New England Conservatory Named a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students

Fulbright Top Producer

Today, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recognized New England Conservatory as one of the colleges and universities with the highest number of students selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Fulbright Top Producing Institutions like NEC value global connection and support members of their campus communities to pursue international opportunities.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections, and work to address complex global challenges. 

“NEC is committed to impactful excellence – to advancing music’s role in society by cultivating musical minds,” said NEC President Andrea Kalyn. “We join in congratulating our Fulbright recipients, who are all musicians of profound artistry fueled by passion and curiosity. Having the Fulbright Program on campus provides opportunities for our students and faculty to exercise their creativity and thought leadership as they forge new pathways for musicianship that elevate the lives of individuals, communities, and society.”   

Brittany Bryant ’23

Brittany Bryant (left), a 2023 NEC graduate with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, was selected for a Fulbright award for the 2023-24 academic year. She is currently studying the evolution of the Italian language in Enna, Sicily. Since 2018, three other NEC students have also received Fulbright awards: Gabriel Li An Soileau ’21 MM, who studied Bulgarian kaval and accordion in Bulgaria in 2021; Mona Yamazaki Sangesland ’17 MM, ’18 GD, who studied injury awareness among flutists in Finland in 2018; and Elise Sophie Kolle ’18, who studied harps of antiquity in Sweden in 2018. Two alumni applicants for the 2024-2025 Fulbright Research Awards through NEC have been named semi-finalists and await final decisions.

NEC community members have a rich history of engaging with Fulbright programs — the Conservatory has produced 67 Fulbright award recipients since 1949. Notable grantees include Christòpheren Nomura ’90, ’91 MM, ’94 AD, world-renowned baritone; Guy Fishman ’10 DMA, principal cellist of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and current faculty member; Jayce Ogren ’03 MM, conductor and music director of the Monterey Symphony; and Dan Shore ’96, ’02 MM, composer and playwright. Derek Beckvold ’09, an NEC alumnus who completed an educational research Fulbright program in India, will teach a course this semester on grant writing and fundraising for artists in the Entrepreneurial Musicianship department.

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community. Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over,” said Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

Fulbright applicants at New England Conservatory are supported by Sara Stancliffe, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs and Advising, who serves as the Fulbright Program Adviser and Fulbright Scholar Liaison. Students and alumni interested in applying for a Fulbright award may also learn more from the Entrepreneurial Musicianship department, which collaborates to provide informational sessions and advising throughout the application process. 

“NEC students are well prepared for the application to a Fulbright award because of their exposure to global music, thought, and culture while studying with faculty and peers from around the world,” said Stancliffe. “Students at NEC have proven themselves capable of performing under pressure, which provides a foundation of confidence to create ambitious projects worthy of becoming Fulbright finalists.”

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program.

NEC’s Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit