Great Neck Musicians Win Young Musicians Innovation Challenge

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Three teams of high school musicians from the Great Neck Public Schools have been selected as winners of the 2021 Young Musicians Innovation Challenge. (Photo courtesy of GNPS)

Three teams of high school musicians from the Great Neck Public Schools have been selected as winners of the 2021 Young Musicians Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS). Two teams from North High and one team from South High have each been awarded a $1,000 grant and mentoring sessions with a CMS artist to help launch their creative chamber music initiatives.

The Young Musicians Innovation Challenge is a new competition that encouraged high school students to develop a creative program that would benefit the chamber music world, with a focus on areas such as performance, pedagogy, access and social impact.

A team of vocal musicians from North High proposed establishing a Chamber Music Education Association, with student-run chapters spanning across school districts. This proposal was presented by Sara Rafaeil, Ashley Schlusselberg, Sahar Tartak, Maverick Williams and Christopher Yang.

Two groups of instrumental musicians from North High entered the competition with proposals to expand upon the school’s current Lobby Music program, including more performances and outreach opportunities to promote chamber music among younger students. The two teams combined their proposals and worked together for the final round of competition. The Lobby Music project was presented by Stephany Barbu, Kevin Khadavi, Scott Levy, Jason Mei and Nina Phillips.

A team of students from South High proposed the creation of a mobile app called Chamber Connect to explore chamber music and search for selections by instrument. This proposal was presented by Arianna Alvarez, Yonathan Eilon, Rosanna Gao, Eli Newman and Nancy Schoen.

The North High chamber music program is coordinated by Dr. Pamela Levy, performing and fine arts department head/vocal teacher and Joseph Rutkowski, instrumental music teacher. The South High chamber music program is coordinated by Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head/instrumental music teacher and vocal teacher, Dr. Janine Robinson.

—Submitted by the Great Neck Public School District

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