NEC Convocation: Celebrating a New School Year

The New England Conservatory community came together on Tuesday, September 6 to celebrate the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.

Andrea Kalyn Convocation 2022

After the challenges of the past few years, NEC was thrilled to welcome the community back to Jordan Hall, and honor new students, faculty, and staff members. The ceremony featured moving remarks from President Andrea Kalyn, who paid tribute to community members NEC has recently lost, while setting a tone of optimism for the future.

Provost and Dean of Students, Benjamin Sosland, shared his reflections with the incoming classes, and led a compelling panel discussion with highly accomplished students Yi-Mei Templeman ’22, ’23 GD, Amir Siraj ’23 MM (Harvard-NEC), and Matthew Shifrin ’21, ’23 MM. 

Convocation 22 Panel - Sosland Templeman Siraj Shifrin

Remarks from student representative Ariel Fei Mo ’20, ’22 MM, ’23 GD were particularly inspiring for a new school year, as she shared an exchange between legendary choreographers and dancers Martha Graham and Agnes de Mille, excerpted here:

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.”

Ariel Fei Mo Convocation 2022

A standout element of NEC Convocation events are always the musical performances. The community in Jordan Hall was treated to a wonderful cross-section of music from across the College and Prep programs. NEC Prep student Andrew Sijie Li, a student at Walnut Hill School for the Arts due to graduate in 2025, dazzled NEC with a remarkable performance of Elliott Carter’s unique piano composition “Caténaires.”

Andrew Sijie Li Piano Prep

Contemporary Musical Arts students Yoona Kim ’23 MM on zither and Sarah Bernadette Matsushima ’21 MM, ’22 GD on vocals performed a stunning version of Phil Moore’s “Tender as a Rose.” 

CMA Students Convocation 2

The closing of Convocation featured a wonderful performance by the NEC Wind Ensemble, led by Charles Peltz, of Karel Husa’s “Overture Divertimento for Brass and Percussion.” Their resonant sound from the Jordan Hall balcony was a reminder to the community of the power of music – and excellent acoustics – on NEC’s intimate campus. 

The NEC community is thrilled to be starting a new year full of optimism and drive for the future, and celebrating such milestones as 50 years of the Contemporary Musical Arts program and 75 years of NEC Chorus. We look forward to an excellent year ahead.

Words by Katie Ingegneri, NEC; Photos by Andrew Hurlbut, NEC