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A Feast of Music Success

Surpasses goal to raise net of $540,000 in support of scholarships.

NEC’s A Feast of Music Raises $540,000 Net to Support 36 Scholarships

Annual Gala February 23 Paired American Music with Menu Designed by Boston Celebrity Chef Lydia Shire

Celebrating American cuisine, wines, and music at its annual A Feast of Music, New England Conservatory attracted 415 guests and surpassed its goal to raise a net of $540,000 supporting 36 scholarships. The gala, considered one of “Boston’s Best Parties” took place February 23 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza and featured a sumptuous menu designed by celebrity chef Lydia Shire and musical performances by 80 of the Conservatory’s most gifted students. One of NEC’s all-time highest netting Feasts, it raised nearly $150,000 in a special on-the-spot scholarship appeal and secured a record number of corporate and business sponsorships.

Co-chairs for the event were Life Trustee Joseph L. Bower and his wife Elizabeth F. Potter of Cambridge, and Overseer Nancy Bern and her husband Murray Bern of Dedham.

Among highlights of the evening were performances of works by Scott Joplin, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa, George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, and “adopted American” composer Antonin Dvorak.

A new feature of Feast this year was a swinging after-party in the Oval Room, highlighted by dancing to the music of Dan Gabel and the Abletones, an open bar, and a sweet and savory reception.

For further information, check the NEC Website.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory in Boston, MA 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 Programs and Partnerships Program, 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, jazz, and contemporary improvisation.

NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, century-old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz, contemporary improvisation, and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount 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
Senior Communications Specialist
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115