SONATA has its genesis in April 2003. Before this time, we were an ad hoc committee of the Savannah Symphony under the title "Dollars for Scholars." Some of the goals then as now were to expose the African American Community to orchestral music, to encourage the study classical music and to someday, increase the number of African American as members of symphony orchestras.
When the symphony met its demise in February 2003, our committee decided to continue supporting the 16 students in our care. The symphony teachers who were without jobs at this point, were gracious and gave us lessons for $15.00, half the previous rate of $30.00. With the help of the board members (and the parents who could), we paid the teachers this amount monthly until our first fundraiser luncheon which was held September 2003.
The SONATA Board has exposed our students to some of the finest professional teachers in Savannah, Statesboro, and as far away as Atlanta, GA. Many of them were symphony or former symphony members. We have had as many as 12 teachers in one year.
Since 2003 ,SONATA has provide over $ 100,000 music scholarships . Students are accepted into the program from seventh to the tenth grade and most spend from four to six years in the program. Alumni have enter institutions of higher , many receive full scholarship to study music or various fields of study.