Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Brian Prechtl is among five recipients selected by the League of American Orchestras to receive the newly established Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service. The awards will be presented during the League's national conference in Baltimore in June.
The initiative, supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund, recognizes outreach work undertaken by musicians, "whether ... inspiring under-served students, bringing comfort in healthcare settings, or bridging cultures through their artistry," League president Jesse Rosen said in a statement.
Prechtl, a BSO member since 2003, was singled out for his contributions to the BSO's widely admired education program OrchKids, serving students in some of Baltimore's most underprivileged schools.
A prolific composer as well as a percussionist, Prechtl considers his community work as being about more than musical training. "We're trying to give these children a glimpse out of the difficult circumstances that encompass their world-view," he said in a statement, and "to instill values and skills that will serve them in all areas for the rest of their lives."
The Ford Musician Awards, selected by "a panel of industry professionals" that reviewed nominations, include grants of $2,500 to each player and $2,500 to each of their orchestras in support of community service.
The others selected for the award: violist Penny Anderson Brill, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; bass clarinetist Shannon Orme, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; principal oboist Jeffrey Paul, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra; and cellist Beth Vandervennet, Oakland Symphony.