Choral group receives $160,000 to support performances, programs and scholarships

St. Louis, MO –As the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus prepares for its sold-out Gospel Christmas performance at Powell Hall, the Monsanto Fund announces a $160,000 sustaining grant for the program.  

IN UNISON provides music resources to predominantly African-American churches in the St. Louis area.  The program reaches more than 20,000 people from more than 40 churches, and the Monsanto Fund grant will be used to continue the program’s mission.  Through the IN UNISON program, St. Louis Symphony musicians visit churches and provide music for services and other events.  IN UNISON church members are eligible for discounts at Powell Hall and the IN UNISON program provides financial assistance to church youth and college students to further their music studies.

“The IN UNISON program, now in its 20th year at the St. Louis Symphony, continues to grow and flourish thanks to generous support from the Monsanto Fund,” said John Easley, St. Louis Symphony Vice President for Development and Interim Co-CEO.  “IN UNISON has helped make the music of the St. Louis Symphony more accessible throughout our community.  It has created a deep and lasting bond between the orchestra and IN UNISON partner churches, the Chorus continues to dazzle and inspire during its performances at Powell Hall and we’re pleased to be able to offer deserving college students scholarships so they can continue their music education.”

“I’m thrilled we are able to support a program that enhances lives through music,” said Deborah Patterson, president of the Monsanto Fund. “IN UNISON helps St. Louis area youth further their education, and it exposes people from diverse audiences to the St. Louis Symphony within their own communities.”

The IN UNISON Chorus performs twice each season at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony:  this year’s Gospel Christmas features singer and R&B sensation Oleta Adams.  The program, led by chorus director Kevin McBeth, features gospel and spiritual music of the holiday season. 

The Chorus will also take the stage in February as part of the Lift Every Voice: Black History Month concert, featuring vocalist Patti Austin February 13, 2015.


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 135th 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 and hundreds of free education and community programs each year.  Media partners include St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 –KWMU, which broadcasts the Symphony’s Saturday night subscription concerts live, and The Nine Network, which regularly features STL Symphony performances on its Living St. Louis program.