St. Louis Symphony Orchestra receives $160,000 grant from Bayer Fund to support IN UNISON programs

Bayer Fund continues longtime support of the SLSO's IN UNISON programs, including signature chorus, community outreach, and academic programs

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(July 7, 2022, St. Louis, MO) – Bayer Fund, the philanthropic arm of Bayer in the US, donated $160,000 to SLSO, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. This grant will support the orchestra's IN UNISON programs, including the IN UNISON Church Program, the IN UNISON Chorus, and IN UNISON Academy for the 2022/2023 season.

Since the program's inception in 1992, Bayer Fund has supported the SLSO's IN UNISON activities to meaningfully connect the St. Louis community and SLSO through music. Over the past 30 years, Bayer Fund has given the SLSO more than $8 million to help the orchestra create and sustain its IN UNISON programs. Today, the SLSO's IN UNISON programs serve 15 counties in the bi-state region and impact more than 11,000 people each year.

Al Mitchell, President of Bayer Fund, said, "Throughout the years, the grants given through Bayer Fund have helped strengthen our communities across the United States. We're proud to be able to provide support to develop programs like the SLSO's IN UNISON programs, which has been critical in inspiring greater community engagement with music."

Marie-Hélène Bernard, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra President and CEO, said, "We are deeply grateful for Bayer Fund's visionary and longtime support of our IN UNISON programs. Thanks to their generous commitment, the SLSO has worked with community partners and fostered deeper relationships throughout our region. And together, through music, we help nurture a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse St. Louis."

IN UNISON Chorus programs during the 2022/2023 season include the SLSO's first free community concert in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., plus the popular Gospel Holiday and Lift Every Voice concerts, and the annual community concert commemorating Juneteenth presented in collaboration with an IN UNISON Church partner. The IN UNISON Academy will continue its scholarship, mentorship, and workforce readiness support of college students pursuing degrees in music or a music-related field, while the Church program continues music fellowship with 33 partner churches.

The SLSO's IN UNISON program began in fall 1992 with the support of Bayer Fund and in partnership with the St. Louis Clergy Coalition to broaden connections between the SLSO and the greater St. Louis community through partner churches. What began as a pilot program with five partner churches has grown to 33 partner churches today. Through IN UNISON, the SLSO also launched a groundbreaking chorus dedicated to the performance and preservation of Black musical expression, and has provided coaching, mentorship, and college assistance to more than 200 youth and young adults. Over the past year, the SLSO quadrupled the scope of its Peer-to-Peer program, an academic support program with roots in IN UNISON, to connect young musicians with SLSO musicians and musicians in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra through weekly virtual learning sessions.

In 2021, Bayer Fund awarded more than $13.1 million to over 3,400 charitable and nonprofit organizations to help address essential needs in Food and Nutrition, STEM Education and Health & Wellness. Over the past five years, nonprofit organizations across the U.S. have received more than $75 million.

To learn more about Bayer Fund visit www.fund.bayer.us.

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as a leading American orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 142nd year with the 2021/2022 season and its third with Music Director Stéphane Denève. The SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community collaborations, honoring its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

The SLSO serves as a convener of individuals, creators, and ideas, and is committed to building community through compelling and inclusive musical experiences. As it continues its longstanding focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, the SLSO embraces its strengths as a responsive, nimble organization, while investing in partnerships locally and elevating its presence globally. For more information, visit slso.org.

About Bayer Fund
Bayer Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education and community development projects.

Bayer Fund Media Contact:
Nicole Hayes
nicole.hayes@bayer.com
201-421-5268

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