Donation will support faculty chairs, scholarships and music programs.
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."
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 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 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.