Alumni & Engagement

Fran Vielma
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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.
Merz Trio poses in front of a dark background.
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The trio—comprised of violinist Brigid Coleridge '20 GD, cellist Julia Yang '14 MM, '20 GD, and pianist Lee Dionne '20 GD—will receive $15,000 and a fully subsidized recital in New York City, including the world premiere of a newly-commissioned work.
Siraj Al Hassan
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NEC alum, Siraj Al Hassan ’81 brings a unique musical perspective to the world.
Three images: 1. text message bubbles of an interview with Robyn Smith; 2. Robyn is smiling and holding her trombone near a window; 3. Beautiful green grass, blue sky, and a tree
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We caught up with trombonist Robyn Smith ’19, ’21 MM to hear about her summer as a Tanglewood Fellow, her favorite spots in the Berkshires, and what's inspiring her these days. Our text conversation includes shoutouts to contemporary composer Kevin Day, Betty's Pizza Shack in Lenox, and all the Black athletes who shone with excellence this summer.
Black and white photo of Rusty Warren in the 1960s. She is bending forward with her hands on her knees, wearing a glamorous dress and winking.
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Pianist, singer, and comedian Rusty Warren ’48, frequently called the "mother of the sexual revolution," passed away on May 25th at the age of 91.
diana 4
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NEC virtually welcomes back Diana Ortega '10 as this year's Alumni Commencement Speaker.
Jordan Hall detail
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NEC is pleased to announce the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who comprise the newly formed Cultural Equity and Belonging (CEB) Advisory Council, which will support the work of incoming Director of CEB Monique Van Willingh and the newly formed Center for Cultural Equity and Belonging.
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Alumna Akemi Leung directly applies her experiences from NEC to her current work in user experience design at a tech company.  
Sarah Jarosz is pictured against a dark background. She is wearing black and looking to the side.
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Contemporary Improvisation alumna Sarah Jarosz '13 has won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Americana Album for her record "World on the Ground."
Grow Your Art Pitch Night Finalists 2021 - a grid of 8 portraits
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Grow Your Art grants totaling $13,500 have been awarded to NEC alumni Emily Eng, Darynn Dean, Rafael Natan, and Linda Numagami, and will support a microgrant program for Black, Latinx, and Native American music students, a series of concerts and film screenings around women in jazz, an accessible School of Arts and Social Justice, and a clarinet festival.