What's New: Back-to-School Edition

As the last days of summer wind down and the school year begins, we share recent news from NEC alumni, students, and faculty members including Darynn Dean '19, Emily Cedriana Donato '17, Kazemde George '14 NEC/Harvard, Marvin Gilmore '51, the Merz Trio, Sami Stevens '16 NEC/Tufts, Isaac Wilson '15, and others.

Emily Cedriana Donato

Soprano Emily Cedriana Donato '17 was awarded the Andrew R. Preis Award, earning first place and a $7,000 cash prize at Oratorio Society of New York's 44th Annual Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition Finals Concert, which was held at the Riverside Church in New York City.

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Marvin Gilmore

Marvin Gilmore '51 was recently featured as a guest on the Home Base Nation Podcast in an episode entitled "Always Looking Ahead of the Ball." In his conversation with host Dr. Ron Hirschberg, Gilmore—a World War II Army veteran—talks about topics ranging from racial injustice and his time in the war to his many incredible achievements, experiences, and community-building initiatives in business and the arts.

Read more and listen to the episode



All About Love: Jazz + Gender

The LA Jazz Society featured the launch of "All About Love: Jazz + Gender," a documentary by alumna Darynn Dean '19 as a part of her Resolution Tour.

The documentary focuses on Darynn digging to find the answer to the question, “Where is her-story in jazz?” Engaging in vivid dialog with peers, educators, and award-winning jazz artists Jason Moran (NEC faculty) and Terri Lyne Carrington, she discusses obstacles and the hope-yet to come.

Inspired by bell hooks’s book, All About Love: New Visions, which embraces freedom, inclusion, and universal love, Darynn commits herself to action by assembling the first ever “All-Women Cross Big Band” between New England Conservatory of Music and Berklee College of Music. 

Read more and watch the trailer

I Insist

Kazemde George '14 NEC/Harvard announced the release of his debut album, I Insist, on October 22, 2021. The album features his original music for quintet including vocalist Sami Stevens '16 NEC/Tufts, keyboard player Isaac Wilson '15, bassist Tyron Allen II, and drummer Adam Arruda.

“Music tells a story, and people carry their culture with them. I learn about these things intentionally and create an amalgam of these stories, these histories. To me, building that within myself is all part of the same struggle, spreading the message. Alluding to the sentiment of We Insist! is important to me at this time in history, and it’s in the background of my music, even if the point’s not being made explicitly.”

Also, George and Stevens just got married in August; congratulations to them both!

Read more about the album


The Merz Trio, NEC's previous trio-in-residence, released their latest album, Ink, on August 20. The album centers around Ravel’s iconic piano trio interwoven with the trio’s new arrangements of works by Lili Boulanger, Nadia Boulanger, Josephine Baker, and Claude Debussy. Rounding out the album is the music of Mélanie Bonis, a Ravel-inspired composition by Merz pianist Lee Dionne '20 GD, and readings of texts by Parisian writers and poets.

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