Choral group receives $160,000 from the Monsanto Fund to support shows, program

St. Louis, MO –The renowned IN UNISON Chorus will perform two holiday concerts at Powell Hall this holiday season.  Thanks in part to a $160,000 grant just received from the Monsanto Fund, IN UNISON presents Too Hot to Handel: A Gospel Messiah at Powell Hall December 12-13, 2013. The program, led by Kevin McBeth, gives a jazz and gospel twist to Handel’s holiday classic, Messiah

“IN UNISON speaks to the importance of the St. Louis Symphony’s community partnerships, which include an ongoing and deepening relationship with a rich diversity of communities,” said Fred Bronstein, President/CEO of the St. Louis Symphony.  “The history of the program is robust, and its future is strong thanks to the continuing commitment of our partners in the IN UNISON churches around St. Louis, and to the Monsanto Fund for recognizing the importance of these partnerships.” 

Designed to provide music-related resources to predominantly African-American churches in the region and increase the community’s access to Powell Hall, the IN UNISON program began in 1992 with only five churches.  Today the program reaches more than 20,000 people from more than 40 churches in St. Louis. Funds from the Monsanto Fund grant will be used to continue and strengthen the program’s mission.

“Since music is the world’s universal language shouldn’t everyone have access to it?” asked Monsanto Fund president Deborah Patterson.  “I’m thrilled we are able to support a program that touches so many lives--from those in the audience at IN UNISON’s wonderful concerts to the youth who advance their education through its scholarships.”

Through the IN UNISON program, St. Louis Symphony musicians also visit churches and provide music for services as well as other events.  IN UNISON church members are eligible for discounts at Powell Hall. In addition to its college scholarship program, IN UNISON also provides financial assistance to church youth so they may attend summer music camps and/or receive year-long music instruction.

The IN UNISON Chorus also performs February at Powell Hall as part of the Lift Every Voice: Black History Month performance (Thursday, February 14, 2014 featuring soloist Jennifer Holliday).   


About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

About the St. Louis Symphony

Founded in 1880 and now in its 134th season, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director, the second American-born conductor to hold that post in the Orchestra’s history.  The St. Louis Symphony strives for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility and community connection while meeting its mission statement:  enriching people’s live through the power of music. The Symphony presents a full season of classical programs and Live at Powell Hall concerts, as well as hundreds of free education and community programs each year. In May 2009, the Symphony implemented an encompassing strategic plan that includes a 10-year vision focusing on artistic and institutional excellence, expanding audience and revenue growth across all key operating areas.