#MSMspotlight

Conversations about creativity, inspiration, and life at MSM.

“"The faculty, community, and location of MSM are truly incomparable. Also, who wouldn't want to go to a school that's a 15-minute subway ride from BROADWAY!?!?" ”

Zane Zapata (BM '22), Musical Theatre

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“Being a part of Opera Outreach is very important to me because Opera is important to me.”

Jasmine Ismail (MM ’21, PS '22), Classical Voice

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“I believe music can be used as a powerful tool that can raise people’s awareness and shed a light on things that deserve to be noticed and exposed. I would be beyond grateful if my music can be served as a voice that stands up for others and inspires the listeners.”

Euna Joh (MM ’22), Classical Composition

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“New York City is one of the best places I could imagine to explore the depths of music and creativity. A strong community of peers and faculty members to learn from put MSM at the top of my school options.”

Dylan Holly (MM ’22), Classical Double Bass Performance

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“Whether it’s hearing the classical voice majors sing in the practice rooms or walking past a symphony orchestra rehearsal in Neidorff-Karpati Hall, I love being surrounded by people’s art. It’s what makes MSM such a wonderful educational setting.”

Lyda Jade Harlan (BM ’24), Musical Theatre

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“A strong community that radiates love, compassion, and empathy will always persevere amidst any obstacle. In the future I wish to be a part of institutions and projects that share that idea by offering others the tools and resources needed to reach their goals and dreams.”

Remee Ashley (MM ’22), Jazz Tenor Trombone

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“MSM is such a supportive community and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone so far. I feel very motivated by this environment since I am surrounded by so many hard-working and talented musicians. I like getting feedback on my playing from friends and colleagues here, and it’s nice to have other people to bounce ideas off of.”

Megan Torti (MM ’23), Orchestral Performance

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“Being part of the Opera Scenes is like being with a family.”

Daniel Choi (MM ’21), Classical Voice

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“Due to MSM’s close-knit quality, it is so easy to find new opportunities, experiences, and even new collaborations. The students and faculty are very approachable and accepting, so it is a great environment to thrive and improve during your educational journey.”

Sophia Filippone (BM ’22), French Horn Performance

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“But because of the commitment of being artists regardless any situation and the hard work, we made it, we embraced the amazing content of Langston Hughes artwork, we made it part of our essence as humans and we gave our voices in service of the arts.”

Ricardo Rodriguez (BM ’22), Classical Voice

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“My one major hope for the future is that we as a society can all bring each other together through music. Music connects souls. It’s a language that everyone can understand and interpret and digest.”

Jennifer Ahn (MM ’21, Classical Violin)

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“There is nothing I’ve experienced in my life more rewarding than having a chance to play beautiful music for people of all kinds, creeds, and races knowing that everyone may take something different from the performance, but nobody will leave unchanged.”

Cosmos Fristachi (MM ’21, Classical Clarinet)

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“My priority each day is to make sure that our students are well cared for, that they feel seen and part of a greater community, that their needs are met, that they are meeting our community expectations and that we are meeting theirs.”

Samantha Tymchyn (Director of Residence Life)

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“My favorite part about the show is how lively it is. It really depicts what theatre really is: performers coming together to take the audience on a journey to escape from everyday life.”

Max Kuenzer (BM ’22, Musical Theatre)

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“Filming this production was something I will never forget. When the virus hit last March 2020, we were roughly a week out from opening our vibrant show in all of its live, theatrical glory. I would often imagine my family there—in that beautiful auditorium—just waiting for the lights to go down and the orchestra to play. But I am so grateful we found a way to prevail despite the circumstances.”

Elizabeth Baxley (BM '21, Musical Theatre)

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“I consider the spirit of the Lives of the Piano series to be about connections: connecting classical music with contemporary music, the past with the present, older faculty like me with young students.”

Lisa Yui (DMA '05, Piano Faculty)

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“Being able to express our culture and talk about things as simple as our hair creates such an important bond between us. I really cherish having the BSU as a home away from home that allows me to be who I really am.”

Rayna Campbell (Classical Voice, BM '21)

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“My teaching mantra is ‘command and surrender’. I think we all need to have command of our instrument in order to be able to execute sound and silence as best we can, but as musicians we always have to surrender to the moment.”

Kendrick Scott (Jazz Arts Faculty)

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“For me it’s been rewarding to push myself musically into places I wouldn’t necessarily go. I’ve been able to work on creating a new sound and to shape my identity as a musician.”

Adi Meyerson (Jazz Bass, MM '20)

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“I've found there's just nothing as physically and mentally satisfying as classical singing. It's such a well-rounded art form, a “gesamtkunstwerk” as Wagner would say.”

Joanne Evans (Classical Voice, MM '21)

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“MSM Precollege gives you an education aside from just performing. We learn theory, music history, literature—these classes really help me with understanding the music I’m playing, and learn about new composers and genres.”

Benjamin Rossen (Precollege '20)

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“The message I hope people take away from my project ('Morningside') is that everyone is dealing with something, even when it’s not visible to others. Everyone needs help in some way or another and no one should be left behind.”

Jarrett Winters Morley (BM '20, Musical Theatre)

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“I think that it's important that students have a voice because students are the reason that this school is here. The Polar Bear Press is an opportunity for us to all be on the same page as a community.”

Lilly Cadow (BM '20, Classical Voice)

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“I have an oral style, I tend to use paper only when needed. My style is based on actually embracing the information in the moment. I think my teaching style is is similar to the way I was taught on the bandstand, and I try to keep that element present in an institutional setting.”

Marc Cary (Jazz Arts Faculty)

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“Last summer I found my favorite book here, it’s called 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' by Michael Chabon. It’s a fictional work about the lives of two Jewish cousins, one born in Prague and the other in NYC, around the time of World War II. They form a creative team and write and draw a comic book series called 'The Escapist' that’s a fantastical interpretation of their lives. It’s a really fascinating story!”

Seth Birrell (BM ’21, Classical Bass Trombone)

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“The main reason I wanted to be the Orientation Assistant was because last year’s assistant, Helena Hallberg (BM ’20, Musical Theatre) made such an impression on me. She made the experience so wonderful and exciting, and I want to do my best to help these students through an amazing transition that can seem daunting at first. For me, Orientation is so much fun and completely took my mind off of the stress of moving and going to college. I want to pay it forward and recreate this experience for the new students.”

Anna Maria Vacca (BM '22, Voice)

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“I’m from South Florida and throughout my childhood I lived in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County. I started playing trombone in seventh grade, but my middle school actually didn’t have a band, so the local high school let me sit in on their rehearsals. The high school band leader was very influential to me; he opened me up to the world of music and introduced me to jazz, which I came to love so much that I decided to pursue it as a career.”

Armando Vergara, Jazz Trombone (BM '19)

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“Over the past two years, working and performing with Tactus [CPP Ensemble] has consistently been the most rewarding and enriching institutionally-based musical experiences of my life thus far. There is nothing quite like collaborating with an intimate group of driven, like-minded, and progressive musicians that are unwaveringly committed to the future of chamber music.”

Jon Clancy, Contemporary Performance (MM '19)

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“We’re doing some amazing tunes that I’ve always loved. What’s great is many of these arrangements were written specifically for certain vocalists. I remember listening to these on YouTube thinking, “these sound so amazing, singing with big bands is simply magical.” It is so great having Jim McNeely as a resource and conductor, with his arrangements… these are iconic for jazz vocalists.”

Julia Keefe, Jazz Voice (MM '19)

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“I love how MSM has students from all over the world, and the freedom we have here to pursue classical music in traditional and modern ways. Being in New York City, you have the world at your fingertips. MSM gives me world-class accessibility in the music world, but also fosters an inclusive energy that makes me feel like part of a musical family in a city that can seem very chaotic.”

Sienna George, Double Bass (BM '22)

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