Aiken Symphony Orchestra awarded grant for outreach program

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Jan. 18—The Aiken Symphony Orchestra has a bit more money in its coffers now to put towards spreading music around Aiken.

The orchestra was awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which it will use to fund the "Music for All of Aiken" project.

This program is held in conjunction with the Tri-Development Center, which helps those in the community with disabilities, said Deedee Vaughters, the symphony's executive director.

"We go into Tri-Development Center's day facilities once a month and entertain (those) who receive services there," Vaughters said.

The grant is a one-to-one match grant, which means the symphony has to match the grant given to them. Vaughters said Bank of America came forward and matched the donation for the symphony, so a total of $20,000 will be going towards the outreach.

This program is especially rewarding to Vaughters, as she previously served on the board at Tri-Development Center.

"For the most part, (these individuals) do not get to attend concerts so we're making sure that they're not forgotten and we're bringing the concerts to them," Vaughters said. "It's lovely."

The symphony was one of only six organizations in South Carolina to receive funding from the NEA during this round, and the only organization in Aiken.

To learn more about the Aiken Symphony Orchestra, visit