Girard College is a five-day boarding school for academically capable first-through-twelfth-grade students from families with limited financial resources. The school opened in 1848. All admitted students receive a full scholarship to cover tuition, books, uniforms, and room and board. In 2020, Girard College received a Center Project grant for Be Holding, engaging the school’s students in a creative process to produce a new musical performance using Ross Gay’s book-length poem Be Holding—inspired by Philadelphia basketball champion Julius Erving (a.k.a. “Dr. J”)—as its libretto. The school hosts Gay, composer Tyshawn Sorey, director Brooke O’Harra, and musical ensemble Yarn/Wire in a multi-year residency to develop the multidisciplinary performance work.