Symphony awarded NEA grant


The Central Ohio Symphony has received a Grants for Arts Projects from the National Endowment for the Arts for its “Play It Again” project for its 43rd season.

“Play It Again,” the Symphony’s proposal, is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.

“Play It Again” is a season long series in which contemporary works which have premiered elsewhere will get a second performance.

“This was an idea that our music director, Jaime Morales-Matos, proposed,” said Symphony Executive Director Warren W. Hyer. “It is hard for most composers to get a commission and have a work premiered. It is even more difficult to get a second or third performance.”

Hyer added that “Play It Again” will accomplish two goals important to the Symphony.

“One, we will be performing works by living composers. Two, all of the composers and many of the guest artists are from underrepresented populations,” he said. “Equity, diversity, and inclusion have to be implemented, not just talked about, in symphony circles. This is an important step for us.”

This is the fourth NEA grant the Symphony has received, the last being for the Building Community project last year, a program that has yet to be performed because of the pandemic restrictions shutting down orchestras across the world. “Receiving our fourth NEA grant recognizes the quality of our programming, a truly unique project, and our commitment to community engagement,” said Hyer.

The Symphony is planning on bringing the orchestra back to the stage for Season 43, which will include “Play It Again,” possibly as early as October 2021. Hyer acknowledged that the pandemic threw challenges to arts organizations everywhere.

“We are narrowing in on what Season 43 will look like,” said Hyer, adding he’s working with Ohio Wesleyan University on scheduling for next year. “Post-pandemic, we will be exploring new ways to bring music to our community.”

More information about upcoming performances, including two recorded concerts later this spring, will be announced on the Symphony’s webpage at and its Facebook page as plans are finalized.

Special to The Gazette

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