Duquesne University School of Music to Hold Concerts for Pittsburgh Area Schools Participating in National Weill Music Institute Program

PITTSBURGH - The Duquesne University School of Music will hold concerts at 10 a.m. and noon at Carnegie Hall in Oakland on March 17, capping the Weill Music Institute's Communities LinkUP! initiative, which this school year has provided music education, training and resources to hundreds of schoolchildren and teachers at schools throughout the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese and the city of Pittsburgh.

Communities LinkUP!, supported by a grant from the Verizon Foundation, is designed to strengthen relationships between orchestras and local schools and communities, targeting children in the fourth through sixth grades throughout the United States.

Members of the Duquense University School of Music have been working with students and teachers from 57 schools, focusing on increasing the children's performing, creating and listening skills through classroom instruction, teacher professional development and interactive orchestra concerts.

The New York-based National Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall developed Communities LinkUP! and provides professional development support for teachers, curriculum materials, soprano recorders and a program subsidy to each organization.

The culmination of the year-long program is a live orchestra performance for the local fourth to sixth-grade children, which for many is their first concert experience. The concert applies the musical concepts studied during the year and gives the students the opportunity to play the recorder or sing along with the orchestra throughout the performance.

Other regional orchestras supported by the Verizon Foundation include: Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii; Baton Rouge Symphony, Louisiana; West Shore Symphony Orchestra, Michigan; Whole Schools Initiative + USM Orchestra, Mississippi; St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Missouri; Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Nebraska; Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas; and Carnegie Hall West Virginia, West Virginia.

This alliance with Carnegie Hall underscores Verizon's commitment to supporting education and the advancement of the arts and the Weill Music Institute's dedication to expanding its outreach and providing its expertise to communities throughout the United States.

"Communities LinkUp! is a program we proudly support because it provides a richer educational experience for students in the Pittsburgh area and gives teachers the resources and developmental tools they need to provide music education that inspires student musicians," said James V. O'Rourke, Verizon Pennsylvania president and CEO.

Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall's executive and artistic director, said, "The goal of the Weill Music Institute is to take a leadership role in music education by sharing the unique resources of Carnegie Hall with audiences throughout the U.S. and the world. We are always interested in reaching new communities, promoting musical knowledge, and fostering new partnerships with like-minded institutions. We are delighted to partner with Verizon, which shares these common goals."

Communities LinkUP! is part of the Isaac Stern Education Legacy, a program that uses technology to deliver Carnegie Hall's acclaimed music education programs to a nationwide audience. Communities LinkUP! reaches over 25,000 students and 800 teachers.

The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall develops and implements Carnegie Hall's music education programs. The institute uses the world-renowned resources of Carnegie Hall to bring music education to people in the New York City metropolitan region, across the United States and around the world. The institute offers programs for the general public, students from pre-school through high school, and young professional musicians and composers. Family concerts at Carnegie Hall and free neighborhood concerts in all five boroughs bring music to thousands within the greater New York City community each year. School-based programs enable students at all levels to participate in curricula that are age-appropriate, interactive, and conform to New York City, state and national education standards. Professional training workshops, led by internationally renowned artists, prepare emerging young musicians for a lifetime in music. Adult education programs provide insight into the musicians and composers behind the music through pre-concert lectures, interactive concerts and other activities. The Weill Music Institute also brings its educational programs to national and international audiences, using Web-based and distance-learning technology.

Verizon ensures that technology touches families' lives. The Verizon Foundation supports initiatives that improve literacy and education, support families victimized by domestic violence, promote health and create access for persons with disabilities. In 2005, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, one of the largest employee volunteer programs responsible for 2 million hours of community service since 2000 and $35.6 million in combined contributions to nonprofits in 2005, alone.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.