Mallarme receives a Mary Duke Biddle Foundation grant to support their new in-school initiative



The Mallarmé Chamber Players is pleased to announce it has received a $3,000 grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. These funds will support the pilot program for a brand-new educational initiative Mallarme Meets the Third Grade (MM3). Arts education is something that every arts organization must consider to ensure future generations of artists and audience members; Mallarmé is no exception.

A goal of Mallarmé Chamber Players’ is to be able to give every 3rd grade student in Durham the opportunity to hear chamber music performed in their classroom. Having that direct contact with musicians in a familiar and informal setting will give students a unique opportunity to interact with them on a personal level. Through this program, students will have the ability to see and learn about the musicians and their instruments. During the performance itself, students will hear a variety of short chamber music works that demonstrate different eras and styles of music and with specific examples they will learn about the elements of music. The intent is to give students a hands-on, creative experience that will enhance their future arts experiences. This new program, Mallarmé Meets the 3rd Grade (MM3), will not only serve as an introduction to the instruments and chamber music but will also assist in preparing students in advance of their 4th grade trip to the North Carolina Symphony.

The program Mallarmé is offering for the 2014-15 pilot year is called Meet the Composer where the students will participate in the creation of a new piece of music. Durham composer Bo Newsome will come into each classroom and discuss how composers come up with ideas for new pieces of music and the elements they use in crafting their compositions. By making connections to the Language Arts curriculum, Mr. Newsome will use the parts of a story as the basis for the form of their musical composition. Each class will work collectively to make decisions about the composition by utilizing musical elements: melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, texture and dynamics. After working with the class, a quartet of Mallarmé musicians will give a performance of the class’s unique composition.

The Mary Duke Biddle grant will allow Mallarmé to go into two Durham elementary schools during this pilot year: R.N. Harris and Morehead Montessori. Mallarmé will consult with the music specialists and third grade teachers in each school to customize the program to work within the structure of their schedules. This pilot includes a residency element where composer Bo Newsome will work independently with each 3rd grade class in advance of the chamber music performance. This gives the students an opportunity to be truly creative in their compositional process. The performance element of MM3, will take place shortly after all the classes have composed their composition. The Mallarmé quartet that performs will be a mix of string and wind players, including composer

Bo Newsome on the oboe and artistic director Suzanne Rousso on viola. In addition to the student compositions, the quartet will perform a new work by Bo Newsome commissioned by Mallarmé called “Short Story” as well as music by Mozart and Beethoven. Student compositions will be audio-recorded and made available to the students in a streaming format. Mallarmé Chamber Players Mallarmé meets the 3rd grade 9/2014


The Mallarmé Chamber Players are a flexible ensemble of professional musicians based in Durham, North Carolina, whose mission is to enrich the lives of their community through outstanding chamber music. The ensemble distinguishes itself by its innovative educational programs, its commitment to creative collaboration with other organizations, its creation of significant new work and its dedication to serve a diverse population. Mallarmé annually presents a series of five concerts that features great, diverse, and multidisciplinary chamber music. Mallarmé performs everything from Bach with period instruments to brand new works.

In this past year alone, Mallarmé has presented two world premières by composers Stephen Jaffe and Bo Newsome . In 2010, Mallarmé released a CD on Albany/Videmus records of chamber music by African American composers, featuring jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, to great acclaim.

Mallarmé is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. The 2014-15 concert season is made possible in part by grants from the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund, the North Carolina Arts Council and Target.

Mary Duke Biddle established the Foundation to implement her philanthropic objectives, and she gave the Trustees latitude to carry out and expand on her initial wishes as the future might dictate. Mrs. Biddle stipulated that half of grant funding go to Duke University, including its schools and programs, hospital, and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, which she gave to the University in honor of her mother. She also requested that consideration be given to the three churches she attended during her lifetime. Mrs. Biddle had a keen interest in the arts and was herself an accomplished musician. Mary D.B.T. Semans and James H. Semans, M.D., her daughter and son-in-law and long-time trustees, continued Mrs. Biddle’s interests and firmly established the Foundation as a champion of the arts. Under their leadership, the Foundation provided support to emerging artists, K-12 arts education, and organizations that use the arts to improve quality of life. In addition, the Foundation has supported social service organizations working to improve the human condition. Today, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation continues a family tradition of philanthropy and commitment to enhance and improve the quality of life in the communities it supports.