2022

PRJC Grant

Kathryn Brown: Kianna Goes to the orchestra

Passionate about generating increased diversity and inclusivity in music, violinist Kathryn Brown has focused on finding innovative ways to make classical music more accessible to children.  In her efforts to reach this unique audience, she created Kiana, an 8-year-old Black girl, as the central character in a children’s book about a first-time visit to the symphony.  In Kiana Goes to the Orchestra, Kiana experiences the culture and excitement surrounding a night at a classical concert.  Both children and their parents are introduced to the special practices of concert attendance that may be unfamiliar, such as refraining from clapping between movements of a symphony.  Through the publication of her work, Kathryn hopes that black and brown children will learn from an early age that they are both welcome and encouraged engage in this exciting part of our artistic culture.  She has used this grant to both illustrate and begin the publication of her book. 

PRJC Grant

Vanessa Rose: Anatomy of a Commission 

The world of commissioned art and music can be seemingly straight forward but dangerous. Oftentimes large institutions are concerned about the financial risks associated with a “new” commission. Some of these negative associations come from the lack of dialogue, information, or planning. When combined with new types of artists entering historically white, male spaces, it can leave larger room for error or miscommunication. Vanessa and her team will use the PRJC grant to create a playbook to cover various questions about contracts, alignment of goals, how to propose your ideas, equitable pay, encouraging future performances and more. This resource also encourages more dialogue as it acknowledges there is not a “one-size fits all” for commissions and examples are provided as well.   

Professional artist portrait of Ju Young Yi.

Special Opportunity Grant

Ju Young Yi: Maine Chamber Music Seminar 

The Maine Chamber Music Seminar is a two-week summer intensive for college and graduate-level musicians passionate about pursuing leadership and service through music.  A second-time participant, Ju Young was appointed to the positions of social media assistant and librarian through the duration of the seminar.  She was responsible for their social media presence on Instagram and Facebook through Instagram takeovers, live-streams, and photos and videos of performances and rehearsals. As a librarian, she helped organize and schedule chamber groups, compile and distribute music, and prepare scores for the annual sight-reading events. Ju Young was excited to utilize and expand skills she learned from ALP classes and on-campus jobs at Eastman, and to further her career path in music administration through real-world experience. 

Special Opportunity Grant

Elizabeth W. Mayo: Summer Classes at Eastman 

Focused on increasing her knowledge in the areas of mental and physical health for musicians, Elizabeth chose to attend two of Eastman’s summer courses – “Alexander Technique + Mobile Body Alignment for Musicians and Music Educators,” and “Peak Performance Skills.”  These classes are oriented around health-related topics that are common to musicians, such as development of physical awareness to improve posture, dealing with performance anxiety, and learning techniques to reduce the possibility of playing injuries. Through this opportunity, Elizabeth has been able to acquire new abilities will benefit her as a future leader in the arts. 

Special Opportunity Grant

Brianna Garcon: JOFFREY BALLET SCHOOL & IMAI WINDS CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL

This summer, Brianna interned at the Imai Winds Chamber Music Festival as an Administrative Assisstant, and was also appointed to a Resident Advisor position at the Joffrey Ballet School’s summer intensive program.  At Imai Winds, she was responsible for personally assisting the Imai Wind Quintet with the day-to-day tasks of the festival, and her Resident Advisor position at the Joffrey Ballet School afforded valuable experience in Student Life and other administrative work. Brianna was thrilled to be able to expand her skills and experience within the field of arts administration, and make important steps toward her future career aspirations.

Andrea McGaugh smiling happily at an event.

Special Opportunity Grant

Andrea McGaugh: Geneva Light Opera Production Manager

The Geneva Light Opera’s Production Manager is a newly created position for the summer of 2022. In this role, Andrea served as a liaison between the artistic staff, crew, and cast to facilitate a successful summer season, and assisted the Artistic Director with remote administrative duties such as scheduling, advertising, contract creation and distribution, and other vital communications.  Eager to broaden and develop her experience in opera administration, Andrea was excited to be able to gain proficiency in working directly with all the personnel involved in opera productions, build on her recent internship experiences, and invest in new professional connections. 

Marlies Hollevoet standing in front of a ivy-covered brick wall.

Special Opportunity Grant

Marlies Hollevoet: Impulse New Music Festival

The Impulse New Music Festival is a registered non-profit organization committed to re-imagining classical music training for the 21st-century. Their workshops and programs combine traditional rigorous training with groundbreaking techniques and technologies that are reshaping the field of composition, while also providing young musicians with the practical tools to navigate the critical early stages of their career.  Composer Marlies Hollevoet was given the opportunity to participate in their intensive summer program, where she was able gain insight into building her own career as a composer, and make important new connections with world-class faculty members, established professionals, and fellow participants.

Special Opportunity Grant

Tyler Ramos: GP3: National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum

Eager to begin networking while still fresh out of grad school, Tyler Ramos attended the Music Teachers National Association’s Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum at the University of Arizona, where he earned his MM in 2019.  There he was able to connect with piano pedagogy professors, piano teachers, and other professionals from numerous colleges and conservatories, and gather valuable information about the current trends in the fields of piano pedagogy and group piano. 

Special Opportunity Grant

Zoe Markle: Evolution: Classical 2022

Zoe Markle, member and co-founder of the dynamic Else, if Else trio, received a Special Opportunity Grant to attend the Evolution: Classical artist development program with her trio at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada.  Designed especially for musicians who are in the early stages of developing their career, the Evolution: Classical program provides ensembles with coachings by the prestigious Gryphon Piano Trio and workshops on career development, public speaking, collaboration, professional relationships, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in music.  Young ensembles are immersed in an inspiring and supportive environment in which participants working in both traditional and non-traditional collaborative entities investigate and reconsider the “why” that motivates their artistic choices and reflects the depth and authenticity of their work.  The Else, if Else trio was given the opportunity to collaborate with international performing artists, leaders of thought, and creative innovators to collectively explore the challenges and choices that emerging, entrepreneurial artists encounter as they make the decisions that determine their way forward 

Special Opportunity Grant

Madelin Morales: Rochester Summer Opera

Madelin Morales, a voice major at the Eastman School of Music and business minor at the University of Rochester, joined the student-led Rochester Summer Opera’s production team as Development Assistant in the summer of 2022.  In this position, her responsibilities included the management of budgets and funding, coordinating payment, and other tasks associated with arts development within an organization.  Madelin was excited to have the opportunity to explore her interests in the intersection of music and business, gain valuable experience in arts administration, and prepare for her upcoming internship with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in their Artistic Operations and Planning sector.

Special Opportunity Grant

Tik-Yan Joyce Tseng: Rochester Summer Opera

Rochester Summer Opera is a student run opera company that seeks to provide educational opportunities to those who endeavor to go into opera performance and production in the future. It also seeks to provide accessible opportunities for the Rochester community to interact with opera. Tik Yan Joyce will join their team as an Administrative Assistant. The role of an Administrative Assistant includes program design, coordinating PR and marketing on social media, as well as communicating with performance venues regarding contracts and scheduling. Additionally, Tik Yan will be coordinating audition scheduling and advertising, and also be managing contact between the cast and creative team.

Special Opportunity Grant

Gwyneth Paker: Rochester Summer Opera

Rochester Summer Opera is a student run opera company that seeks to provide educational opportunities to those who endeavor to go into opera performance and production in the future. It also seeks to provide accessible opportunities for the Rochester community to interact with opera. Gwyneth will work in PR & Marketing where her work consists of social media, coordinating scheduling, and communicating with performers, venues, and other staff people.

Isabella Lau smiling with her trombone.

Special Opportunity Grant

Isabella Lau: IWBC Conference

The International Women’s Brass Conference is focused on female brass players and their contributions to music, and serves as a space for women to meet and preform. Through a series of presentations, performances, and volunteer, Isabella was able to connect to other female brass players in a predominately male field and learn how to advocate for herself and her career. Participants also had the opportunity to compete in a solo competition and receive feedback on their playing. This conference balanced emphasis on performance skills with career development leaving participants with skills to shape their careers, tips for performance, and a network of women in similar professional fields.

Special Opportunity Grant

Madeleine Snow: OPERA America’s Annual Opera Conference

OPERA America’s annual conference is the largest assembly of opera administrators, artists, trustees, and associates in the world. Hosted by a different opera company in a new location each year, the conference is a major site of industry discussions, networking, and performances that move opera forward. Madeleine used the Special Opportunity Grant to attend the 2022 conference which will be hosted by the Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis. The focus of this conference is to affirm the collaborative strength of the opera community and ask the question, “What is the mission of an opera company in today’s world?”  

Special Opportunity Grant

William Pyle: South by Southwest 

South by Southwest (SXSW) 2022 Conference was composed of panels, discussions, meetups, and keynote speakers. The focus of the conference was the intersection of popular music with the “classical” world. There, William attended sessions on mental health, maintaining authenticity, touring alternative venue spaces, and more. In addition to attending sessions and panels, he also made a point of connecting with the people around him. He met people from Syracuse all the way to Norway, thus showing the variety of the people he was meeting. The Special Opportunity grant allowed William to attend a conference that was out of his comfort zone and meet people all over the world and explore various facets of the industry.  

IML Grant and Membership

The Sequoia Reed Quintet: The intersection of Visual Art and Music at the Memorial Art Gallery

Gwendolyn used the IML grant to fund her and her quintet’s collaboration with the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG). This collaboration consists two performances including an educational program for young children, a pre-concert talk, and a full-length public concert. The feature piece was based off paintings of five women in the Memorial Art Gallery and addresses the topics of the composer’s (Ben West) mental health and their journey with anxiety. This quintet of reeds (oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and bassoon) is still considered a new genre of chamber music. So not only did the new repertoire expand the music available to this genre but also explore important topics of mental health. This opportunity gives Gwendolyn and the Sequoia Reed Quintet a chance to explore new reed repertoire, strengthen the connections between Eastman and the Memorial Art Gallery, and bring awareness to mental health issues through music.  

Department Matching Grant

Mark Kellogg: 80th Birthday Celebration of Trombone Choir 

Eastman’s Trombone Choir has performed numerous times throughout the current year, however, this concert was special because it served as the 80th birthday party for the ensemble. Emory Remington founded the choir in 1941 as trombone professor and is a legacy at the university today. Today, Mark Kellogg and Larry Zalkind are responsible for continuing this tradition. The concert also featured two Trombonists, Donald Hunsberge and Michael Davis, to play with and conduct the choir but also to represent the various generations of the choir. Through this concert, they are able to honor the past but also look towards the future. 

Department Matching Grant

Erika Knapp: Music Teacher Resilience and Self-Care Panel

This event brought together professionals from the Rochester area for an important conversation on the topic of music teacher self-care and resilience. Panelists will share their varied experiences and expertise on the topic and provided practical suggestions for current and future music educators. 

Department Matching Grant

James VanDemark: Making Your Career in Europe

Jame VanDemark use the Department Matching Grant to host Eastman alumni Eric Steffens as he discusses his career in Europe. From touring with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra to becoming Principal Bassist of Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Eric will offer insight on how American musicians can pursue a successful education and careers in Europe. This is event is presented by the Eastman String Department with support from the IML Department. 

2021

PRJC Grant

Ayden Adler : Innovation and Research 

As it is currently, the classical music world is still a predominately white space. Historically, classical music was discussed through the lens of status, hierarchy, and social class; however, it has been slow to acknowledge how these forces have shaped the racial landscape of classical music. Ayden used the PRJC grant to conduct archival research in Boston to use in their book titled Orchestrating Whiteness: Arthur Fiedler, Serge Koussevitzky, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This research will enhance Ayden’s understanding of the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion. With this knowledge, Ayden can contextualize the thinking of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and how it has supported systemic whiteness in orchestral settings up and through the 20th century.   

PRJC Grant

Kasia Bielak-Hoops: Vó·ce Veläta 2021-22

Vó·ce Veläta (“veiled voice”) was founded in Fall 2020 to address systemic racism within the music education. Currently, the youth ensemble of  Vó·ce Veläta is focused on the exploration of the music of BIPOC and women composers. They aim to use anti-oppressive approaches and principles that recognize the hierarchies based on power and privilege. Some of these specific activities include researching composers, student-led rehearsals, performance, and arts leadership development. Additionally, they developed music educator resources which will help will shaping the musical curriculum so that educators can consistently work towards unlearning unconscious biases. 

PRJC Grant

Lisa Caravan: Expanding the Curriculum: Commissioning Diverse Repertoire for Intermediate Band and Orchestra 

While diverse music worlds are being increasingly acknowledged as an important part of music education, there is still a strong emphasis on Western classical music, especially in regards to the beginning and intermediate instruction. Lisa and colleagues enhanced the cultural understanding by increasing repertoire that celebrates the diverse ethnic, cultural, and gender identities through the commissioning of new repertoire. Currently P-12 music education standards focus on the processes of creating, performing, responding, and connecting. Through pilot studies on both Western classical music and diverse classical music, students focused on each of these steps equally instead of solely focusing on performing. Using this method, they were able to ask personal questions such as how does my personal background relate to the repertoire? The PRJC would allow Lisa and colleagues to commission new pieces to generate a more diverse collection of repertoire and enrich music education.  

PRJC Grant

Kara LaMoure: Two Steppin’: a collaborative concert of professional chamber musicians, beginning youth orchestra, and composer Mason Bynes

WindSync used their PRJC grant to host a multigenerational concert to motivate and retain beginning music students, encourage families to feel welcome to attending, and to begin students’ musical lives with a feeling of representation. To make this concert happen, WindSync partnered with Houston Youth Symphony, elementary schools, and programs promoting youth music education. Additionally, WindSync visited schools during their after-school programs to rehearse, provided free transportation, and presented the program in both English and Spanish to increase accessibility. Finally, their concert included a commissioned work, Two Steppin’ by Mason Bynes, who is an emerging Black composer from Houston. With all these components, WindSync hopes to draw future musicians to the stage and connect the dots for young people and provides racial equity through their artistic representation.  

PRJC Grant

Laura Metcalf: the Overlook Presents: If The Stars Align

The Overlook is a string quartet that uses chamber music to amplify the music of Black composers historically and in the modern era via commission. Their hope is to expand the classical music canon to better represent the accomplishments of all. “If the Stars Align” was the second of a three-part free concert series. This three-concert festival represented four centuries of string quartet music by Black composers, with a spotlight on a living composer. Additionally, each concert featured a guest composer, historian, or storyteller, allowing the audience to experience a deeper connection with each piece, each performance, and the community at large. Finally, each of the quartet’s members spoke about the pieces presented by offering information about each composer’s inspirations and influences, and creating a more personalized experience between the audience and the performance. 

PRJC Grant

Tanatchaya Chanphanitpornkit: Rising to the Podium: Intersectionality of Gender and Race

Many journalists and music critics have described female conductors as hitting a glass ceiling where as it could better be described as a leaking pipeline. When pursuing a conducting career, many women consider their experience, mentorship, knowing they can be in leadership roles, seeing female role models, and having female mentors all to be important aspects of their decision-making process. These results are then compounded when racial and ethnic differences are considered as they can affect opportunities or act as barriers in a career as a conductor. To research this, Tanatchaya and Chaowen conducted interviews with women of color to learn about their interests in conducting and their experience with the profession. Thus, they are able to better understand what resources are needed to flourish professionally and what aspects of the profession can be reformed.  

PRJC Grant

Lindsay Frederickson: 2021 Ear Taxi Festival/DePaul School of Music Composition Residency

The Chicago Arts and Music Project (CAMP) used the PRJC grant to support a composition residency at the Ear Taxi Festival. Historically orchestras have only served the white, educated elite so much so that it was almost impossible to find evidence of racial diversity. Now many schools require some form of the arts however, many lack the resources to include music. Therefore, students of color lack the opportunity to study instrumental music until it is too late. CAMP aims to remove these barriers by providing an opportunity for students in Chicago to work on compositions with professionals and have their music performed.

PRJC Grant

Dustin Seo: Messiah Project

The Street Symphony (SS) in conjunction with The Midnight Mission (TMM) hosts the annual “Messiah Project” to celebrate the resilience of the Skid Row and how it is a lifeline to the community and humanity. In 2021, the project was expanded into a festival where 12 outdoor workshop events were present in addition to the Messiah Project. Some of the ensembles and events included a reggae ensemble, a West-African drumming group, a community choir, an all-female Mariachi ensemble, and more. This festival and project aligned with the SS mission to uplift the stories of resilience and community through music and relay everything that was overcome.  

PRJC Grant

Melissa Ngan: Sonic Murals

Sonic Murals was created in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man in August of 2020 in Kenosha which sparked protests of the excessive use of force by law enforcement against people of color. Fifth House Ensemble (5HE) and Kenosha Creative Space worked together to create Sonic Murals, a large public art project rooted in the voices of Kenosha citizens and combined storytelling through visual and performance media. Additionally, a series of virtual community conversations were started to create debate, dialogue, and action. In essence, this mural was aimed to share the experiences of the community, connect with one another, and build that agency and empowerment.  

Special Opportunity Grant

Raffi Wright: Armenian Genocide & Culture Research Visit

Raffi has created a Musical Arts project to tell the story of his great-grandmother’s survival during the Armenian Genocide. This project featured five song compositions using his great-grandmother’s unpublished memoir and required extensive research on the part of Raffi. To conduct this research, he used the Special Opportunities grant to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. which has archival resources such as photos of the Armenian Genocide, testimonials, and more. These resources helped enrich his understanding of the events that occurred and allowed him to meet scholars and artists to further conversations surrounding Armenian Genocide. His final presentation occurred in Spring 2022 but to learn more, you can visit his website here (https://raffiwright.wixsite.com/vocalarts).  

IML Grant and Membership

Pallas Catenella: Working Phds Podcast Project

In the past 10 years the musical academic job market has been on a decline. There are many graduates who are unable to find work and are forced to pivot at the last minute leaving them feeling stressed and unprepared for their next steps. To address this issue, Pallas and her colleagues have created a podcast, “Working PhDs,” to be a resource and provide pathways for those with humanities degrees. Each episode is interview style with different humanities PhD holders that discuss paths outside academia. The podcast highlights the skills and training developed in academia and how that is widely applicable for many different fields and study. Additionally, the podcast engages the community with the humanities and ties into a large effort to reconstruct graduate school for non-academic careers.

IML Grant and Membership

Megan Alyssa Hendrix: Resource for Band Teachers

Megan worked with Professor Alden Snell to develop a resource for band teachers that helps them effectively work with students to develop their musicianship. For example, some strategies include teaching songs by rote, using solfege and beat function to develop tonality and meter, developing improvisation, using movement, and then connecting these activities to playing in ensembles and working on personal repertoire. These skills and resources are important because they are widely applicable and strengthen the player’s connection to the music. Megan tested these resources out with a piece called “Joy Revisited” in which she wrote out her teaching strategies as well as creating YouTube links. Finally, she plans to share these techniques at state music educators’ association conferences in the future.

IML Grant and Membership

Erica smith: Harmonies for Healing

“What if you helped people who really need it?” a quote by Alan Harrison, a leader in the nonprofit sector, really struck a cord with Erica so much so that she, in conjunction with Professor Freer, decided to create a project together. This involved curating and recording a playlist of chamber music for hospice and palliative care patients in Rochester. From there, the playlists were uploaded to 5 portable music players that would be distributed to three different care facilities. Her mission was to reach audiences of all socio-demographic backgrounds and connect Eastman to the various local healthcare institutions. Finally, she sent out a qualitative survey to access the impact of her project.  

2020

PRJC Grant

Dalanie Harris: Black Music in a Racialized Society

When Dalanie transferred to Eastman from the University of Rochester, she found it difficult to transition. Coming from a community that was a majority Black and 95% people of color, she found no opportunities to study with Black professors, a lack of Black classical artist representation, and no Black Student Union. It was her African American Studies at the University of Rochester that kept her grounded and lead her to question the duality of her college experience and if there was a way to combine it. This led to the creation of the Classically Black Podcast, a weekly podcast that blended humor, classical music, Black history, and culture. To expand on her podcast, Dalanie used the PRJC grant to complete a research project that focused on the contributions of Black musicians to American music in the racialized society we know today. By focusing on Black artists, Dalanie highlights the role in which Black culture has contributed to music today and the relationship between race and music. 

PRJC Grant

Jacqueline Cordova-Arrington: THE UMOJA FLUTE INSTITUTE/VIRTUAL SUMMER SERIES

The Umoja Flute Institute (UFI) is a summer series that provides its members workshops, performances, and professional development opportunities. The institute has the following goals; providing flutists of African descent with the tools needed to succeed and thrive at all levels of music-making, foster an international community, celebrate flutists from African descent, and expose flutists to diverse experiences and opportunities. UFI used the PRJC grant to launch a website and use a virtual event management software for the institute’s hub for applicants and participants. This grant allowed UFI to focus on creating an inclusive space and give Black student access to education resources and become a foundation for Black children to enter the flute world. In sum, the UFI aims to strengthen the Black flute community and increase representation in field.

PRJC Grant

Margaret Hinchliffe: How it’s (Musically) Made

Margaret’s project included poets, composers, and performers that were in various places in their creative process. Each part of this project focused on a different part of the creation process. The first focus was on the creation of the three interdisciplinary ensembles (poet, composer, vocalist, and pianist); the second was the creation of new poetry and music; the third was a podcast focused on the process, and the fourth was a virtual concert focused on the poem, score, and recording. In addition to being mixed media, the central theme of the project was inclusion in terms of the participants but also the direction of the projects. Each ensemble featured BIPOC individuals and their projects explored topics such as racism, immigrant experiences, LBGTQ+ experiences, disability inclusion, and more. Finally, the audience was able to experience the ensembles creative processes as they created their final project which is unusual for these types of media. 

PRJC Grant

Anne Schelleng: Thomas/Sanderson Project

SOLI Chamber Ensemble is an internationally recognized award-winning chamber ensemble that used the PRJC grant to fund a collaboration between Laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson and Darian Thomas. Together they worked on a 30-minute work for SOLI, electronics, vocalist (singing, rapping, and narrating), and dancer. This project shared the BIPOC experience in the past, present and future, and served as a means of education and a pathway for the future citizens and leaders. The completion of the project included video documentation of the rehearsals, workshops, and premier to be shared in a documentary for film festivals and beyond. 

PRJC Grant

Michael Drapkin: Combatting Systemic Racism in the Symphony Orchestra Using the Brooklyn Model

The Black Lives Matter movement had spotlighted the lack of diversity in professional symphony orchestras where only 1.8% of the musicians are Black. Additionally, the New York Times noted that a lot of classical music is not relevant to Black audiences because historically orchestras were staffed by almost only white men and the repertoire also reflects that. To address these issues, the Texas Chamber Symphony looks for ways to integrate the orchestra with the community and adopt the Brooklyn Model, a music model developed by the Brooklyn orchestra. To continue their efforts, the Texas Chamber Symphony staged a concert and appointed a local popular music in-state artist and included selections from living black and/or woman composers. This concert is the first step in lowering some of the barriers and creates connections between symphony orchestras and their communities to try to attract a more diverse audience.    

IML Grant and Membership

Travon walker: representation Matters: Bringing Classical Music Into Schools through a BIPOC Lens

It is important that musicians are represented in the music they play. Travon aimed to accomplish this through the lens of BIPOC composers and musicians. He and the other musicians developed a program that featured music written by Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Then he reached out to school in the Rochester City School District with high populations of students of color and schools with high populations of white students. Each school performance included the music itself, online Zoom discussion, and presentations about the importance of representation in music. The goal was to give students a sense of belonging in classical music, develop student’s cultural enrichment, and strengthen the sense of community in the school and with Eastman. Due to COVID, all performances had to be online but Travon hopes that this can become an annual tradition and in the future the performances can be in-person so that the school children can meet with the students of Eastman. 

IML Grant and Membership

Christopher Amick: Formalization of Amick Percussion

Instruments are not cheap. Amick Percussion aims to provide an affordable source of high-quality timpani mallets for college students, young professionals, and professors. Mallets typically cost anywhere from $78-$95 per pair whereas Amick Percussion charges a flat rate of $50 per timpani mallet pair. With the IML grant, Christopher formalized his business by becoming the sole proprietor, creating an online storefront, and running ad campaigns on various social media platforms. Expanding this way allows Christopher to extend beyond the people he knows and gives his business the potential to grow beyond just timpani mallets. He is planning to tackle more projects such as self-publishing, programing recital, or offering as a guest clinician.  

IML Grant and Membership

Tristan Swihart: Detweiler Swihart Percussion Duo concert

Tristan wants to change the narrative of what a percussionist does. To do this, he organized a percussion concert in his hometown to show his community what percussionists can do. This percussion concert will highlight different pieces from classical and contemporary music while also highlighting the percussive arts. Tristan advertised through social media, word of mouth, and newspaper ads. He hopes that this will inspire young kids to join percussion programs and he hopes by seeing teachers and friends on stage that kids will be even more excited to join. Additionally, the Detweiler Swihart Duo will donate all the money from the ticket sales back to the local percussion programs and this will serve as their first duo concert which will help with booking venues in the future.

IML Grant and Membership

Denin Koch: Re: Manhattan Project

This ten-movement suite is inspired by the events and consequences of the atomic bomb from the 1940s. Denin’s piece includes both historical texts and poetry as well to guide the narrative and photos and videos to be displayed for each movement. On. August 6th, 2020, the 7th anniversary of the nuclear attack, the album was released and on August 7th, 2020 the performance was played at the Hanford REACH Museum committed to the preservation of the U.S. nuclear history. In essence, this piece aims to support unity and peace. Inspiring people to speak out in support of denuclearization and to think about the effects of war and violence. This piece balances differences between jazz and classical and expands the bounds of what “art music” can be. Funding for this project would help establish Denin as a performer and will be key in booking performances in the future and sharing his musical journey. 

Department Matching Grant

William Weinert: Professional Choral Singing: Learn how you can make money as a professional choral singer from current professionals in the field (panel discussion) 

Department Matching Grant

Rich Thompson: Renaissance Man: Performer. Composer. Sportscaster? Meet Eastman Alum Nabaté Isles. 

Rich used the Departmental Matching Grant to host Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Nabaté Isles in a guest speaker event to discuss how you can combine your love your music with your other passions. Nabaté focused his talk on factors to emphasize while self-producing your own album or artistic endeavor; how to create game-plans for yourself (and stick to them); and how you can learn to converse with anyone at any time. He also shared stories from his own career showcasing performing highlights, unique opportunities he’s had to work in TV and film, and explained how he had time to start a sportscasting career on top of everything else. 

Department Matching Grant

Nicholas Goluses & Mark Watters: Breaking Through the Newman Shadow: Creating Your Unique Path in Music

Nicholas and Mark used the Departmental Matching Grant to host guest speaker Maria Newman. As a part of what is often referred to as the “Musical Newman Family Dynasty,” the daughter of 9-time Academy Award-winning composer, Alfred Newman, the sister of film composers and conductors Thomas Newman and David Newman, and the cousin of Randy Newman, American violinist, violist, and composer Maria Newman has had a unique journey through the musical landscape.  Maria (who also happens to be an Eastman alumna) shared stories about the projects, initiatives, and ventures that she has launched, the successes and failures she’s gone through, and the lessons learned.  She also discussed unexpected roadblocks and how they were dealt with, the skills and knowledge that she wished she had before starting, and the trajectory of her many projects.