Gannon University, Erie Philharmonic and Erie Arts & Culture Partner to Advance Access to Music in Erie

Posted: February 23, 2018

Gannon University, the Erie Philharmonic and Erie Arts & Culture announced their collaboration together in a press conference on Friday, Feb. 23 to leverage the resources of Gannon's Erie Chamber Orchestra (ECO) and advance the delivery of its services to the Erie community.

The three entities have diligently worked to plan for a new, modified vision for the dream behind Bruce Morton Wright's beloved Erie Chamber Orchestra, in which the ECO's concerts will be fulfilled by the Erie Philharmonic after the conclusion of its current season. 

In a collaborative effort to advance the ECO's mission and its service of providing free arts and cultural experiences to the Erie community, the Erie Philharmonic announced it will create a collection of smaller concerts titled the Bruce Morton Wright Chamber Series beginning with its 2018-19 season. These events will continue to be held in churches and performance venues throughout the community to continue the vision of ECO's founder, Bruce Morton Wright, and his dream of free music for everyone in the Erie community, regardless of age, income, background or social status. 

The Erie Chamber Orchestra is supported in part by the Clarence E. Beyers Fund of the Erie Arts Endowment administered by Erie Arts & Culture. Their contribution, as well as others from key community stakeholders and the Erie Philharmonic, has allowed for the creation of this pilot program of free chamber music concerts under the Philharmonic.

"The shared dedication of these three entities to providing access to the arts through a community-centric focus made this an ideal collaboration to align and leverage Erie Chamber Orchestra's service to the community," said Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs at Gannon University. "The support from the Erie Philharmonic and Erie Arts & Culture has been tremendous, and we look forward to the great work they will do to continue the mission of ECO and vision of its founder."

Steve Weiser, executive director of the Erie Philharmonic and the former ECO general manager from 2012-2015, added, "Gannon University's support of the ECO over the last 40 years has been nothing short of exemplary. Since 1978, the University has contributed over $2.5 million to the mission of free music for everyone. The Philharmonic, under the direction of Music Director Daniel Meyer, is honored to continue this mission and keep Bruce's dream alive."

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