PYO Music Institute

News + Events

PYO Music Institute Receives First Million-Dollar Legacy Gift

Endowment Provided by the Estate of Dr. Ruth Rappaport
To Support Tune Up Philly — Orchestral Pathways Program

Philadelphia, PA (February 4, 2021) -- Maestro Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director, and the Board of Trustees of the PYO Music Institute (formerly known as the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization) are honored to announce the PYO Music Institute’s first one-million-dollar legacy gift from the estate of Dr. Ruth Rappaport.  This Endowment is earmarked for PYO Music Institute’s program division, Tune Up Philly – Orchestral Pathways Program.  The Endowment Fund is to be named after Dr. Rappaport’s sister, Dr. Linda Faith Shoer, who predeceased her in 1999.

Dr. Rappaport had a life-long appreciation for music.  As a child, she played the violin and, as an adult, she played the piano.  As a scientist and woman, the challenges she set for herself could not have been higher.  She was the first woman hired as a scientist by Wyeth Laboratories and whose research contributed to the development of vaccines for a host of illnesses.  She died at age 83.  Dr. Rappaport valued truth, precision, elegance, and excellence in her own scientific endeavors, her participation in the arts, and in the causes she supported.  As she did not have any immediate family, she chose to give her entire estate to several non-profit and charitable organizations including the PYO Music Institute.

Dr. Rappaport first learned of the PYO Music Institute from a friend many years ago who suggested she listen to one of PYO’s radio broadcasts on WRTI 90.1.  She then developed a relationship with PYO Music Institute and decided to include it in her estate plan.  This transformational gift is greatly appreciated by Maestro Louis Scaglione, the Board of Trustees, as well as all within the PYO Music Institute Family.

Maestro Scaglione was overwhelmed and said, “We are so deeply grateful that Dr. Rappaport included us in her estate planning. Her gift will make an indelible impact on the future of Tune Up Philly and the PYO Music Institute. We hope this legacy gift inspires others to support the PYO Music Institute and, if so moved, include the PYO Music Institute in their estate plan.   Our commitment to using extraordinary music education through the pursuit of music excellence in order to inspire a strong sense of character, discipline, commitment, and community for our diverse student population is a mission that inspired and resonated with Dr. Rappaport.  To have had her meaningfully recognize the PYO Music Institute is a great honor.”

In a letter from Dr. Larry Shoer, a cousin of Dr. Rappaport, he said, “In Ruth's will, she expressly indicated her intention to give a significant gift to the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. She said, ‘... to THE PHILADELPHIA YOUTH ORCHESTRA… to be held as the LINDA FAITH SHOER ENDOWMENT…to fund Tune Up Philly… that provides after school music lessons and ensemble performance experience to students ages 6-14 in under-resourced communities throughout the City of Philadelphia and environs. In addition to music lessons, annual net income may also be used for the purchase and maintenance of instruments, procurement of music and related classroom supplies as needed.’”

Tune Up Philly offers a differentiated musical curriculum that was created to meet the specific needs of students living in challenging social and economic conditions, with a focus on effecting meaningful community change. The program offers children in underserved communities an opportunity to learn and perform orchestral music and make a true difference within their communities, both through the use of music and through a purposeful connection with others.

For more information on making a planned gift to the PYO Music Institute, please contact Danielle Johnson, Development Director, at djohnson@pyomusic.org or 2145-545-0502.