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Home / News / 2018 grant recipients announced
Images of various music being performed
2018 grant recipients announced
30 Nov 2018
Susan O’Neill, President, ISME

ISME has announced the recipients for the inaugural extended grant program 2018. Susan O'Neill, ISME President, outlines the development of the program and announces the winners.

Over two years ago, I started working with immediate Past President Lee Higgins to develop the new ISME Grants Program. We wanted ISME members to be able to apply for funding to support the development of research, projects and partnerships that align with ISME’s mission and core values. With support from our main sponsors, the NAMM Foundation and SEMPRE, as well as a generous private donation from Gregory Brown, we were able to launch the first series of grants in 2018.

We received over 30 eligible applications from ISME members worldwide. Requests for funding ranged from US$1,000 to US$12,000. The proposals were not only varied and interesting, they exemplified the strong commitment that ISME members have to doing significant and innovative work that supports and promotes music education and music making for all.

All applications meeting the minimum requirements and deemed feasible were scored independently by five ISME Board members according to three criteria outlined in the application guidelines:

  1. Relevance (the aim and importance of the endeavour to further ISME’s mission and to build on and maintain ISME’s core values)
  2. Feasibility (a clear plan to achieve viable and meaningful outcomes)
  3. Capability (the expertise to succeed).

I am delighted to announce the first ISME Grants Program recipients. The total amount of funding offered was US$38,000, with each grant recipient receiving funding that ranged from US$2,000 to US$10,000.


ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Development Grant (Music Making, Leisure and Wellbeing)

Recipient: Lynn Tucker
Title: Musical Leisure and You Project
Project location: Canada


ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grant (Community Music)

Recipient: Donald DeVito
Title: “Vini Ansanm” Come Together: Haitian Inclusive Community Music Development
Project location: Haiti


ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grant (Community Music)

Recipient: Sarah Browne
Title: World Music Fridays
Project location: UK


ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grant (Community Music)

Recipient: Francisco Luis Reyes Peguero
Title: Machuchal Barrio Plenero - Puerto Rican Music
Project location: Puerto Rico


ISME-SEMPRE Music Education Research Grant

Recipient: Elissa Johnson-Green
Title: The EcoSound Playground Project
Project location: USA

ISME-Gregory Brown Youth Music Development Grant

Recipient: Lawrence Branco Sekalegga
Title: Empowering Young People in Uganda Through Choral Music
Project location: Uganda

ISME Project Development Grant

Recipient: Liz Dobson
Title: Yorkshire Sound Women Network Education Programme
Project location: UK

ISME Project Development Grant

Recipient: Thomas Duncan
Title: Traditional Music Transmission in the Sahara Desert
Project location: Morocco

Congratulations to all the grant recipients!

There are a number of people I need to thank for their role in making the ISME Grants Program possible. My heartfelt thanks goes to our sponsors, the NAMM Foundation, SEMPRE and Gregory Brown, for their vision and willingness to provide ISME members with this valuable opportunity. I would like to thank our CEO, Angela Ruggles and our Finance Officer, Ian Harvey for their administrative support in making the ISME Grants Program a reality. Thanks also to our Past President Lee Higgins and the current ISME Board members who volunteered to be part of the Grant Review Committee: Emily Akuno, Roger Mantie, Eva Saether, Mari Shiobara, Peter Webster, Heidi Westerlund. I applaud their efforts and dedication to ensuring the review process was fulsome, fair and transparent. The decision process was challenging work as there were many more worthy and meritorious proposals than we were able to fund.

Finally, I want to thank all the ISME members who sent in applications. We plan to offer the next ISME Grants Program in 2020. In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to seek funding donations and to move ISME closer to establishing a Foundation that will support future funding initiatives.


Susan O’Neill
President, ISME