“I want to bring Detroit back into its prominence that most musicians around the world know it to be,” says Noah Jackson. “But many people outside the music don’t.”
“I’ve always felt that Detroit was going to be a major factor in my life one way or the other, and that it was a major component towards my personal artistic identity,” says Jackson, who has been a highly sought-after bassist in NYC where he plays with Brandford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Christian Sands, and others.
Cliff Bell’s reopens to the public on Friday, April 2, and will feature Sean Dobbins and the Modern Jazz Messengers April 2-3.
Learn more about his appointment here.
The respected Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) has announced the expansion of its Board of Directors to include three new members including MSM Senior Opera Theatre Music Director, along with Michael Ching and Howard Watkins.
The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year.
Learn more here.
Susan Botti is one of fourteen composers selected to receive a 2020 Fromm Commission by the Harvard University-based organization’s Board of Directors.
These commissions represent one of the principal ways that the Fromm Music Foundation seeks to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public.
In addition to the commissioning award, a subsidy is available for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work.
Learn more about Susan here.
The MSM Precollege student award winners are:
Lower High School Music Theater Treble Voice
Honorable Mentioned – Lauren Marchand – Student of Giuseppe Spoletini
Upper High School Musical Theater Treble Voice
2nd Place – Meghna Das – Student of Jeanai La Vita
Upper High School Tenor Bass Baritone – Classical
3rd Place – Henry Hsiao – Student of Jeanai La Vita
Precollege student Alex Cha (top left in photo), Precollege student of Jo-Ann Sternberg, won second place in the annual NJ Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.
The annual competition for members of the NJYS Youth Symphony was held virtually this year, with 19 entrants performing for guest adjudicators Ilmar Gavilan, violinist of Harlem Quartet, and Mark Laycock, professor of orchestral studies at Wichita State University.
Bronx Arts Ensemble announced the appointment of MSM alumna Judith Insell (BM ’92, MM ’93, Classical Viola) to Executive Director today in a press release.
Judith has previously served as BAE’s Artistic Director and Director of Curriculum and Artist Development.
“It is my honor to assume the leadership of an organization that was founded nearly 50 years ago through the grit and passion that William “Bill” Scribner had for supporting the arts and culture of the Bronx through music performances and arts education. As a musician born and raised in the Bronx, I am thrilled to be leading BAE’s charge into the future, further lifting up performing arts and arts education in the communities of the Bronx, greater New York City, and worldwide,” says Insell.
Alumnus David Zheng (MM ’20, Jazz Piano) talks about his time at Manhattan School of Music in a new interview from JAZZIZ Magazine’s Spring 2021 issue, “When Jazz met Hip-Hop”. JAZZIZ subscribers can read the full interview here.
“Merging jazz, R&B and hip-hop sensibilities, and featuring collaborations with and performances by top talents from a multitude of genres in the NYC music community, Loading… finds Zheng floating his jazzy sensibilities atop a sophisticated blend of hard-hitting dance-floor grooves, intricately textured electronics and dreamy atmospheres,” writes Jonathan Widran.
Zheng signed with Ropeadope Records shortly after graduating, and released his first album Loading… in December 2020. Follow David Zheng on Instagram @zeng.music for the latest news and updates.
Last month, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) announced the 2021 winner of the prestigious ISJAC/USF Owen Prize in Jazz Composition: recent MSM graduate Robert Buonaspina (MM ’20, Jazz Composition). During his time at MSM, Robert studied with esteemed faculty member Jim McNeely.
Mr. Buonaspina’s winning composition, “Smile Pretty”, will be performed virtually by an acclaimed professional jazz orchestra at ISJAC’s Un[chart]ed Territory (March 18-20). Learn more about the event here.
Kelly Hall Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) is one of six artists, hand-selected by the WQXR team, who are receiving an honorarium of $15,000 and a budget of up to $5,000 to engage collaborators and commission works. The artists will be able to take advantage of WQXR’s various outlets to reach audiences, too, via Greene Space performances, on-air curation opportunities, and much, much more.
“I am really excited for their support in bringing some of my projects to life, particularly in such challenging times,” says Kelly.
The prestigious Victoires de la Musique Classique are important classical music awards in France. The ceremony featuring the winners takes place on February 24th and will be broadcast live on French national TV and radio.
Half of the votes that determine the winner are cast by the public, with voting closing on Feb 15. Votes for Jeanne can be placed here.
Dr. Nancy Mezey, the Dean of the Honors School at Monmouth University, has been appointed as the President of the Board of The Garden State Philharmonic, the critically acclaimed professional orchestra that is “Orchestra in Residence” at Ocean County College in Tom’s River.
In addition to the professional orchestra, the GSP sponsors a three-tiered Youth Orchestra program comprised of more than 100 students between the ages of eight and 21, and an auditioned Community Chorus.
Learn more about Dr. Mezey’s appointment here.
Congratulations to MSM Alumnus and Board of Trustees member Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) for this prestigious award!
The Metropolitan Opera has announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will be splitting the 2021 Beverly Sills Artist Award between five artists including Erin Morley, Brenda Rae, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Ben Bliss, and Ryan Speedo Green.
Each artist will receive $10,000 awards. This is the first time in the company’s history that the award is given to more than one artist in a given year.
Alumnus Jared Bernstein (BM ’78, Classical Double Bass) is a special guest on this week’s episode of The New York Times’s podcast, “The Argument”.
As a member of Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisors, Bernstein talks about the economy and his ideas. Around the 46 minute mark, he mentions his time at Manhattan School of Music and recommends one of his favorite Bach concertos.
You can listen to the full episode here.
MSM College and Precollege faculty member Kariné Poghosyan (MM ’05, DMA ’07) is described by the publication as a “truly one-of-a-kind classical performer” who “inspires listeners with her vivacious, passionate piano interpretations of a wide range of classical music”.
The article also discusses Dr. Poghosyan’s weekly Facebook Live concert series that she began at the beginning of the pandemic. Her 45th concert in the series—dedicated to the music of Arno Babajanian—is slated for this Friday, January 22.
You can read the full article here, and follow Dr. Poghosyan’s Facebook page here.
Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) will have his composition, “Fanfare on Amazing Grace”, played by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band during pre-ceremony festivities at today’s inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Listen to a rehearsal of the performance here.
The historic performance will mark the second time that a contemporary African American composer’s music has been selected to be part of the repertoire performed at a presidential inauguration.
Hailstork is currently working on a requiem cantata for George Floyd, “A Knee on the Neck,” one of many compositions that reflect his engagement with Black history. He expects to complete it in April.
Read the full press release here.
MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman, the conductor and music director of the preeminent NYC chorus ESSENTIAL VOICES USA and record label Acis announce the release of America at Heart via streaming platforms.
The chorus is joined by Tony Award® winners Randy Graff, also a MSM Musical Theatre faculty member, and Brian Stokes Mitchell for a release in honor of the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, on January 20, 2021.
Current students Paul Esswein (BM ’21), Jack D’Emilio (BM ’21), Subiya Mboya (BM ’22), and Alesha Jeter (BM ’23), as well as alumna Raquel Nobile (MM ’17), will star in The Right Way, a new play written by Musical Theatre Senior Samantha Hahn (BM ’21). The Right Way is a school-set comedy in one act filled with wacky characters, wordplay, and little lessons.
The online event, which is part of the Jocunda Festival’s Virtual Play Reading Series, will be held on Sunday, January 10, at 8pm EST on Zoom. Tickets are a $15.00 donation benefitting the Riant Theater, and are available to purchase here.
Musical Theatre senior Sarah Thorn (BM ’21) has been nominated by BroadwayWorld Boston for Performer of the Decade. Voting has closed and results will be announced on the Broadway World Boston website. Sarah performed the role of Lucy Barker/Beggar Woman in last year’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini will release his first album of five orchestral works on January 8, 2021. The album will be released by New Focus Recordings. Marchettini draws inspiration from Verdi, Frescobaldi, Morricone, and sets texts by Emily Dickinson in this collection of recorded performances by both American and Itl Orchestra della Toscana, the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta, and the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Orchestra.
The album is available for pre-order here.
Two students of pianist Robin Freund-Epstein were named winners in the New York Young Virtuoso Competition, which took place virtually this year. Jeffrey Li, age twelve, won first prize in his age category, and Aaron Liu won second prize in the category.
Due to the ongoing global health crisis, winners recitals have been postponed indefinitely. You can view the full list of winners here.
Five Precollege students have been selected as winners by the National YoungArts Foundation, one of the most comprehensive programs for emerging artists in the United States. Meghna Das was named a Finalist in the Popular Voice, Oliver D’Avolio received a Merit Award in Jazz Piano, Eugene Hong earned a Merit Award in Classical Piano, Olivia Park won a Merit Award in the Singer-Songwriter division, and Jack Towse acquired a Finalist spot in Jazz Trumpet.
Winners are chosen for their caliber of artistic achievement by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process and are awarded in three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit. You can view the full list of winners here.
AP reports that President-Elect Joe Biden has tapped Manhattan School of Music alumnus Jared Bernstein, who studied double bass at MSM and earned his Bachelor of Music from the School in 1978, for a role on his Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). Learn more about Bernstein’s appointment here.
To read an exclusive MSM Q&A with Mr. Bernstein from May 2018, please visit this Alumni Spotlight page.
Kariné Poghosyan, a member of the Music History (College) and Piano (Precollege) faculty, will perform works by Beethoven during her weekly virtual concerts throughout the month of December.
Armenian Weekly writes, “In honor of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Ms. Poghosyan had originally scheduled her annual Beethoven’s Birthday Concert for Carnegie Hall. But, when that was cancelled due to the pandemic she was determined that the show must go online.”
The concerts are free with the option of sending voluntary contributions to the artist. You can watch them live each Friday at 8pm EST on Ms. Poghosyan’s Facebook page.
World renowned mezzo-soprano and Manhattan School of Music alumna Susan Graham (MM ’87) stars in Opera San Jose’s THREE DECEMBERS, streaming December 3–31.
With a brilliant, witty libretto by Gene Scheer and a soaring musical score by Jake Heggie, THREE DECEMBERS is a 90-minute full-hearted American opera about family – the ones we are born into and those we create.
Susan shares,”I’m so impressed by what everyone here has created for us to move forward in a safe way, and in an artistic way. It’s so fulfilling. It really is. It’s powerful.”
Info + Tickets: operasj.org/three-decembers
Recent MSM graduate Rachel Querreveld (MM ’19, Classical Voice) has won the Civic Morning Musicals Ernst Bacon American Song Prize. The award was announced today via the Civic Morning Musical’s Facebook page. You can watch Rachel’s winning performance here.
Three freshman jazz students are captured performing in Central Park in a new story from The New York Times, “A Bright Spot in the Pandemic Gloom: Jazz Is Everywhere in New York”. The article features a short video clip of students Kellin Hanas (Jazz Trumpet), Zoe Harrison (Jazz Double Bass), and Adam Lamoureux (Jazz Tenor Saxophone) busking in the park.
Kellin Hanas, an 18-year-old from Wheaton, Ill., can’t quite believe her new venue: “Central Park, holy cow! I saw this on the Disney Channel.”
Read the story and watch their performance here.
The Sphinx Organization has announced 18 semi-finalists for its 2021 Annual Sphinx Competition, which will take place virtually in January 2021. Violinist Maïthéna Girault (BM ’20, MM ’22) has been selected to compete in the senior division for musicians aged 18–30.
Founded in 1997, the Sphinx Competition for Black and Latinx strings players provides an opportunity for young musicians of color to compete under the guidance and mentorship of internationally renowned musicians. Read the full press release here.
Musical Theatre students Libby Johnston (BM ’22) and Tirza Meuljic (BM ’22) are semifinalists in The American Pops 4th Annual “NextGen National: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow” competition.
Libby, Tirza, and 28 other college students from coast to coast will compete this Saturday, November 21st at 8:00 PM for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship and paid performance opportunity with APO in their 2021-2022 Season.
For more information visit The American Pops website.
Precollege student Lauren Marchand received the “Most Promising Sophomore” award during the Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition, an honor given to the highest scoring participant in the sophomore group.
The Schmidt Vocal Competition reaches more than 400 students each year and takes place in 17 locations throughout the U.S. The day-long competition affords singers an opportunity to perform live in front of an audience for the chance to win cash awards and scholarships, and offers coaching and master class training with premier artists. Learn more about the competition here.
Saxophonist Pat DeRosa (BM ’54, MM ’56), who turned 98 this year, was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. DeRosa, who grew up in Huntington, performed with the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, bandleaders Lionel Hampton and Tommy Tucker and jazz legend John Coltrane, with whom he played for three years until Coltrane’s death in 1967.
DeRosa’s induction video can be seen at facebook.com/LongIslandMusicHallofFame.