip new facilities, and support current programs. The Herb Alpert Foundation's $15 million contribution brings the Campaign total to $135.9 million, surpassing its original goal nine months early. In recognition of the success and ongoing momentum of the Campaign, the CalArts Board of Trustees has extended the Campaign until June 30, 2009 and increased the goal by $25 million to $150 million, with a $25 million target for new endowed scholarship funds.

"I thank Herb and Lani Alpert and our generous community of donors who have helped us exceed our campaign goals," stated Austin Beutner, chairman of the Board of Trustees.  "Our new campaign and scholarship goals will ensure that excellence and innovation at CalArts will continue well into the future."


The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts:
Formed in 1970 under the direction of composer Mel Powell and ethnomusicologist Nicholas England, and guided also by many other visionary faculty members over the years, the school today offers programs for the professional training of music artists in a unique learning environment founded on principles of the highest artistic excellence, experimentation across categories, critical reflection, and independent inquiry. Firmly grounded in traditional and contemporary music forms, the school’s programs prepare graduates to develop new expressions and contribute to the evolution of music practice. More than 150 courses are offered each semester by approximately 70 faculty members in six programs including Performer-Composer, with a specialization available in African American Improvisational Music; Composition, with a specialization available in Experimental Sound Practices; Jazz; Multi-Focus Performance, encompassing Winds/Brass/Strings/Harp, Piano/Keyboard with a specialization available in Collaborative Keyboard, Guitar, Percussion, Voice, Global Music Performance, African Music and Dance, Balinese and Javanese Music and Dance, North Indian Music, Global Percussion; Multi-Focus Music Technologies; and Musical Arts. The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts has nearly doubled in size from 136 students in 1990 to 249 in 2008.

California Institute of the Arts:
CalArts, the first U.S. higher educational institution to integrate the visual and performing arts under one roof, is recognized as the nation's leading laboratory for the arts. Housing six schools--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater—CalArts embraces creative cross-pollination among diverse art forms and traditions and strongly encourages each artist to pursue his or her vision within a broad context of social and cultural understanding. Six programs are nationally ranked in the top five or top 10 by U.S. News and World Report: Art, Film, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Theater.

The Herb Alpert Foundation:
The Herb Alpert Foundation, a non-profit, private foundation established in the early 1980s, makes significant annual contributions to a range of programs in two major funding categories—the arts and arts education and compassion and well-being.  Its funding is directed toward projects in which Herb and Lani Alpert and Foundation President Rona Sebastian play an active role. [Please note: the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.]


Click to read the Los Angeles Times article.

Last edited by Smith on Aug 26, 2010
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