The Metropolitan Museum of Art has commissioned me to compose an original work for the incredible soprano Julia Bullock and string ensemble as part of her 2018/2019 residency. The work will premiere in a concert entitled, “History’s Persistent Voice.” Julia Bullock will sing the words of pioneering Black American mixed-media artist Thornton Dial in a recital featuring traditional slave songs and words penned by Black American artists from the southeastern United States, including the esteemed quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The texts are set to original compositions by a roster of all-women composers including Tania León, Courtney Bryan, Jessie Montgomery, and myself.
I feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to compose for a Stradivarius and I’m beyond humbled to be in the company of such trail-blazing and brilliant women of color! This event will be unforgettable so SAVE THE DATE: SEPTEMBER 15!
Read more about Julia’s incredible residency: NY Times
On February 5-7, I had the enormous pleasure of serving on the faculty of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, PlayUSA workshop. Carnegie Hall’s PlayUSA supports partner organizations across the country that offer instrumental music education programs to low-income and underserved K–12 students. These organizations receive funding, as well as training and professional development for teachers and arts administrators, in addition to guidance from Carnegie Hall staff to help address challenges and build on best practices.
The workshop served as one of the many professional development offerings to partner organizations. The theme was “Empowering Students to Lead” and I offered an interactactive session entitled “Cultivating Successful Teacher-Student Relationships.” I was joined by fellow faculty members Thomas Cabaniss, César Cruz, Margaret Jenks, Dennie Palmer Wolf and Randal Swiggum, along with the wonderful staff of Weill Music Institute.
Alongside serving as a faculty member, I was lucky enough to also participate in all of the other sessions. The amount of expertise in the room was inspiring and I walked away with many facts, stories, and teaching techniques to digest. It was wonderful to get to know all of the organizations, as they are doing powerful and meaningful work in music education throughout the country.
August 29th was the first day of my class at SUNY Purchase, “Trends in Music and Society.” I’m so excited to be a part of Purchase’s newest initiative to incorporate professional development courses into the curriculum. There is so much potential to create an outstanding, critical and supportive course of study in music leadership, and I am beyond thrilled and grateful to be a part of it. Onward, Purchase!
My latest project Diametrically Composedhas been awarded a grant from New Music USA! Of the 1229 projects received this past January requesting over 7 million dollars in support, Diametrically Composed is one of 107 chosen for an award. I am floored by this and more pumped than ever!
I’m beyond thrilled to announce that I will be joining the adjunct faculty at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music! I will teach the course “Trends in Music and Society” and be actively involved in their entrepreneurial coursework. This is such an exciting, new journey in my career and I am humbled to return to my alma mater in this capacity. I look forward to working with the students as we dive into this LOADED and ever-evolving topic.