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Last modified: Thursday, February 28, 2008

Finding The Groove™

162 West 56th Street, Suite 506
New York, NY 10019
Contact: Jessica Lustig, 212-245-2110, ext. 208

February 28, 2008

In September and October 2008, the world premiere of the Finding The Groove™ concert series will be hosted by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Music for All. Finding The Groove™, which celebrates kids and their love of music, is a new series featuring live multimedia concerts and online social networking from the Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning HBO® documentary series The Music In Me, created by Executive Producer Leslie Stifelman.

Finding The Groove™ is a virtual world where kids aged seven to twelve, from diverse cultural and regional backgrounds, and who are instrumental musicians, composers, singer songwriters and vocalists of all styles or genres, will be able to come and share their musical stories by uploading and sharing videos on a safe network designed for them. A handful of those kids who submitted the most exciting videos online will be chosen to be part of the Finding The Groove™ concert series. This will feature the musical performances and stories of these young musicians who are making connections between their music and the world around them. These multi-media events will be presented in conjunction with major symphony orchestras, symphony halls, and university and community arts organizations from around the country.

The world premiere of Finding The Groove™ is an Indiana statewide initiative in partnership with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Music for All. This program is made possible by the generous support of the NAMM Foundation with a special thanks to MusicCrossroads. The Finding The Groove™ Partners will work closely with many other Indiana organizations that understand the importance of music in the lives of Indiana's youth including the Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana Music Educators Association, Indiana State School Music Association and the Indiana PTA. Finding The Groove™ marks the first statewide collaboration between one of America's major orchestras, one of the world's most highly respected music schools, and one of the nation's most prominent music education organizations, all of which call Indiana home and are uniting to celebrate the important role music plays in the educational development of Indiana's youth.

Children invited to join the Finding The Groove™ world premiere concerts will be given the opportunity to perform live onstage with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra. Some children will also be invited to perform solo, or with their bands or musical friends or families. Video clips from other amazing submissions will also be shown during the program, all illustrating how every child is on a path towards finding their own "groove."

Visit on February 28, 2008 for more details, and see first-hand that music is alive and well, and living in the hearts and minds of children everywhere!

World premiere performances:

September 13, 2008; Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

October 19, 2008; Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Hilbert Circle Theater

About Leslie Stifelman:

Creator and Executive Producer of Finding The Groove™. Peabody-Award winning Executive Producer Leslie Stifelman is currently the Music Director for the Tony- and Grammy-award winning Broadway hit musical Chicago. As the show's conductor, she has been responsible for performances of the longest-running revival in the history of Broadway. Ms. Stifelman and her Tony-award winning colleagues Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, and Roger Rees established the Green Moon Gang, a theatrical production company whose first collaboration was the off-Broadway show Here Lies Jenny, a revue of songs by Kurt Weill. The current show, an orchestral evening of songs by Kurt Weill and Kander & Ebb, is on a national tour with Ms. Stifelman and Ms. Neuwirth. In Ms. Stifelman's role as conductor, she has led the Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and many others. She has also performed with some of the world's leading musicians, including conductor Marin Alsop, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and violinists Mark O'Connor and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and has recorded for all the major record labels including BMG, RCA Victor, Angel, Nonesuch, DRG, Koch International, Albany, and MusicMasters.

A fervent advocate for arts education for children, Ms. Stifelman is the President and Creative Director of Symfunny Toons™ Inc., a company dedicated to the development of television programs and interactive products for children to learn about music. Her company developed the Peabody Award-winning HBO® documentary television series The Music in Me, with Ms. Stifelman serving as Executive Producer. Ms. Stifelman also directed and designed education programs for the Concordia Orchestra, earning the first Bernstein Education Through the Arts Foundation Award. She acted as field consultant for Artsvision and the Annenberg Foundation's Arts and Education Needs and Resources Assessment for the New York City Board of Education that led to the establishment of the Center for Arts and Education.

About the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra:

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is the largest professional performing arts organization in Indiana, one of only 17 full-time year-round orchestras in North America, and performs 200 concerts each year for more than 350,000 people. Renowned for its 77-year legacy of acclaimed recordings, nationwide radio broadcasts, and service to the community, the ISO earned the Arturo Toscanini Music Critics Award and received an ASCAP award for excellence in programming. A key part of the Orchestra's mission is education and its diverse programs earned the Mayor's Award for Excellence in Education from the City of Indianapolis. ISO musicians and staff have created 20 different pioneering learning opportunities for audiences of all ages, which are inspired by the power of music. They include the award-winning Arts Everyday program for elementary school students that addresses state-mandated standards of achievement, the Side-By-Side program for aspiring high school musicians, and Sallie Mae Fund Young People's Discovery Concerts that attract more than 25,000 elementary school students annually from across Indiana to hear the Orchestra perform.

About Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music:

The IU Jacobs School of Music plays a leading role in educating performers, scholars, composers, music educators, and dancers around the globe. The 170 full-time faculty members include performers, scholars, and teachers of international renown. Many top musicians and scholars visit the school each year. The more than 1,600 students, who come from all 50 U.S. states and from 55 countries, benefit from the intensity and focus of a conservatory combined with the academic offerings of a major university. More than 1,100 public performances each year -- including up to eight operas and three ballets -- offer opportunities that are unparalleled at other colleges and universities.

About Music for All:

One of the nation's largest and most influential music education organizations, Music for All combines regional and national music-event programming with awareness campaigns, research, and advocacy aimed at expanding access to music in schools and communities across the nation. Music for All's Bands of America and Orchestra America educational programs include more than 30 events annually in major venues across the United States, involving nearly 300,000 participants and attendees, such as the Music for All National Festival, Music for All Summer Symposium, Bands of America Grand National Championships in the Lucas Oil Stadium, regional marching band championships, leadership workshops, and professional development for teachers. As another showcase for America's young musicians, Music for All will present the Bands of America Honor Band in the Rose Parade® on January 1, 2009. Music for All's research and advocacy efforts have helped bring music education to millions of students while pioneering groundbreaking research on the status and condition of music education across the nation.

About the NAMM Foundation:

The NAMM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in musicmaking across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs from the international music products industry. For more information, interested parties can visit

About MusicCrossroads:

MusicCrossroads' mission is to advance quality of life through the attraction, support, and collaboration of leading performing art entrepreneurs. It was created in 2007 and currently includes six national/international leading performing arts partner organizations including: American Pianists Association, Drum Corps International, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Music for All, and the Percussive Arts Society. MusicCrossroads has four local strategic partners: the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, IndyHub, and the Lacy Leadership Association. MusicCrossroads was created and funded by the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, with additional funding provided by the Indianapolis Foundation.