NEC 'Consolidates a Hundred Histories' with Inauguration and Gala Festivities April 26-27

Community-wide celebration honors new president Andrea Kalyn and supports #NECNow, the conservatory’s first day of giving.

By Erich Burnett, Guest Correspondent

This weekend, an annual celebration at New England Conservatory meets a singular moment in the institution’s history—and the entire NEC community is invited to share in the moment.

On Friday, April 26, Andrea Kalyn will be inaugurated as the 17th president in NEC’s 151-year history. The following day, the conservatory will host its annual Gala, which helps support the future of music through scholarship funds.

On Friday, Kalyn’s 11:30 a.m. Inauguration in Jordan Hall will highlight the community of NEC with performances by students including a Trombone Quartet and the Verona Quartet, the resident ensemble in NEC’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, with Evren Ozel ’21, piano, the NEC Faculty Brass Quintet and alumna mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves ’88, ’14 hon. DM. 

After inauguration, NEC opens its doors to share music with the local community with a Block Party from 1 to 3 p.m. All are welcome to attend. Among the scheduled performers will be student groups Ox Ox (NEC’s Jazz Honors Ensemble), Tandem Saint (an NEC Contemporary Improvisation ensemble), the West African Ensemble, and the Panama Ensemble. In addition to music, festivities include food trucks and an interactive art wall.

Friday’s activities coincide with #NECNow, the conservatory’s first day of giving, which supports The NEC Fund. Participation in #NECNow ensures that NEC’s commitment to exemplary education of young musicians may continue for generations to come.

Saturday’s Gala begins with a pre-concert cocktail reception and will be followed by a concert in Jordan Hall showcasing NEC students and the creativity, compassion, and conviction they bring to music making.

The evening continues with dinner in the Student Life & Performance Center and concludes with dessert and music by chamber and jazz ensembles.

“This celebration is a wonderful time to bring the extended NEC family together: our students and their families, our alumni, supporters, members of the board, and our friends in the community,” says Kennett F. Burnes, chair of the NEC Board of Trustees. “It has proven to be an unforgettable party, year in and year out, and this year promises to be like no other.”

Kalyn began her tenure at NEC in January 2019 after serving for 14 years at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, first as associate dean for academic affairs and since February 2014 as dean of the conservatory. Kalyn is regarded as a steadfast advocate of community engagement and innovation in developing careers across the musical spectrum and beyond.

Burnes adds, “Andrea continually exceeds our expectations,” he says. “She is a great learner. She has a magnetic personality. She has a wonderful way with the students, and she is a true professional who understands the issues and challenges of running a conservatory today.”


Update: Due to forecasted rain, the Block Party will take place in Brown Hall inside the Jordan Hall building at 290 Huntington Ave. Guests are asked to use the entrance on Gainsborough Street (30 Gainsborough Street if using a GPS).
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