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WBOI partners with Fort Wayne Boys and Girls Clubs to launch Classical Kids

Music does more than entertain. According to research, it inspires, uplifts and stimulates the cognitive senses to boost creativity and invigorate the human spirit. 89.1 WBOI is dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of our community with content that enriches the human experience. We are excited to announce the launch of a new program to connect at-risk youth to classical and jazz music.

Partnering with the local classical community and the Fort Wayne Boys and Girls Clubs, WBOI will kick off its Classical Kids program Saturday, May 21 at the Embassy Theatre. The Philharmonic Player's Association is providing WBOI with ten tickets for eight students and two chaperones from the Boys and Girls Clubs to attend the concert.

This is a new program from WBOI. The station will provide some of the complimentary concert tickets it receives to area students enabling them to attend local classical and jazz performances at least twice a year. These trips will be supplemented with station tours and one-on-one discussions with expert career mentors to lay the groundwork for students to consider pursuing careers in radio production, broadcasting, music, and similar disciplines.

Researchers have identified that the “Mozart Effect,” listening to classical music, can enhance brain activity and be a catalyst for improving health and well-being. As a nonprofit radio station that covers Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio, WBOI is connected to classical and jazz music providers and those from other musical genres. But our audience skews older, so this program targets at-risk youth who may not ordinarily be exposed to classical or jazz music. Classical Kids will help their fundamental development and show them examples of possible future careers.

Another concert experience will be offered later this year, along with a tour, and President and General Manager Terra Brantley will lead a career discussion at the Boys and Girls Club to engage youth as they discuss potential career paths.

"When I was chosen as the Boys and Girls Clubs' Brilliant Woman of the Year in 2015, I knew I had an obligation to do more than just meet with the kids once or twice during 2015," said Brantley. "Being at the helm of WBOI enables me to use my resources to provide children with opportunities to help them explore personal and potential career development that could be positively life-changing."

"We are extremely excited about the partnership with WBOI," said Fort Wayne Boys and Girls Clubs President and CEO Joe Jordan.

“This partnership will allow our Club members to be exposed to different types of music and great role models. Having this opportunity to experience classical and jazz performances will be an experience that they will never forget. The opportunity to provide the members with radio station tours and career discussions to start laying the groundwork for students to consider pursuing careers in radio production and broadcasting will be priceless."

The children are also recording sponsored Father's Day vignettes that will share the best advice they ever received from their father or father figure. The vignettes will air on WBOI throughout June.

Classical Kids will align with a new classical music program that WBOI will air on Saturday evenings. Classical Connection will air from 6 to 8 p.m. starting June 25. This initiative will add to the diverse musical repertoire that WBOI has already established with its evening jazz and folk music programs.

Northeast Indiana Public Radio, which operates WBOI, is a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization. WBOI is available on the radio at 89.1FM, via HD radio at 89.1-1 (Channel 1), streaming online at WBOI.org, and in the WBOI App for iPhone and Android.

Brantley has lived in Allen County, Indiana for almost 30 years, serving as a community servant, advocate, and trusted news anchor. In June 2021, Brantley retired from WANE TV as Indiana’s longest serving African American news anchor, to become President/CEO of the Fort Wayne Urban League, prior to becoming the President and General Manager of WBOI/Northeast Indiana Public Radio.