Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

I hope your year is off to a great start! This winter has been a busy time for Walden, with lots of plans afoot for an amazing season of programs in 2024.

Here is some of what you’ll find in this edition of InterNetzo: an exciting new scholarship created in memory of Lance Reddick; the winter-round deadline to apply to Walden’s summer programs—Thursday, February 1!; summer employment opportunities at Walden; an upcoming Walden event in New York City on March 16; and much more, including news from around the Walden community.

I hope our paths cross at a Walden event or program in the months to come. Summer is coming!


Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director

Lance Reddick Scholarship Announced

Earlier this month, The Walden School launched the Lance Reddick Scholarship, an exciting new initiative made possible by a $450,000 anonymous donation in memory of esteemed alumnus and actor, Lance Reddick, who passed away suddenly in the spring of 2023. The donation will fund ten full scholarships per year for the 2024 through 2026 seasons of the Young Musicians Program (YMP), enabling deserving young musicians the opportunity to experience Walden’s summer five-week program free of charge. Five of the ten scholarships will be awarded specifically to students from the Baltimore area in honor of Mr. Reddick’s hometown and the birthplace of The Walden School.

The news was featured in a January 24 article in the Keene Sentinel of New Hampshire, which quoted Walden’s Executive Director, Seth Brenzel: “We’ve always been committed to providing financial aid, and I’m just thrilled we’re going to be able to grow that number quite significantly and create even more access opportunities.”

Applications for the Lance Reddick Scholarship are due Friday, March 1. Click here to apply to Walden, and here to learn more about the scholarship.

Walden is Hiring!

Join our summer team.

Walden is hiring for 2024 summer positions at our Young Musicians Program (YMP) in Dublin, New Hampshire. We are seeking new teammates to join our creative community, and we hope that you might help spread the word about these opportunities to your friends and colleagues.

The positions currently open are:

  • Faculty Member—Young Musicians Program (June 2024; Dublin, NH)
  • Staff Member—Young Musicians Program (June–August 2024; Dublin, NH)

Please contact us with any questions and inquiries. All positions are open until filled.

Year-End Giving

Thank you for your support!

Thank you to the many generous donors who made year-end gifts to Walden! Your contributions will help us offer life-changing musical experiences next summer to 100 students across our two programs, including critical student scholarships and inspiring artist residencies.

During the last three months of 2023, our donors contributed more than $150,000 to Walden’s Annual Fund. This represents 40% of our goal to raise $375,000 during Walden’s 2024 season (October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024). Thank you! Your support brings a life-changing summer experience that much closer for our students. If you missed our year-end campaign, it’s not too late to support Walden today with a tax-deductible gift. Thank you for your support!

Donate Today

Upcoming Fundraising Event

Saturday, March 16, from 6 to 8 pm

Save the date for an evening of music, community, and refreshments at the beautiful Salmagundi Club in New York City.

Pedja Mužijević, a “refined pianist” (The New York Times) and former Walden School faculty member, will perform.

This reception and concert will celebrate Walden’s mission of inspiring artistic expression and personal growth through experiential music education. Contributions to Walden’s Annual Fund will underwrite critical student scholarships and inspiring artist residences at Walden’s 2024 summer programs.

For more information or to RSVP, contact us or call (415) 587-8157.


Walden Holiday Parties

In January, Walden community members gathered for three holiday/new year parties in New York, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. These events brought together Walden alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and board members for festive potluck gatherings. Delicious food and drinks were shared, music was played, Jenga towers were built and destroyed, and much merriment was had. Many thanks to our wonderful volunteer hosts: Scott Menchin and Yvetta Fedorova in New York, Ali Crockett Moore in Portland, and Michael Brotchner and Lori Cohen in Seattle.

Apply for Walden 2024

The next (winter-round) application deadline is Thursday, February 1!

The second (winter) application deadline to apply to the Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) is tomorrow, Thursday, February 1. We encourage you to share the news with your friends, family, colleagues, students, and teachers.

Walden’s 2024 programs:

  • Young Musicians Program: June 29 – August 4, 2024, Dublin School, Dublin, New Hampshire (for pre-college musicians, ages 9-18)

Application materials for both programs are available on our website.

Write to us with any questions.

Apply Today

Young Musicians Program (YMP) Online Information Sessions

Join us to learn more about the music camp that changes lives.

Do you know a student who writes songs or arranges music? Or a young improviser who wants to strengthen their musicianship and meet like-minded peers? Or a music teacher who might like to learn about Walden’s unique curriculum?

Join us at one of our online interactive information sessions, featuring presentations and Q&A with Walden’s Executive Director, Seth Brenzel, alongside YMP leadership, faculty, staff, and students.

All YMP Info Sessions are held on Zoom and begin at 7 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific.

Learn more and register for one of the info sessions below:

Thursday, February 15

Thursday, March 21

Thursday, April 11

These events are open to prospective students, music teachers, and anyone else who would like to learn about Walden’s flagship program for musicians ages 9 to 18.

Walden Recordings on Bandcamp

Listen to live recordings from Walden.

Each summer, students at Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) showcase their creativity by presenting original works on Composers Forums. Walden is proud to offer professional-quality recordings of those works for free on our Bandcamp page, where you can enjoy recordings from all the summer 2023 Composers Forums at both Walden programs, as well as last summer’s festive YMP Choral Concert featuring the entire YMP community.

Competitions and Calls for Scores

Featured opportunities with upcoming deadlines

Walden encourages the sharing of opportunities and resources for composers, including competitions and calls for scores that may be of interest to our community. We maintain a searchable list of competitions, awards, and calls for scores on our website. Opportunities are often posted in Walden’s community Facebook group as well.

Here are some opportunities we are highlighting this month:

Flute Choir Call for Scores

The National Flute Association invites composers to submit works for flute choir. Submissions must be 12 minutes in duration or less, and include at least six parts for any combination of the acoustic flute family. The winning submission will be performed in August 2024 at the National Flute Association convention in San Antonio, Texas. Apply by February 14.

Ithaca College Wohlhueter Jazz Ensemble Composition Contest

Entries must be original, unpublished compositions for instrumental jazz ensemble, including a solo part for guest artist Alexa Tarantino on alto sax, soprano sax and/or flute. Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble students participate in the judging of contest submissions, and will perform the winning composition in April 2024. The contest prize for the winning composer is $1,500. The entry fee is $25. Apply by March 1.

2024 Earplay Donald Aird Competition

Earplay sponsors the annual Donald Aird Composers Competition, open to composers of any nationality and any age. Submissions should be for the instrumentation of Earplay, 1-6 players with one player per part on any combination of flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, and/or cello. Works may include electronics. Earplay performs the prizewinning piece and presents a cash prize of $1,000 to the winning composer. Apply by March 31.

If you’re aware of an opportunity that Walden students, alumni, faculstaff, and friends should know about too, please contact us.

Call for Memories and Photos

Photo courtesy of Robin Seto, showing Walden students in 1975

Attention alumni! We are renewing a call for treasured memories and photos from your time at Walden or the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), to be included in a 50th/70th-Anniversary memory book.

Please aim to keep your reflections to a maximum of 250 words.

Alumni are also invited to share up to five treasured photos with the community to be included in the memory book.

Please send your memories and photos to us. We look forward to hearing from you!


Community News

D. J. Sparr collaborates with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Walden alumnus and longtime faculty member D. J. Sparr, who will return on faculty at the 2024 Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR), will be featured this Friday and Saturday, February 2 and 3, with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, for a program called Shostakovich and Six Strings. Sparr is a composer and guitarist who frequently performs on electric guitar in collaborative concerts with symphony orchestras. In an interview with Buffalo Rising, D. J. said, “We’re going to play with joy. . . . [We are] going to reach out to people that wouldn’t otherwise maybe want to come, like people in the ‘guitar world’ who are really curious about the guitar being combined with classical music.” In connection with the concerts, D. J. will offer a masterclass for high school and college students.


New music by Freya Waley-Cohen in London

In February, several compositions by Freya Waley-Cohen, a Young Musicians Program (YMP) alumna, will receive premiere performances in London, England. On February 1, Manchester Collective will give the first performance of Freya’s song cycle Spell Book at the Barbican Milton Court Concert Hall. On February 27, the Colin Currie Quartet will premiere Freya’s new percussion quartet Stone Fruit at Wigmore Hall, on a program of percussion ensemble music by Steve Reich, Andy Akiho, Dave Maric, and Amy Beth Kirsten, who has been composer-in-residence at YMP in 2022 and CMR in 2023.


George Lewis profiled by Alex Ross in The New Yorker

George Lewis, the pioneering composer, scholar, and trombonist who has been Composer-in-Residence at both of Walden’s programs, was the subject of a recent profile by Alex Ross in The New Yorker. The article highlighted Lewis’s work as both a participant in, and a scholar of, the black-led experimental music collective known as the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), as well as his recent work as artistic director of the International Contemporary Ensemble—a frequent Walden artistic collaborative partner, which will return to Walden’s programs in summer 2024.


Julian Hofstetter honored by Lawrence University

Julian Hofstetter has received the Pi Kappa Lambda Composition Award from Lawrence University, awarded “for exceptional originality and skill in music composition.” The award committee wrote of Julian: “Julian Hofstetter is a composer who has shown consistent imagination and skill, with a strong dedication to his art. . . . The composition faculty highly commend Julian on his initiative, work ethic, and originality.” An alumnus of both YMP and CMR, Julian graduated from Lawrence University in 2023. A hearty congratulations from Walden, Julian!


Constantine Darie featured in local newspaper

YMP alumnus Constantine Darie is raising funds for a trip to perform in Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland with the American Music Abroad program. He will play cello and sing in chorus on the tour alongside 150 other music students from the United States. His fundraiser was featured in an article in North Country Now of Potsdam, New York.


Del Sol Quartet premieres Huang Ruo’s Angel Island

On January 11-13, the Del Sol Quartet, a past Walden visiting ensemble, gave the New York premiere of Angel Island, a staged oratorio for string quartet and chamber choir by acclaimed Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo. Del Sol has been working with Ruo on the Angel Project for six years, and their collaboration was profiled in a New York Times article about the performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The work is a setting of poems etched between 1910 and 1940 by Chinese immigrants to the U.S. on the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay. Del Sol Quartet, who are based in San Francisco, will give a series of performances at the historical immigration station in March.

In Memoriam

Ron Nelson at a JCC Composers Forum (photo credit: Edward Max)

Ron Nelson

Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) composer and faculty member Ron Nelson died on December 24, 2023, at the age of 94 in Scottsdale, Arizona. He taught at Brown University for many years and was the Chair of the Music Department there.

Legions of Walden alums will recall singing Ron’s “Sleep, Little One” in chorus and in evening music. Nelson was described by conductor Leonard Slatkin as a “quintessential American composer.” You can learn more about his life and music here.

Ron put together a video with footage from the 1960 JCC season for the 2007 Walden/JCC alumni reunion. You can view the video here, to which JCC alumnus Bob Weaver added Ron’s original music as a soundtrack.

The entire Walden and JCC communities join in extending our condolences to Ron’s wife Michele, Ron’s family and friends, and all who loved him and who were touched by his life and music.

Alice Parker

Alice Parker, the renowned American choral composer, arranger, conductor, and educator, died at the age of 98 on December 24, 2023. In the summer of 2005, Parker paid a visit to Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP), where she led one of her signature “Community Sings.” The impact of this visit was felt for many years by those who remember her generous spirit and heartfelt musicianship. The Walden School extends its condolences to Alice Parker’s family and to all those who were touched by her legacy.

Charles Ogwo

Charles Ogwo, brother of Walden alumna, past faculty member, and past Walden board member Nnenna Ogwo, passed away unexpectedly earlier this month in Washington, DC. The Walden community joins together in keeping Nnenna in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts during this most difficult time.

We want to hear from you!

What’s been going on? If you have a recent or upcoming premiere, publication, award, new job or program, or a celebratory life event, please share the news at

Stay in Touch

You can like The Walden School page on Facebook and join The Walden School private group to hear about events and opportunities throughout the year. You can also find us on InstagramTwitterYouTubebandcamp, and at

A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program
A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program