Congratulations recipients of the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research Grant!

Congratulations to two organizations on receiving a Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research Grant for the Fall 2023 cycle:

Walker West Music Academy won a $5,000 grant to support Stringocracy! Call and Response as Social Activism from Vivaldi to Hip Hop – Stringocracy! In conjunction with the national election and the energy from young people to engage in social justice efforts to foster social impact, this project culminates in a 90-minute concert that explores social activism through a “call & response” approach from a cross-section of music genres rooted in the African/African American cultural experience. The ensemble of high school string students will explore improvisation, a highly democratic dialectic form, as expressions of identity through their music performance.

Leah Schuman ’96E (MM) ’01E (DMA)
Walker West Kamoinge String Ensemble

One City Jazz from the VanderCook College of Music won a $5,000 grant to support their new drumline. One City addresses systemic inequity in music education by providing high quality instruments and expert instruction at no cost to children from underserved BIPOC neighborhoods where instrumental music is not provided in the public schools. Those who stick with the program until the end of 8th grade get to keep the instrument to use in high school and beyond. Over 120 children attend every Saturday and play in 1 of 3 jazz ensembles, our Suzuki violin program, or the new drum line. Our world-class, majority BIPOC artistic leadership team composes original repertoire for the program that draws on the rich musical heritage of our neighborhood Bronzeville. Currently, the drumline students are using drum pads to develop basic drumming technique, rhythm reading skills, and build a warm, welcoming ensemble rapport where high standards and expectations are supported and nurtured. Congratulations to Eastman alumna Leah Schuman ’96E (MM) ’01E (DMA) on her leadership of this program!

The Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research is a division of the Institute for Music Leadership (IML) at the Eastman School of Music. The Center’s research and programming emphasizes the 21st Century evolution of the innovative ensemble, influenced by both the symphony orchestra and the chamber music traditions, with a focus on creative, artist-centered ensembles that reflect new models of artistic innovation, organizational relationships, and operational sustainability.

The next deadline to apply is February 1, 2024. The February 2024 grant cycle will be reserved for Eastman students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the organizations they represent. Learn more here.