“Save the music and pass it on to the next generation” was the initial mission statement of the Mon Valley Academy for the Arts and for the past four years has remained an ongoing goal. During that time, the MVAA has offered musical instruction as well as planned and hosted many successful events, including a free summer concert series.
The MVAA, in association with the Twin Coaches Orchestra Project, also founded the Twin Coaches Junior Stage Band which gives student musicians in grades 7-12 the opportunity to work with seasoned professional musicians and to perform for an audience.
With the addition of music instruction, visual arts, and the performing arts, the MVAA realized the need to expand and find a central, permanent office location. The move to 309 5th Street in Charleroi gave the organization a place to streamline and grow their operations in order to continue to achieve their stated mission. The space is accessible to all residents of the Mon Valley, from Pittsburgh to Morgantown, and houses a large collection of archived music and visual art as well as a “store” selling musical equipment.
With four years of successful programming under their belt, the MVAA executive and advisory boards found themselves in a unique position when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Because of the array of talented, experienced individuals serving on both boards, the organization was able to quickly pivot most events and programs to an online environment. Meeting on Zoom as part of the “new normal”, board members brainstormed and implemented ideas to keep the organization not only relevant but, in fact, essential.
The 2020 Summer Concert Series, sponsored by EQT, and the Power of Music concert series, funded by a grant from Chevron, moved their concerts from their original planned venues to Facebook Live, and as a result, attendance skyrocketed at these events, reaching a worldwide audience. In order to follow the guidelines issued by the CDC, the MVAA will continue to offer live streaming shows throughout 2020 and beyond.
The Twin Coaches Junior Stage Band continues to rehearse and are slated to perform in November.
The MVAA is actively involved in archiving memorabilia from the original Twin Coaches Orchestra, and recently released a YouTube video on the combined histories of the Twin Coaches Orchestra Project and the Twin Coaches Junior Stage Band.
The MVAA is proud to have a very active board of dedicated volunteers who meet frequently to plan future events and programs for the community and for the “next generation” of musicians, artists, and performers.