Tuesday, December 6, 2016

NEC Announces 2016 Entrepreneurial Musicianship Grant Winners


$8K in Funding Awarded to Young Boston 
Musicians Dedicated to Creating Value for Their Communities

The New England Conservatory Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department (EM) announces the winners of the Fall 2016 round of Project Grants. Following a highly competitive written application and Shark Tank-style pitch, seven students were awarded the EM Project Grant, which provides modest seed funding and access to a cohort of advisors to support them along the way.  The current NEC Entrepreneurial Musicianship program team consists of: Rachel Roberts, Director, Annie Phillips, Assistant Director, and Andrew Worden, Program Manager.

"Articulating an idea, creating a collaborative team, crafting a market strategy, and figuring out how to balance a budget are all important skills musicians need to make their work sustainable in the world," says EM Director, Rachel Roberts. "Our students have the advantage of getting a head start by putting these skills to work while they're still students," said Roberts. 

Modeled after a real-world grant, students must write compelling project proposals, research and craft a budget, and design a promotion strategy for their project. Over the past seven years of the program, EM Project Grants have awarded over $100,000 in funding to more than eighty student projects, many of which still exist today in Boston and beyond.

The adjudication panel for the EM Project Grant included faculty and staff from the New England Conservatory, as well as special guest Adrienne Valencia, Director of Education for the San Diego Symphony. Reflecting on a day full of project pitches, Ms. Valencia wrote, "I was very inspired by the creativity and dedication that the students showed in each of their proposals."

This fall's funded projects include: a new original musical, offering music therapy in real time to Alzheimer's patients and their families; an interactive Cuban jazz group for underserved communities in Boston, the Lomax Folk Project, which will tour New England this summer; a sound installation crafted with an architect for the opening of a new building in Taiwan, a saxophone orchestra, and an original children's book that uses visual music notation to help tell the story.

Morgan Middleton
Remember When
An original one-woman play, written and performed by Ms. Middleton and supported by a trio of NEC jazz students, to address the power of music in fighting Alzheimer's disease. Morgan Middleton is pursuing her graduate degree in Vocal Performance at NEC.

Amanda Ekery
The Lomax Folk Project
A five-piece educational ensemble pairing original arrangements and historical stories of songs in the Lomax Collection. The Lomax Folk Project will be touring the New England area, where the Lomaxes recorded, the first two weeks in June. Amanda Ekery is pursuing her graduate degree in Jazz Performance at NEC.

Andrew Steinberg
The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra
Reinvigorating the saxophone orchestra tradition by bringing together high caliber musicians from Boston and surrounding metropolis areas for live performances, lectures, and audience demonstrations. Andrew Steinberg is a doctoral candidate in Saxophone at NEC.

Rayna Yun Chou ­­
Music, Distance, and One Minute of Just Us
Bringing music, visual arts, and architecture together to create a social experimental exhibition in Taichung city. Opening December 24th through New Year's, live performances occur during the Christmas weekend. Rayna Yun Chou is pursuing her graduate degree in Viola Performance at NEC.

Lauren Parks
Musical Storybooks
Offering English teachers in public schools a fun, interactive teaching resource to introduce young students to musical notation, musical performance, and visual art through storytelling. Original compositions, graphic notation, and illustration by Ms. Parks. Lauren Parks is pursuing her graduate degree in Composition at NEC.

Julian Loida & Sofia Kriger
Mojubá: Bringing CUBA to the Community
A modern world-jazz quintet disseminating the folkloric music of Cuba and Brazil to underserved communities in Boston.  Julian Loida is pursuing his graduate degree in Percussion Performance and Sofia Kriger is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance at NEC.

Media editors please note: Members of the EM team and grant winners are available for interviews and will have preview opportunities for media. High resolution photos available by request. Please visit www.necmusic.edu/em/grants for more information.