What's New: Back To School Edition

News about NEC students, alumni, and faculty members including Sydney Adedamola, Ethan Iverson, Juventas New Music Ensemble, NEC Symphonic Winds, J. Rosamond Johnson, Nicholas Kitchen, and more.

Sydney Adedamola

Violinist Sydney Adedamola, an NEC Prep alum, has been selected as one of two new Thomas L. Beckmen LA Phil Resident Fellows. Adedamola is the inaugural chair holder of the Eugene and Marilyn Stein LA Phil Resident Fellow Chair.

“There is something so special and intimate about having the freedom,” writes Adedamola, “to find a beautiful new sound with other players.”

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Stanley Crouch

Jazz faculty Ethan Iverson has written a retrospective for NPR about Stanley Crouch, "lauded and fiery jazz critic," who recently passed away.

"Unsurprisingly, Crouch became one of the most controversial commentators around, the sort of critic everyone had an opinion about, even if they had never seriously engaged with his work. [...] 

"It's conventional for a memorial, such as this one, to be full of platitudes and generally respectful towards the departed. But the passing of Stanley Crouch is no occasion to be bland."

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Conductor William Drury applauds from the Jordan Hall stage.

The American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the performance of American Music has been awarded to two NEC-affiliated ensembles.

In the professional division, Juventas New Music Ensemble was honored for their performance of "Shell & Wing" by David Biedenbender. Juventas includes many NEC alumni including core members Lu Yu ’15 MM, Ryan Shannon ’10 Prep, ’14, Wolcott Humphrey ’08 MM, Anne Howarth ’99 MM, Minjin Chung ’17 MM, and Julia Scott Carey ’09 MM Harvard/NEC.

In the collegiate division, NEC Symphonic Winds, led by NEC faculty William Drury, were honored for their performance of "Whitman Tropes" by Richard Toensing.

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J Rosamond Johnson at the piano

CNN's interactive feature, "What makes 'Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing' so iconic," delves deep into the history and cultural relevance of the song, including notes on the song's composer J. Rosamond Johnson, an NEC alum.

"For more than a century, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has held a powerful place in American history. The hymn is known as the Black National Anthem, but it’s more than that. It’s a history lesson, a rallying cry, a pledge of unity, and as people gather to fight for equality and justice, it is an ever-present refrain."

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NEC faculty Nicholas Kitchen spoke with MetroWest Daily News about moving the Heifetz Institute, of which he is Artistic Director, online this summer:

As most musicians who teach have found out, transferring from real-time to online instruction can be frustrating, with little nuance - in fingering, pedaling, timing - possible because of delays and other virtual shortcomings. Planning helps with that too.

“We had six studios operating every day,” Kitchen says. “It was all done with layered recordings, passing files, GarageBand and REAPER.

“Some of my students may hate me, but this was no waste of time. They were engaged in what they were doing, and getting better at it.

“Honestly, even in a non-pandemic world,” he says, “I would tell students to tape themselves and listen carefully. No one likes it. And nobody would argue that we don’t want to get back together. But these techniques are good.”

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