BLACKSBURG, Va. — The Virginia Tech String Project, in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Foundation, was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Country Music Association Foundation.  

The Virginia Tech String Project, in its eighth year, teaches New River Valley students how to play orchestral string instruments, an opportunity not available during their normal school day. It also provides the opportunity for Virginia Tech music majors to learn firsthand how to be effective music teachers, thereby strengthening the overall quality of music education throughout the state.

With this award the program will be able to expand its reach into other parts of the region that lack orchestra programs in the public school curriculum. This award will also assist in providing need-based scholarships, extending the opportunity to participate to students who otherwise may not have the financial means to be a part of the program.

“This program changes kids’ lives,” said Virginia Tech String Project Director and Virginia Tech faculty member Nicole Paglialonga. “This award will allow us to give the gift of music to many more eager students." 

If you have a child, third grade or older, interested in joining the Virginia Tech String Project, please email Paglialonga.

The parent of one Virginia Tech String Project recently emailed Paglialonga to share her gratitude for the program. 

"I want my child to succeed. He has some learning disabilities and I wondered if [learning the cello] was realistic. Now I couldn't be happier ... Watching him perform on stage was an amazing experience. But more than that, the Virginia Tech String Project affected our child's life way beyond the concert hall and into the classroom," she wrote. "His reading scores increased, as did his confidence. There are no words to fully express our gratitude to all the leadership and students of this fabulous program!" 

The CMA Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to making a profound difference in the lives of students through projects furthering music education. The CMA Foundation offers support to schools and nonprofit organizations whose mission and priority are to grant children access to music education. CMA created the nonprofit 501(c)(3) CMA Foundation in 2011 as the charitable giving arm of CMA. Funds for the Foundation are provided by CMA on behalf of the hundreds of artists who perform and make appearances during CMA Music Festival for free. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, the CMA Foundation focuses on improving and sustaining music education programs everywhere while supporting worthwhile causes important to the Country Music Association.

Virginia Tech's School of Performing Arts, a unit within the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, is comprised of music, theatre, cinema, and dance. The school is committed to education, training, and experience in the transformative power of the performing arts. In addition to producing more than 250 student, faculty, and guest artist events each year, the school presents the annual Summer Arts Festival and maintains the university's artist registry.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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