articles / awareness

Training the Arts Leaders of the Future


Federico Zuniga, Jr. | Photos courtesy of the Young Musicians Foundation

The Young Musicians Foundation and its new Artistic Advisor, Vijay Gupta, violinist and founding director of LA’s Street Symphony, have launched an innovative fellowship program to help shape the community arts leaders of the 21st Century. The three inaugural “Debut Fellows” receive a stipend, professional development, and hands-on teaching and community engagement experience.

The Fellows are James Sherry, who holds a Doctorate from the Peabody Conservatory and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Iowa. He served as Director of Instrumental Music at the Johns Hopkins University. Federico Zuniga is active in the Latin alternative music community and teaches music in correction institutions. Nina Shekhar, a graduate student in composition at the USC Thornton School of Music, is a professional flutist with a background in chemical engineering, She told us more about the program on Arts Alive:

Hit play below to listen to our Arts Alive feature.  
Training the Arts Leaders of the Future
 


Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar is an Indian-American composer whose music has been performed by Eighth Blackbird, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and ETHEL, among other groups. She has said her music explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter, and is reflective of her identity as a woman of color. Shekhar has also spoken openly about how growing up with OCD caused her suffering and anxiety, but also made her more empathetic, and compassionate.

What led to Shekhar’s diagnosis was a 7th grade teacher noticing the unusual structure of her sentences. Getting help ultimately led to self-acceptance, “and even becoming proud of being a “Quirkhead”. She now believes it ultimately makes her a better human being. “Iit gave me immense patience and diligence.”

In 2017, Nina wrote the piece Quirkhead, which tells something of the story of her own journey as someone with OCD, “the little girl who tapped every wall she walked by and believed that vegetables had feelings. I made up thought rituals that I would perform every day to alleviate my fears of losing those I loved.”

Nina Shekhar looks forward to working directly with children, “our most vulnerable”, in spreading the joy of music as part of her work as a Young Musicians Foundation Debut Fellow.

Written by:
Anna Gandolfi
Anna Gandolfi
Published on 12.10.2019

MORE LIKE THIS

Caroline Shaw: Re-Imagining the Potential of the Human Voice

Caroline Shaw: Re-Imagining the Potential of the Human Voice

Celebrating the Classical California Ultimate Playlist, this article highlights the talents of Caroline Shaw, a NYC-based violinist, singer, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer known for her unique vocal compositions.

awareness
09/13/2021
The Industry’s “Sweet Land” Uses the Magic of the Moment to Retrace American History | Now Available to Stream

The Industry’s “Sweet Land” Uses the Magic of the Moment to Retrace American History | Now Available to Stream

The Industry's acclaimed opera, Sweet Land, is now available for streaming. The show explores American identity and the history of colonized land, featuring a diverse team of collaborators.

awareness
04/02/2020
When A Who’s Who of Contemporary Composers/Musicians Took Over Disney Hall

When A Who’s Who of Contemporary Composers/Musicians Took Over Disney Hall

This article explores the LA Phil's revival of the Fluxus art movement, featuring interviews with composers Christopher Rountree, George Lewis, and others at the Noon to Midnight event.

awareness
06/12/2019
Resilience and Recovery through Opera: The Musical World of Kenneth Wells

Resilience and Recovery through Opera: The Musical World of Kenneth Wells

Dr. Kenneth Wells, a UCLA professor and opera composer, uses music to raise mental health awareness. His acclaimed opera, "The Center Cannot Hold," portrays schizophrenia.

awareness
06/03/2019
Success and Failures and the Future of Film Music

Success and Failures and the Future of Film Music

Emmy and Grammy-winning composer Laura Karpman discusses her career, the importance of diversity in music, and her role in The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

pop culture
10/01/2018
A Play About the First Female Justices on the Supreme Court Arrives at the Wallis

A Play About the First Female Justices on the Supreme Court Arrives at the Wallis

"Sisters in Law", a play exploring the unique bond between the first female Supreme Court justices, Ginsburg and O'Connor, is now previewing at the Wallis Annenberg Center.

awareness
09/25/2019