“I caught the new-music bug at NEC and still have it.”
Gabby Diaz ’03, ’05 MM arrived at NEC with a love for music and was ready to train to be the best artist she could be. As she immersed herself in a variety of classes and musical styles, Gabby realized what she wanted to do after graduation. “NEC set me up for success in the contemporary music world,” she said. “I learned how important the relationship is between the performer and the composer. Being the first person to see the music and being a part of that piece evolving in the composer’s mind and in your hand is an amazing process.”
Gabby has incorporated her passion for new music into her career as a freelancer, faculty member at Wellesley College, and co-artistic director of Winsor Music, a chamber music outreach organization. When the global pandemic hit in March 2020, Gabby helped coordinate the Boston Hope Music (BHM) project with her established musical network. In collaboration with the Boston Hope hospital, NEC Dean of Community Engagement and Professional Studies Tanya Maggi, and members of the Eureka Ensemble, Gabby compiled music videos from Boston-area musicians to share the healing power of music with COVID-19 patients. “It was amazing to know that people were having these moments of peace and joy through music,” she said. Gabby is expanding her reach by bringing live music through BHM to vaccination centers at Fenway Park, the Assembly Row shopping center in Somerville, and the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.
Music is at the heart of Gabby’s work, and she credits NEC with helping her find her voice as a musician. “My exposure to new music and composers at NEC made me realize when my voice felt the strongest as a player,” she said. “That would not have happened if it were not for the experience that I had at NEC.”