Skip to main content

DownBeat Student Music Awardees

Nine NEC affiliated musicians receive honors.

Nine NEC Prep, College Students or Alumni Honored with DownBeat Student Music Awards

Nine New England Conservatory students or alumni have been honored with DownBeat Student Music Awards announced by the jazz magazine this month.  The Awards recognize outstanding performance, composition, arrangement and engineering as demonstrated on recordings. NEC’s honored musicians ranged from high school aged Preparatory School students to incoming freshmen to current undergraduates and graduate students to alumni who are now teaching or coaching. 

One young artist, Chase Morrin (right in photo), a San Diego resident who will enter the joint Harvard/NEC degree program in September, received multiple awards for both performance and composition. A multi-faceted musician who plays piano, percussion and bonang in a Javanese gamelan orchestra, Morrin also composes for his high school’s choir, dance, theatre and music programs.

The awards, categories, and recipients are listed below:

Paul Bloom (in photo right), current Prep student from Needham (MA) Highschool, piano. He studies with David Zoffer. He also plays in a small ensemble coached by Wes Wirth, as well as the Youth Jazz Orchestra. He also takes History of Jazz and Jazz Analysis. 
  “Jazz Soloist - High School student - Outstanding Performance”

Matthew Sheens ’11 M.M., piano.  Studied at NEC with Fred Hersch, Jason Moran, and Jerry Leake.
 “Jazz Soloist – Graduate College Student - Outstanding Performance”

Roland R. Davis ’07 M.M., composition and guitar, ’08 G.D. voice for This Masquerade 
“Jazz Arrangement - Graduate College Student - Outstanding Performance”

Cory Boris, trombone (in photo right), incoming freshman from Kingston High School, in Kingston, NY.  A 2010 all-State Musician from New York, Cory was chosen to play in a Grammy Awards Jazz Ensemble this year. 
“Jazz Soloist - High School - Winner”

Andrew Durham, guitar, incoming freshman from Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX
“Jazz Soloist - Performing Arts High School - Outstanding Performance”

Chase Morrin, incoming freshman in Harvard/NEC joint degree program. A native of San Diego where he attends Canyon Crest Academy, he is a pianist, percussionist and composer. He won:
“Blues/Pop/Rock Group - High School - Outstanding Performance” for Chase Morrin Original Trio
“Original Composition Lead Sheet - High School - Winner” for Kotekan
“Original Composition Orchestrated Work - High School - Winner” for #1 Mumphis 
“Jazz Arrangement - High School - Outstanding Performance” for Simone

Michael Zilber ’82 for The Jazzschool’s Advanced HS Jazz Workshop I
 “Jazz Group - Performing Arts High School - Winner”

Bart Marantz ’77 M.M. from Booker T. Washington High School of Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas, TX. For his
 “Jazz Group - Performing Arts High School - Outstanding Performance”

David Hagedorn ’84 M.M. for St. Olaf College’s Jazz I ensemble
 “Large Jazz Ensemble - Undergraduate College - Winner”

For further information, check the NEC Website at: or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122.  NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. Pierce Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115