The Cleveland Orchestra announces $7 million from Jane B. Nord and the Eric and Jane Nord Family Fund to support education concerts for students

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(The Cleveland Orchestra Education Concert © Roger Mastroianni)

Jane B. Nord

Jane B. Nord to be honored with The Cleveland Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award on March 2

 – The Cleveland Orchestra announced a $7 million commitment from Jane B. Nord and the Eric and Jane Nord Family Fund to fund in perpetuity the Jane B. and Eric T. Nord Education Concerts at Severance Music Center and transportation subsidies for students. This transformational gift also made provisions to raise public awareness about these dynamic programs. Jane B. Nord has made it her personal and philanthropic goal to assure that every child, regardless of economic circumstance, can attend Cleveland Orchestra Education Concerts at Severance free of charge, providing equitable access for all young people in Cleveland to the benefits of an education rich in music and the arts.

This support creates the Jane B. and Eric T. Nord Education Fund, furthering the family’s long history of support for The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2019, Jane B. Nord created the Jane B. Nord Education Concert Access Fund that covers the cost of tickets to Cleveland Orchestra Education Concerts to all schools, so every child has the chance to attend.

The latest gift will increase access to concerts in the Severance Music Center and across digital platforms, as well as lower barriers for transportation for schools, especially in Cuyahoga, Summit, and Lorain counties. It will also help with efforts to inform more educators across the area of this opportunity for their students.

Distinguished Service Award
The evening of Thursday, March 2, 2023, Jane B. Nord will be honored with The Cleveland Orchestra’s 26th Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1996 by the Orchestra’s Board of Trustees, the award recognizes ongoing and exceptional commitment and service to the Orchestra. Music education and community service were central to the establishment of The Cleveland Orchestra in 1918 and have been core to its mission ever since. The Cleveland Orchestra’s vision is to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in our diverse community through the transformative power of music – to inspire, to educate, to create joy, and to unite us all. No one has done more to ensure the future of The Cleveland Orchestra’s education programs than Jane B. Nord, inspired by her own visits to Severance Hall as a young child.

“We are deeply grateful for the continued and extraordinary support from Jane B. Nord,” said André Gremillet, The Cleveland Orchestra’s President & CEO. “Thanks to her vision and generosity, The Cleveland Orchestra’s Education Concerts at Severance Music Center will be more accessible than ever for Northeast Ohio’s students. Her latest gift will make it possible to introduce more children to music, fostering their love and appreciation for the artform while creating memories that last a lifetime.”

“The Cleveland Orchestra played a major role in how I valued music throughout my life, and it’s important for young people in our area to have that same opportunity,” Jane B. Nord said. “I’ve been privileged to watch the reactions of children experiencing The Cleveland Orchestra in Education concerts and seeing their enthusiasm confirms the importance of music in the development of children.”

About Jane B. Nord
Jane B. Nord, like many thousands of Northeast Ohio students experienced The Cleveland Orchestra for the first time by attending an Education Concert as a child. She credits that concert coupled with her love of piano that affirmed her lifelong love for music, which has brought her immense joy over the intervening years. Jane is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and education in Northeast Ohio. Her exceptionally generous contributions to The Cleveland Orchestra have resulted in a significant and enduring impact on the lives of countless children.

Over the past decade, Jane’s philanthropic commitments to The Cleveland Orchestra have addressed students’ access to music education. With a gift of $2.25 million in 2013, she endowed The Eric and Jane Nord Family Fund in support of The Cleveland Orchestra’s education and community programs, which have a been a core facet of the Orchestra’s offerings since its founding in 1918. In 2019, she established the Jane B. Nord Education Concert Access Fund with a $2.5 million gift, making it possible for students and teachers in Northeast Ohio to attend Cleveland Orchestra Education Concerts for free in perpetuity. In 2021, she created a matching gift of $1 million to help encourage general operating support for the Orchestra. In late 2022, Jane B. Nord, along with the Eric and Jane Nord Family Fund, made an additional extraordinary commitment of $7 million that will fund all the costs associated with producing Education Concerts, including marketing these concerts to schools, developing and distributing materials in advance of concerts, providing curriculum resources and teacher workshops, subsidizing bus transportation between the schools and Severance Music Center, producing and delivering digital content, and more. Jane’s contributions effectively eliminate all barriers to students attending Cleveland Orchestra Education Concerts, now and forever.

She has earned numerous awards and accolades for her service and philanthropic efforts, including the 1996 Oberlin College Distinguished Community Service Award, the Eric Nord Award for Excellence in Leadership from Leadership Lorain County in 2007, and the President’s Award for Visionary Achievement from Case Western Reserve University in 2013.

Jane Baker Nord was born in Cleveland in September of 1920 to Elbert Hall Baker and Hildegarde Louise (Krause) Baker. Jane majored in history at Vassar College, graduating in 1942, and received a certificate in art and design in 1945 from the Pratt Institute, where she taught classes for three years. In 1976, she earned a master’s degree in art education from Case Western Reserve University. She married industrialist Eric Thomas Nord on June 19, 1948 in Shaker Heights. The couple had five children and enjoyed a 60-year marriage until Eric’s death in 2008.

About Education and Community Engagement
The Cleveland Orchestra’s commitment to education and community service was central to the establishment of the Orchestra in 1918 and has never been more important. Over the past 100 years, The Cleveland Orchestra has introduced more than four million young people to symphonic music through live concert experiences. Today, with the support of many generous individual, foundation, corporate, and governmental funding partners, the Orchestra’s education and community programs reach thousands of young people and adults annually, helping to foster a lifelong relationship with music. Music Director Franz Welser-Mӧst’s commitment to music education and community engagement is based on his belief that every child’s life should include music. He continues to emphasize that the arts are critical to a well-rounded education and that learning is a lifelong pursuit and journey.

As we look to the future, we strive to be Cleveland’s Orchestra, engaging our diverse citizenry and building community through music, removing barriers to participation, advocating for, and helping to facilitate equitable access to comprehensive music education in schools, nurturing the next generation of musicians and audience members, and harnessing the life-changing power of music to make the world a better place through new initiatives developed for even greater impact. For more information, please visit these links: EducationCommunity, and Learning Resources.

About the Distinguished Service Award
The Cleveland Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award was established in 1996 by the Musical Arts Association, the non-profit organization overseeing the Orchestra’s operations, to recognize ongoing and extraordinary commitment and service to The Cleveland Orchestra. Recipients are chosen from written nominations reviewed by a committee currently chaired by Cleveland Orchestra Trustee Katherine T. O’Neill.

Previous Distinguished Service Award recipients are Dorothy Humel Hovorka (1996-97), David Zauder (1997-98), Ward Smith (1998-99), Christoph von Dohnányi (1999-2000), Gary Hanson (2000-01), John Mack (2001-02), Richard J. Bogomolny (2002-03), Thomas W. Morris (2003-04), Alex Machaskee (2004-05), Klaus G. Roy (2005-06), John D. Ong (2006-07), Gerald Hughes (2007-08), Louis Lane (2008-09), Clara Taplin Rankin (2009-10), Robert Conrad (2010-11), Richard Weiner (2011-12), Milton and Tamar Maltz (2012-13), Pierre Boulez (2013-14), James D. Ireland III (2014-15), Rosemary Klena (2015-16), Robert Vernon (2016-17), Dennis LaBarre (2017-18), Franz Welser-Möst (2018-19), Cleveland Orchestra Chorus (2019-20), and Joela Jones (2021-22). During the 2020-21 season, due to the pandemic, the annual award was not presented.