A community of over 12,000 NEC alumni live and perform in more than 40 countries throughout the world, and we are proud to share their stories and successes.
Our alumni are soloists, chamber musicians, entrepreneurs, and members of classical, jazz, and commercial ensembles of all shapes and sizes. They hold teaching posts at colleges and conservatories, own record labels, serve as managers with leading arts organizations, and compose and produce for the television, film, and radio industries. In short, they’re everywhere – and they’re paving the way for a bright musical future.
Here, we take an in-depth look at a few of our alumni and their paths beyond NEC. Be sure to check back frequently as we continue to add more profiles to this page.
Sean Callery ’88, piano performance; composer for film/television
"Everything I was learning here - classical music, singing in the choir, arranging, classical piano study, even working in the audio department - those were all breadcrumbs along the way."
Clint Bajakian ’87, classical guitar performance and music theory; video game composer/sound designer
"The thing I love so much about NEC is the combination of excellence and a nurturing, warm, encouraging atmosphere."
Excelsa Quartet - Violinists Laura Colgate '06, '09 G.D. and Audrey Wright '11, '13 M.M., violist Valentina Shohdy '10 M.M., cellist Kacy Clopton '09 M.M., '10 G.D.
"...by keeping a group sense of curiosity and open-mindedness, we eventually discover what feels right in the music. And when we feel stuck in rehearsal with a particular phrase, we always sing it!"
Darryl Harper ’08 D.M.A., jazz studies, clarinet performance
"When you spend a lot of time examining them, boundaries of culture or genre, for example, you often come to recognize them as porous, fluid, even provisional. I am attracted to boundaries, because there is so much interesting stuff happening at them."
Monica Germino ’90, violin performance
"...without great music most experiments are likely to fail."
Warren Jones ’73, piano performance
"...the older that I get, the more I recognize that music is in all things, at all times."
Kate Lemmon ’14 M.M., flute performance; family photographer
"Each art form influences and strengthens my love for the other."
Sooyun Kim ’04, ’07 M.M., ’09 G.D., flute performance
“Music is an act of sharing.”
Allegra Levy ’11, jazz voice
"Maybe there'll be a jazz and pie café of my creation someday."
Luciana Souza ’94 M.M., jazz studies, vocal performance
"...what if we remove a specific language and try something non-linguistic? Are we still able to arrive at some cohesive idea? Are we still creating language?"
Matthew Szymanski ’13 M.M., orchestral conducting
“You’re not expected to go into the world and do everything the same way it's been done in the past.”
Stephen Upshaw ’10, viola performance
“They write impenetrably difficult music notated so specifically, and when you work with them, they can hear absolutely everything you’re doing. In a way, it has taught me how to read music."
Jonathan Vinocour ’03 M.M., ’04 G.D., viola performance
“...learn the piece, the context, what underlying harmonies are going on...that level of awareness can be really noticeable.”
Linda Watson ’79, vocal performance
"...everyone you meet and work with becomes a permanent part of your life, so create your world with that in mind."
In addition to profiles on the web, we publish all class notes submissions in our monthly Connection e-newsletter and on social media. Please click here to send us your updates!