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New England Conservatory Students And Alumni Win Grow Your Art Grants

New England Conservatory Students And Alumni Win Grow Your Art Grants

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New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship team is proud to announce the winners of this year's Grow Your Art grants. Totaling $12,000, the grants have been awarded to Akenya Seymour (‘14), Amanda Ekery (’18 MM), and Anna Abondolo (’22) and Jonathan Starks (’20).

They will support “Moon in the 4th,” a sonically eclectic and deeply personal work that explores the nuance of identity, spirituality, esotericism and love; El Paso Jazz Girls, which creates a support system for female musicians; and ORDER, a coming-of-age tale premiering at NEC’s Black Box Theater on May 18 and 19, 2022.

Grow Your Art grants are available to current students and alumni within 10 years of graduation. Finalists pitch their proposals live to a panel of selectors, who ask questions and offer advice and encouragement. Prizes are awarded to individuals and ensembles in order to develop the business side of their musicianship. Projects are judged on factors including value and intended benefit to others, viability of project budget, and future sustainability of project.

This year's panel was comprised NEC Provost and Dean of Faculty, Benjamin Sosland; Director of Cultural Equity and Belonging, Monique Van Willingh; faculty member Ted Reichman; and NEC Alumni Rayna Chou.

The Pitch Competition was streamed live via video, and can be viewed here.

2022 Grow Your Art Grant Winners

Akenya Seymour | First Prize, $7,500
Moon in the 4th is a sonically eclectic and deeply personal work that explores the nuance of identity, spirituality, esotericism, and love.

Amanda Ekery, El Paso Jazz Girls | First Runner-Up, $2,250
El Paso Jazz Girls is pivoting to focus on production of students’ original music, preparing professional development workshops for local high school teachers, and building awareness for our program. In 4 years, El Paso Jazz Girls has created a support system for 90+ female musicians! We’ve got big plans for year 5…you in?

Anna Abondolo & Jonathan Starks, O R D E R | Second Runner-Up, $2,250
This twisted coming of age tale explores themes of prophecy and inwardness, augmented by spatialized sound and intricate lighting for a complete immersive experience. ORDER is an experimental theatrical production premiering in NEC’s Black Box Theatre, May 18 and 19, 2022.

2022 Grow Your Art Finalists

NEC also applauds these finalists for their excellent work and vision.

Zion Dyson | Cambodian Village Fund Music Education Program
Cambodian Village Fund, providing free music education to English language students, grades 3-12, in rural Prey Touch Commune Cambodia.

Jack Earnhart | The Art of the Brass Mouthpiece, The Earnhart Company
A new design process for brass mouthpieces that optimizes the interaction of the mouthpiece with the artist and their instrument.

Ehud Ettun | Internal Compass Music
A cutting edge music center and international music school in the middle of Israel's Negev Desert acting as a lab of music and social change

Rob Flax | Chessboard Drum Machine
Making music with a smart chessboard using original software that converts the position of the pieces into midi messages.

Zachary Hicks & Ethan D'Ver | Off the Chamber
Off the Chamber is a new concert series celebrating chamber music written for nonstandard combinations of instruments

Annie Jacobs-Perkins | Silent Wood, Deep River as part of Insert Music Here
A climate activism concert tour and recording project partnering with California’s conservation sites to examine humans’ relationship to nature

Konrad Binienda | Magic Sheet Music
Magic Sheet Music is AI powered digital sheet music which analyzes a musical performance in real time and provides instant feedback.

NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department complements the conservatory education with the resources and tools integral to building a life in music: creative and critical thinking, communication, financial management, artistic programming, audience development, and more. EM is available to students through individual advising, experiential learning, career services, and opportunities to incubate new work.

Grow Your Art: A Music and Business Residency was made possible thanks to a generous gift from an NEC supporter.

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