News Releases

The Sallie Mae Fund Awards $35,000 Grant to Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for Students to Attend Young People's Discovery Concerts

Concerts serve more than 20,000 elementary students across Indiana

The Sallie Mae Fund announced the following news release:

FISHERS, Ind., February 21, 2012 — The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae, announced a $35,000 donation to The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The grant will be used to present the 76th annual edition of its educational Young People's Discovery Concerts to more than 20,000 elementary school students across Indiana.

The orchestra performs 12 concerts held in February, April and May at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. The ISO has performed these educational concerts each year since 1937 to provide opportunities for Indiana students in grades 3-6 to experience a live symphonic concert and to learn more about the world of orchestral music. Over the past 75 years, the Orchestra has performed 738 concerts for 1.15 million people (more than the equivalent population of the entire city of Indianapolis) spanning four generations of Hoosiers. This year, the audiences will comprise students from 181 schools in 25 counties from the Michigan border to the Ohio River.

"Encouraging learning in music and an appreciation for the arts benefits students in countless ways. It strengthens a student's problem-solving and critical thinking skills, fosters academic achievement and enables confident, creative expression. These skills are essential in helping to ensure that children are prepared to pursue a higher education," said ISO Learning Community Vice President Beth Perdue Outland. "The Sallie Mae Fund has contributed to this insightful program for 13 years and these children will benefit from this experience for years to come."

The program, which is one of ISO's largest educational outreach programs, will be conducted by ISO Assistant Conductor David Glover with violinist Nick Kendall as soloist. The concerts will illustrate how composers and musicians communicate ideas and feelings to listeners through music and their interpretations of the works to present their emotions within a meaningful context for the audience.

The partnership between the ISO and The Sallie Mae Fund, the title sponsor of the concerts, combines the expertise and resources of a major American orchestra with a philanthropic foundation committed to increasing education access. More information is available at

The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae, achieves its mission — to increase college access for America's students — by supporting programs and initiatives that help open doors to higher education. The Fund also supports employee volunteerism and community service in the communities where Sallie Mae employees live and work. For more information, visit