November 7, 2016
What a night! On Wednesday, October 19th, over 100 guests gathered at Ginny’s Supper Club inside the Red Rooster in Harlem for the Harmony Program Fall Benefit honoring the great Wynton Marsalis. Throughout the evening Wynton entertained our guests with stories of his own musical experiences, shared helpful and inspiring words of encouragement with our students, and treated us all to a mini-master class in the art of improvisation.
Several students from our sites in Chinatown, upper Manhattan, and Brooklyn had the thrill of performing for him and asking him questions on everything from his early musical memories and important influences to instrumental technique and performance.
We are so grateful to Wynton for the warmth and enthusiasm he expressed toward our students and to our guests for their generous support. And we congratulate our teachers and students on their beautiful performances.
For additional pictures from the Harmony Program Fall Benefit with Wynton Marsalis, click here.
November 7, 2016
On Wednesday, October 5th, some of our Harmony Program students took part in an orchestral performance to celebrate the launch of Playing for their Lives: the Global El Sistema Movement for Social Change through Music!, a book by Tricia Tunstall and Eric Booth on the world-wide expansion of Venezuela’s famous music education system, El Sistema.
In addition to readings of excerpts from the book, our students took the stage with young musicians from five other area El Sistema-inspired organizations and provided guests with a first hand taste of what El Sistema’s influence has helped foster right here in New York City.
If you are interested in learning more about El Sistema’s global reach, Playing for their Lives can be purchased here.
August 17, 2016
On July 11th, the Harmony Program launched its third year of intensive summer programming at five locations across New York City and on Long Island. The importance of this opportunity cannot be overemphasized; the summer season represents an important time for students to continue to build on the social and musical skills they have developed during the school year.
All of our students were encouraged to participate in eight weeks of lessons (up to 10 hours per week of instruction), and our summer students will cap off the season with public performances during the week of August 22nd. It has been a fun and productive summer so far, and we look forward to sharing our students’ accomplishments.
August 17, 2016
The Harmony Program is pleased to announce that Morgan Pappas has joined us as our new Program Manager. A native of New York, Morgan is an active flutist and music educator who is passionate about the performing arts and their ability to unite cultures and communities. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from New York University and her Masters in flute performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Morgan was previously employed by the Multicultural Music Group as a teaching artist and band director in lower Manhattan and continues to operate a private studio of flute and beginner piano students. In addition to her music education background, she performs regularly with various chamber and wind ensembles as well as regional orchestras.
August 17, 2016
The Harmony Program is pleased to announce Eliah Seton as the newest member of our Board of Directors. Eliah is currently the President of Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) Worldwide, the independent distribution and services arm of Warner Music Group. He previously served as Senior Vice President of International Strategy & Operations at Warner Recorded Music. In that role, he was responsible for growing the company’s global footprint and creating new opportunities for its artists. Eliah joined WMG in 2009 as Vice President, Office of the CEO (a team he helped build) where he contributed to a wide variety of strategic initiatives.
Prior to joining WMG, Eliah worked at Goldman Sachs and Portfolio Logic. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated from Harvard College.
May 19, 2016
On Tuesday, April 26th, the Harmony Program and the New York Philharmonic hosted their second annual All Star event in the David Rubenstein Atrium of Lincoln Center. Selected through a competitive audition process, nine Harmony Program All Stars had the opportunity to be coached in small ensembles by members of the New York Philharmonic in preparation for their public performance before an audience of over 300 guests. This year’s concert featured, among other selections, the world premiere of a string quartet, Lucy’s Aria, written expressly for our Harmony Program All Stars by renowned American composer, John Corigliano, who was in attendance that evening.
The All Star experience was powerful for mentors, students, and families alike. One All Star, Chris Quezada, had six family members in the audience, all of whom were beaming with pride after the concert. “It was very emotional. It was my first time to see my nephew perform,” said Chris’ aunt. Chris’ sister Christina, who was spending her birthday at the concert, said, “Chris was like, ‘Christina! We’re going to play this song for you.’ That was a warm moment for me.”
The Harmony Program thanks the New York Philharmonic for making this special opportunity possible for our All Stars and classical music publishers, G. Schirmer, for commissioning original works for our students through our Living Harmony partnership. And, of course, we congratulate our Harmony Program All Stars on their impressive achievements!
May 18, 2016
The Harmony Program is pleased to announce the establishment of a Junior Board of Directors under the leadership of Elise Schmidt, Vice President of Institutional Wealth Services at Goldman, Sachs & Co., who will serve as the Junior Board President. The Junior Board comprises eight young professionals who are leaders in their respective fields and share a passion for the Harmony Program’s mission of bringing music education to underserved communities. Their focus will be on expanding the Harmony Program’s reach, tapping a new generation of supporters to generate fresh ideas, increase diversity, raise additional funding, and promote the organization’s work.
The Harmony Program thanks Elise Schmidt for spearheading the creation of the Junior Board and all of the members of our Junior Board for giving generously of their time and talents. We look forward to working together to broaden the scale and impact of the Harmony Program.
The Harmony Program Junior Board Members are:
Elise Schmidt – Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Megan McGill – Resident at New York University School of Medicine
Jonathan DePeri – Portfolio Manager at PineBridge Investments
Taylor Pile – Consultant at Armbruster and Founder of Match and Wire
Brooke Stoddard – Associate at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Jessica McJunkins – Professional violinist and Harmony Program teacher
Stephanie Yoshida – Corporate Associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Gabriella Sultanik – Associate at Haynes and Boone, LLP