The NEC community wants to hear about how your NEC experience has shaped your journey. Fill out the linked form below to share your story and a member of the NEC Engagement Team will connect with you. Your story will be published on the NEC website and on the alumni social media channels as well as emailed to the NEC alumni network.
A conservatory-trained classical violinist and former trainer for the US Navy overseas, Laura Stetler ’05 brings diverse experience to her work supporting human performance. Laura is known for an adaptive, pragmatic approach with over 15 years as a military spouse and professional development experience, equipping her to understand and manage transitions. Laura completed her graduate studies at Goucher College in Administration and her undergraduate studies at New England Conservatory studying the connection between music, brain development, and learning.
Interdisciplinary composer and life coach, Mattia Maurée ’14 MM creates art that explores perception, sensation, trauma, and resilience. They earned a Master of Music in Composition at New England Conservatory studying with Malcolm Peyton, where John Heiss called their music "bold, adventurous, powerful and elegant."
Praised for her dynamic and passionate conducting style, Taiwanese American conductor and NEC alumna Mei-Ann Chen ‘95, ‘98 MM is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. Ms. Chen came to the United States to study violin in 1989 and became the first student in New England Conservatory’s history to receive master’s degrees simultaneously in both violin and conducting.
Currently the Assistant Professor of Viola at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona, alumna Dr. Molly Gebrian ‘06 MM, ‘08 GD has a passion for understanding how people learn and experience music. Her background in neuroscience gives her unique insight into how the brain learns and how musicians can best use this information to their advantage in the practice room.
New England Conservatory holds a special place in Justin Purtill’s ’07 MM heart. The Contemporary Improvisation program encouraged Justin to change the way he thought about music and explore his creativity, leading him to a successful career as a guitarist and improvisational singer-songwriter. Justin even met his wife while they were both studying at NEC!
“For a kid like me, who was very musically curious but also restless for growth and illumination, NEC was like a candy store for musicians! I never got the sense that our teachers wanted us to be anything other than great musicians and it was a very safe place for me to explore new ways of expressing my ideas.”
NEC alumnus Fran Vielma ’16 MM is a critically acclaimed and award-winning multi-percussionist, composer, and educator. He moved from Venezuela to the United States in 2010 and immersed himself in the study of world music. His versatility in different genres of music—from Caribbean to Afro-Venezuelan to jazz—has led to his involvement in a number of projects, tours, and festivals around the world.
“NEC has been a milestone in my career. The level of excellence, support, and respect for everyone’s vision is invaluable and is something I try to encourage and practice with my students and colleagues.”
Kathie Sowell '68 gives us a look into NEC student life in the late 1960s and shares how she creatively adapted her NEC education to a successful career in systems engineering for the Federal Government.
"NEC taught me that I love performing in front of audiences and that I do not need to be intimidated by intimidating circumstances, even if I appear to be the least prepared person in the room. The analytical skills I learned at NEC really did translate into systems engineering work!"
NEC alum, Siraj Al Hassan ’81, brings a unique musical perspective to the world. Blending different genres of music from Jazz to Classical, Soul to Neo-soul, Latin to Brazilian, and R&B to Hip Hop, Siraj creates music for the soul that honors his family, culture, and the legacy of his teachers.
NEC virtually welcomed back Diana Ortega '10 as the 2021 Alumni Commencement Speaker. Diana shares her remarkable journey from New England Conservatory to a career in community relations, successfully using her music education to improve the social determinants of health for marginalized communities.
Alumna Akemi Leung shares how her lessons from NEC positioned her well for a career in tech as a Design & User Research Lead at Segmed.ai.
"I’ve gotten to play with local groups, friends have asked random music history or theory questions, and coworkers have even requested covers of rock songs. I’m so glad I have my NEC experience to lean on and carry with me into the future."
As with many musicians this past year, Sarah’s daily life as a professional orchestral musician was put on hold. She needed a long term project to stay in playing shape and better herself as an artist. Taking advantage of the newfound time in her days, Sarah took on a practice project entitled the “Pandemic Paganini Project” (PPP).
"A big part of being a composer is the community of performers I write for — my "village," so to speak. I met so many wonderful players at NEC, and getting to write for them was incredibly inspiring. These alliances were a vital early step in building the larger network of performers I now have who commission me, perform my music, and essentially give direction to my career as a composer."
NEC Prep and College alumna Rebecca (Breer) Leonard '87 shares how her family's music store has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. After being shut down for two months, Rebecca and her husband are finding creative ways to help young beginners learn a new instrument remotely, as well as provide employment opportunities for local musicians.
As a Content Engineer for Audio/Music Applications at Apple, NEC alumnus, Ari Brown ’19, combines his passion for music composition and production with computer science to help people around the world create music.
Clayton Stephenson '23 NEC/Harvard was one of the six remarkable finalists who advanced to the final round, with Andrew Li ’23 NEC/Harvard and Changyong Shin ‘24 AD also receiving Jury Discretionary Awards. Five NEC students in total were admitted to the competition, and NEC also enjoys a special connection to the gold medal winner.
News from NEC students, alumni, and faculty members including Jaewon Wee, Alexander Hersh, Thomas Wilkins, Matthew Duveneck, Ashleigh Gordon, Kati Agócs and James Sommerville, Tristan Rais-Sherman, Ran Blake, Michael Rau, and Morgan Short, plus other recent news and wins.
See photos from the April 2022 performances of Perla’s “An American Dream,” Ravel’s “L’enfant et les sortilèges,” and Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” under the direction of Joshua Major, Chair of Opera Studies.
NEC is closely monitoring developments related to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Please check this page for critical information for the NEC community and a list of Artist Resources for alumni during this time.