Providing support for innovative musical projects, professional development, impactful research, entrepreneurial projects and valuable internships is more than just boosting the careers of talented Eastman students and alumni.
“These resources help our musicians share their stories, music and passions with a much a wider community, providing value to both themselves and their audiences,” said Jim Doser, director of Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership.
Sungmin Shin is a member of fivebyfive, a modern chamber music ensemble, and winner of the 2018 Eastman/ArtistShare New Artist Program. Their mission is to engage audiences in the collaborative spirit and creativity of modern chamber music.
Supported by Eastman/ArtistShare, fivebyfive will commission, perform and record music to accompany an exhibition of stained-glass artist Judith Schaechter. The ensemble will perform the work live in the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester, and the recorded performance will become a part of the installation as it tours museums around the country.
Eastman/ArtistShare provides a worldwide platform for students and alumni to connect with fans by sharing their creative process, documenting their work, and allowing fans to participate directly by funding and observing the creation of new artistic works. Eastman alumna and Grammy Award winner Maria Schneider was the first ArtistShare artist, and continues to share her work through the platform.
Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble received a Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research grant to support their collaboration with the Tuvan throat singing group Alash. The collaboration will include a live performance at Old Town School of Folk Music, with additional educational performances in Chicago Public Schools presented in partnership with the Ravinia Festival.
“After an incredible trip to Tuva this summer, we’re thrilled to welcome Alash to Chicago for our collaborative program, titled ‘Sonic Meditations,’” said Eastman alumna Melissa Ngan, a founding member of Fifth House Ensemble. “The show features video interviews captured during the tour, sharing stories from sheep herders, instrument makers, artisans, musicians, shamans and families we met along the way. Centered on the idea that folk music is preserved through participation, the program includes opportunities for audiences to share in music-making with us, through ancient folk rituals and experimental new music.”
Jing Tian Ngiaw received an IML Grant and Mentorship award, which provides financial support and mentorship for the development of a student entrepreneurial project. Her project, “My Musical Trip Around the World: A Children’s Book Series,” is designed to provide accessible, high quality and easy-to-use multicultural resources in the preschool and elementary music education classroom.
“This project fits in with my personal vision and professional objectives in several ways,” she said. “I strongly believe that multicultural music education enhances and enriches people’s musical understanding. When music teachers and children are aware of multicultural music, it will significantly develop their critical thinking skills, which can develop values of acceptance, awareness and open-mindedness, all of which are highly relevant qualities in the 21st century.”
Starting a private harp school may seem like an unusual dream, but for harpist and ALP certificate student Amber Mecke, a southern New Jersey native, it is a project that she has considered ever since her mother drove her long distances to Philadelphia for harp lessons and ensemble rehearsal each week. Developing her idea in Eastman’s entrepreneurial thinking course, Mecke then applied for a special opportunity grant through the Arts Leadership Program to fund a visit to one of the nation’s most successful harp programs in Mesa, Arizona, where she will meet and observe program director Charles Lynch.
The IML Grant and Mentorship Program, Eastman/ArtistShare Partnership, Arts Leadership Program, and Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research all play roles in the lives and careers of many musicians, scholars and musical organizations.
“More and more, Eastman students are passionate about how their unique skills and talents can be utilized to provide creative and unique value to their communities,” Doser said.
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