Eastman Grant Programs Help Musicians Tell Their Stories

December 14, 2018

More Information:
For Media Only: Jessica A. Kaufman (585-274-1057, jkaufman@esm.rochester.edu)

Providing support for innovative musical projects, professional development, impactful research, entrepreneurial projects, and valuable internships is more than just boosting the careers of talented Eastman students and alumni. “These resources help our musicians share their stories, music and passions with a much a wider community, providing value to both themselves and their audiences”, says Jim Doser, Director of Eastman’s Institute for Music Leadership (IML).

Sungmin Shin (MM11, DMA18, guitar, Arts Leadership Program Certificate) is a member of fivebyfive, a modern chamber music ensemble, and the winner of the 2018 Eastman/ArtistShare New Artist Program. Their mission is to engage audiences in the collaborative spirit and creativity of modern chamber music. Supported by the Eastman/ArtistShare program, fivebyfive will commission, perform, and record music to accompany an exhibition of stained-glass artist Judith Schaechter. The ensemble will perform the work live at the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery and the recorded performance will become a part of the installation as it tours museums around the country.

The Eastman/ArtistShare New Artist Program provides a worldwide platform for outstanding students and alumni to connect with fans by sharing their creative process, documenting their work, and allowing fans to participate directly by funding and observing the creation of new artistic works. Eastman alumnus and multiple Grammy Award winner Maria Schneider (MM85) was the first ArtistShare artist and continues to share her work through the platform.

Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble has been awarded a Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research grant to support their collaboration with the Tuvan throat singing group Alash. The collaboration will include a live performance at Old Town School of Folk Music, with additional educational performances in Chicago Public Schools presented in partnership with the Ravinia Festival.  

Melissa Ngan (BM02, Flute, Arts Leadership Program Certificate) and founding member of Fifth House Ensemble describes the project: “After an incredible trip to Tuva this summer, we’re thrilled to welcome Alash to Chicago for our collaborative program, titled Sonic Meditations. The show features video interviews captured during the tour, sharing stories from sheep herders, instrument makers, artisans, musicians, shamans, and families we met along the way. Centered on the idea that folk music is preserved through participation, the program includes opportunities for audiences to share in music-making with us, through ancient folk rituals and experimental new music.”

Jing Tian Ngiaw (ESM19, MUE/MUA, Arts Leadership Program Certificate) is the recipient of an IML Grant and Mentorship award, which provides both financial support and mentorship for the development of a student entrepreneurial project. Her project, “My Musical Trip Around the World: A Children’s Book Series” is designed to provide accessible, high quality, and easy to use multi-cultural resources in the pre-school and elementary music education classroom. “This project fits in with my personal vision and professional objectives in several ways. I strongly believe that multicultural music education enhances and enriches people’s musical understanding. When music teachers and children are aware of multicultural music, it will significantly develop their critical thinking skills, which can develop values of acceptance, awareness, and open-mindedness, all of which are highly relevant qualities in the 21st century.”

Starting a private harp school may seem like an unusual dream, but for harpist and ALP certificate student Amber Mecke, a southern New Jersey native (ESM19, MM), it is a project that she has considered ever since her mother drove her long distances to Philadelphia for harp lessons and ensemble rehearsal each week. Developing her idea in Eastman’s Entrepreneurial Thinking Course, Amber then applied for a Special Opportunity Grant through the Arts Leadership Program to fund a visit to one of the nation’s most successful harp programs in Mesa, Arizona, where she will meet and observe program director Dr. Charles Lynch.

The IML Grant and Mentorship Program, Eastman/ArtistShare Partnership, Arts Leadership Program, and Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research all play important roles in the lives and careers of many musicians, scholars and musical organizations. “More and more,” IML Director Doser comments, “Eastman students are passionate about how their unique skills and talents can be utilized to provide creative and unique value to their communities.”

For more information visit https://iml.esm.rochester.edu/grants/ or contact Jim Doser, Director, Institute for Music Leadership, Eastman School of Music; jdoser@esm.rochester.edu; (585) 274-1470.

Grant winners and their projects in 2018 include:


Institute for Music Leadership Grant and Mentorship Program

Daniel Kuehler                                  Rebuild Wine Country Fundraiser Concert

Danny Ziemann                                 The Low Down, Vol. III – Jazz Bass Instruction Book

Jason Hurlbut                                    J.S. Bach, Partita No. 2, Music Video

Jing Tian Ngiaw                                My Musical Trip Around the World – A Children’s Book Series


Eastman/ArtistShare New Artist Award

Sungmin Shin: fivebyfive                  Glass Works: New Music Inspired By The Stained Glass Artistry Of Judith Schaechter


Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program Special Opportunity Grants

Benjamin Guerrero                          National Association for Music Education Advocacy Summit, Washington, D. C.

Matthew Nedvin                                National Association for Music Education Collegiate Forum and National Conference, Dallas

Amber Mecke                                    Building a Harp Program: Learning From the Best


Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research Grants

Fifth House Ensemble                                  Collaborative performances with Alash

JACK Quartet                                               Multi-media performance at TIME SPANS FESTIVAL

Mivos Quartet                                               10th Anniversary Performance with Ekemeles and Yarn/Wire

New World Symphony                                 Face-Off: A Battle of the Instruments

Nief-Norf                                                        Nief-Norf’s First Year-Round Concert Series

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble                All Around Us – Developing a 3-D Soundscape Concert Experience

Transient Canvas                                          Exposure: Chamber Opera Adaption of Thomas Hardy’s “The Well-Beloved”

Anna Reguero DeFelice                                Research Grant: “The Aesthetics of ‘Indie-Classical’: Music in the Age of Post-Postmodernism.”

Megan Steigerwald Ille                                 Hipster Opera: Research on ‘The Industry’


Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program Summer Internship Awards

Andrew Bockman                                         Third Coast Percussion, Chicago, IL

Julia Fedor                                                    Hochstein Expressive Arts Program, Rochester, NY

Sarah Forestieri                                             Opera on the Avalon, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

Noel Holloway                                               Third Coast Percussion, Chicago, IL

Taylor Kroma                                               BassEurope, Lucca, Italy

Jarod Lau                                                      Nief-Norf Music Festival, Knoxville, TN

Ling-Yu Lee                                                  Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Rochester, NY

Jennifer Nee                                                  Summer @ Eastman, Rochester, NY

Jing Tian Ngiaw                                            ROCMusic, Rochester, NY

Ellen Robertson                                            Nashville Symphony, Nashville, TN

Jacob Svendsen                                             Eastman Community Music School, Rochester, NY

D’Jean Vasciannie                                        Regalias Digitales, Lafayette, CA

Man-ho Brian Wong                                    Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Seth Wright                                                   Foxface Rabbitfish, Inc. Seattle, WA


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About The Institute for Music Leadership (IML): 

Always at the forefront of educating musicians of the future, the Eastman School is dedicated to the comprehensive education of world-class musicians, scholars, and leaders. With a particular focus on the changing state of classical music, and with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Institute for Music Leadership was created in 2001: the first of its kind in the country. It serves as a center – and benchmark – for music leadership programs and activities, responding to and helping to shape America’s changing musical and cultural environment.

The establishment of the Institute for Music Leadership, and the generous support of foundations and philanthropists, has allowed the Eastman School to create a unique atmosphere among music schools. Within the IML ideas flourish, and students are empowered to shape their own destiny by developing the skills and networks they need to adapt to the changing and challenging arts world. The IML is committed not to follow, but to lead, and adapts its curriculum to meet the needs of the musical world that our students will inhabit as professionals.

For more information about the Institute for Music Leadership and the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research, please visit https://iml.esm.rochester.edu/


About Eastman School of Music: 

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.

About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division—about 550 undergraduate and 350 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 25 percent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Six alumni and three faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, and numerous alumni and faculty have received Grammy Awards. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 800 concerts to the Rochester community.