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‘Courage,’ the Latest Offering from Music & Arts Project Imagine, Exceeds Request Limit in Under Four Hours

Christian Wissmuller • Supplier Scene • April 25, 2024
Music & Arts  announces the latest developments regarding Project Imagine. In an equal partnership with the Guitar Center Music Foundation, Project Imagine addresses issues related to access and equity by providing underserved music programs the opportunity to perform high-quality pieces entirely free of charge. Crafted by noted film and television composer JoAnne Harris, Courage is the series’ fourth composition (and second work for band), and is an inspirational, educational, and accessible work that will challenge any young musician. Demand for the piece exceeded previous compositions, with requests for the score exceeding capacity in only four hours following launch. The piece has been distributed to 250 band programs nationwide and will impact over ten thousand students this year alone.
Scott Lang, Director of Advocacy, Music & Arts, remarks, “The reach of Project Imagine cannot be overstated. The works associated with this important program have impacted over sixty thousand students in eight hundred schools and in forty-seven states. When coupled with our teaching tips, rehearsal suggestions, and personal development activities, Courage provides a meaningful and memorable experience for the teacher, student, and parent.”

Composer JoAnn Harris shares her inspiration for the work in the following way: “I wrote Courage in response to myriad events in the world, but particularly in the U.S., that give me anxiety. It helps me to remember that acts of courage can be small and seemingly insignificant in the beginning (like a tiny motif), but that sometimes a good idea can catch on and grow. A deep breath, a commitment to peace making, and a confidence that there are others deeply wanting to build community rooted in justice – systems that seek to value our neighbors as significantly as we value ourselves. This is the headspace I was in when I wrote Courage.” 

To learn more about Project Imagine and Music & Arts, visit www.musicarts.com/cms/project-imagine.
About the composer:
JoAnne Harris has conducted and recorded film scores at Abbey Road, East West, The Village, and Avatar with artists such as GRAMMY® winner Kurt Elling and members of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Her television work includes scores for Mal de Ojo (HBO), 20/20Primetime and Dateline. She has orchestrated and conducted scores for feature films City of Lies and The Infiltrator. Most recently, she conducted and orchestrated the score for season 2 of Life and Beth (Hulu). Other highlights include conducting ensembles for the Shinnyo-En Lantern Lighting Festival at Lincoln Center, writing string arrangements for Chris Cester (of the band Jet), working on the music team of Sylvia (Broadway), and a summer in Shenzhen, China, writing music for an aerial circus show. She is a 2020 Vandoren Emerging Artist Composer, a 2015 ASCAP “Composer to Watch” and a 2016 winner of the Dallas Winds Fanfare Competition. Her concert music has been played by Manhattan Wind Ensemble, Met Winds, ensembles at Arizona State, Oregon State University, South Dakota State University, UT Austin, Cal State Fullerton, UW Eau Claire and the University of Northern Iowa, among others. A graduate of Concordia College, JoAnne studied choral music with René Clausen. She teaches media scoring at Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema (CUNY Brooklyn College) and orchestration at Catholic University of America, and is a steering committee member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists in New York. JoAnne is a student of the organ and spends her free time working through the Orgelbüchlein. She is thankful that her formative years were spent in the company of her father’s eclectic CD collection.
More about Project Imagine:
Project Imagine features a series of compositions (classified as grade/difficulty level 2-3 out of 5) intended for middle school and high school ensembles. Each piece is accompanied by optional rehearsal suggestions / tips and personal growth curricula, creating a comprehensive nine-week thematic instructional unit that will create a memorable experience for directors and their students.

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