• Monday, Oct 21, 2013

    Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute in Partnership With the Rock School Scholarship Fund and Casterbridge Music Development Academy Announces Finalists of Musical Exchange Songwriter Search

    Six Talented Teenage Songwriters to Travel to South Africa to Perform at the CDMA Route 40 Music Festival This December


    Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute is delighted to announce the names of the six teenaged finalists of the recent nationwide songwriter search hosted by its online community for young musicians—Musical Exchange at musicalexchange.carnegiehall.org. In partnership with the California-based Rock School Scholarship Fund and the Casterbridge Music Development Academy in White River, South Africa, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute selected the gifted, young musicians—chosen by a panel of world renowned artists including Dave Matthews, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), and acclaimed South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela—all of whom will embark on a weeklong trip to South Africa to collaborate with young musicians at the Casterbridge Music Development Academy and perform at the CDMA Route 40 Music Festival this December.

    The selected songwriters are Anna Pearl Belinda, 16, pianist from State College, PA; Carmen Day, 13, cellist from Charlottesville, VA; Dylan DeAnda, 17, guitarist from Grapevine, TX; Abby Hwong,16, guitarist from Highland Park, IL; Jason Matkin, 16, vocalist from Encinitas, CA; and Sam Mayer, 17, drummer from Newton, MA. Videos of the six young musicians can now be viewed online at Carnegie Hall’s Musical Exchange.

    Prior to the South African trip, the six finalists will take part in an online songwriting project, also open to young songwriters in the Musical Exchange community of all levels and musical styles. The six-week project, led by Carnegie Hall teaching artists Aram Bajakian and Deidre Rodman Struck, will feature a series of weekly activities designed to spark students’ creativity and collaboration, while giving them specific skills that will help them develop as songwriters.

    Musical Exchange is Carnegie Hall’s free, online community for music students, created to connect them with other young musicians from around the world. Throughout the fall, participants in the songwriting project can use Musical Exchange to engage with their peers from South Africa and around the world through a series of online creative activities, including facilitated discussions and resources on songwriting . Curated by music professionals, these projects will be designed to spark students’ creativity and collaboration, while giving them specific skills that will help them develop as songwriters.

    About the Partners
    Founded in 1891, New York City’s Carnegie Hall presents exceptional performances by the world’s finest artists on its three stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, the intimate Weill Recital Hall, and the innovative Zankel Hall—ranging from orchestral concerts, chamber music, and solo recitals to jazz, world, and popular music. Extensive music education and community programs developed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute support Carnegie Hall’s commitment to fostering the future of music. More than 400,000 people will engage in the Weill Music Institute’s programs over the next year through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. For more information on Carnegie Hall and other Weill Music Institute programs supporting the ongoing development of young musicians, please visit carnegiehall.org/education.

    The Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF) is a 501c3 public charity that provides tuition assistance to underserved kids ages 7 to 17 who want to attend any rock music school in the US. With music programs being cut back in public schools, private after-school programs have taken their place, but many families cannot afford the $150 to $350 per month for their child to attend. Co-founders Wendy Winks and Carl Restivo started the Rock School Scholarship Fund in 2010, while running the School of Rock in Hollywood. The pair left the School of Rock that year and have focused their passion for music education on building the RSSF into a national program. The RSSF currently works with over 60 rock schools in twenty-three states. rockschoolfund.org

    Casterbridge Music Development Academy (CMDA) is a registered Non-Profit Organization and Public Benefit Organization (PBO). The CMDA currently manages a music program in South Africa’s rural Mpumalanga province out of three hubs within walking distance of their beneficiaries and out of a performing arts center in White River. Their vision is to lead in the development of an inspired and socially responsible youth, through exposure, education, and participation in music. Their focus is to locate teenagers with a passion for music and the performing arts and to actively develop their talent. The goal is to create functional groups and bands that are able to entertain and inspire their communities and to confidently perform in public. mpuma-music.org.za

    Sony Corporation of America is the proud lead sponsor of Carnegie Hall's Musical Exchange.

    With additional funding from Bank of America.


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