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Other Programs

Over the years, American Voices has implemented a variety of programs that have played a pivotal role in promoting cultural diplomacy and fostering cross-cultural connections, leaving a lasting impact on the communities they served.

Bernstein at 100

One such program was Bernstein at 100. In 2018, American Voices offered a series of concert programs celebrating the life, times, and work of Leonard Bernstein, one of the luminaries of American music. This program featured a wide range of community activities, residencies, and collaborative projects, pairing American Voices artists with local performers and institutions. Program highlights included a large-scale collaboration with local children’s choirs in Rivne, Ukraine the ancestral home of the Bernstein family. Other programs took place in Belarus, Moldova, Malta, and France.

Music Across Borders

Music Across Borders was created through a partnership between American Voices and a local media outlet in St. Louis, Missouri. This program offered World Music performances and educational programs highlighting collaborative cultural exchanges with artists and ensembles representing Uganda, Iraq, Iran, and Mongolia. Activities included performances and workshops at local schools, collaborations between visiting artists and local musicians, outreach to refugee and immigrant community groups, and partnerships with universities for panels and forums. Support was provided by the Gateway Foundation and the Saint Louis Arts Council.

Orchestras Across Borders

The Orchestras Across Borders program has been held since 2007 in various locations across the Middle East and Asia, ranging from Sudan and Iraq to Thailand and Lebanon. Participants, drawn from music schools, universities, and conservatories, are paired with outstanding U.S. conductors and musicians. These aspiring young instrumentalists are given the opportunity to receive private lessons and access to leading American method books even after their mentors return to the United States. Students also receive opportunities to play in orchestras and chamber music ensembles, often for the very first time. During a typical Orchestras Across Borders program, students learned new repertoire ranging from Baroque to popular and contemporary American music—from Bach and Beethoven to Bernstein and Hollywood film soundtracks. Concerts often included repertoire considered standard in the United States but completely unknown to youth in Iraq or Lebanon.

The legacy of these programs continues to influence our current work. Like all American Voices programs, they not only entertain but also educate by providing audiences in emerging and transitional nations with a deeper understanding of American culture. The connections made, the skills developed, and the cultural understanding fostered through these programs have paved the way for our ongoing efforts in cultural diplomacy. As we move forward, we remain committed to our mission of using the arts to bridge cultural divides through meaningful exchange and engagement programs.