Mary Baldwin College to Host World-Renowned Music Institute
A world-renowned music institute has plans to teach in Staunton. The move will bring professional musicians and rising talent to Mary Baldwin College and Virginia's lieutenant governor calls it a unique form of economic development.
Staunton is already home to the American Shakespeare Center, ShenanArts, numerous art galleries and other offerings. Monday's announcement is another piece in the puzzle as the city builds itself as a Mecca for the arts and culture.
The campus of Mary Baldwin College will host the elite summer program for the Heifetz International Music Institute. It'll bring in dozens of classical musicians, as young as 13, from all over the United States and many other countries.
Heifetz is moving the program from New Hampshire. With it will come a handful of new jobs, and cultural tourists.
Institute founder Daniel Heifetz said, "We may be able to help be part of creating, here in Virginia - here in Staunton - an international cultural center."
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling stated, "It's not your run-of-the-mill kind of economic development project, tourism project, or educational project. It's a combination of all of the above, and that makes it pretty unique."
The Heifetz Institute will offer a series of concerts by its students and visiting musicians from Carnegie Hall. It will arrive in Staunton next July.
The college president says Heifetz will join with other Staunton-area cultural groups to share talent, marketing and venue space.
Monday's announcement is perhaps appropriate, Mary Baldwin offered one of the first conservatories in the south, dating back to 1871.
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