Ceremony Set for May 2 at Chelsea Art Museum in New York City

The American Music Center (AMC), founded in 1939 by Aaron Copland and Howard Hanson, among others, offers awards each year to celebrate American music trendsetters. On May 2, The Walden School will receive the 2011 New Music Educator Award in a ceremony at the Chelsea Art Museum, 5-7 pm, for an audience of American Music Center members and guests.

AMC President and CEO Joanne Hubbard Cossa says, “The Walden School is the recipient of our New Music Educator Award, honoring their creative philosophy and curriculum, as well as their contribution toward motivating and mentoring decades of successful students.”

The New Music Educator Award, established in 2006, honors conductors, professors, lecturers, academics and others who have made important contributions in the realm of education, but might not always be well known to the rest of the new music community. Previous winners include musicologist Charles Hamm and the New World Symphony.
The Walden School’s Executive Director Seth Brenzel says, “Receiving this award from the American Music Center is both gratifying and inspiring. It recognizes the work of more than 100 dedicated music educators who have helped to develop the creative musical voices of hundreds of alumni at The Walden School, as well as alumni of its predecessor program, the Junior Conservatory Camp. It recognizes that program’s founder, Grace Newsom Cushman, for her vision, and The Walden School’s founders — Lynn Taylor Hebden, David Hogan and Pamela Layman Quist — for their incredible efforts in sustaining Mrs. Cushman’s legacy.”

Brenzel continues, “To be in the company of some of the greatest contributors to American music while receiving this public recognition is thrilling. This award inspires all of us at Walden to continue to help develop the creative voices of our current and future students. We are grateful to the American Music Center for this tremendous honor.”

Chen Yi, composer and former guest composer at The Walden School, says about the recognition, “The Walden School has had an innovative vision, a clear mission and goals since its establishment. I admire these great leaders and the hard working faculty members from the bottom of my heart. It’s their consistent effort and the generous support from the community that have made the program successful in bringing up a solid group of young composers who are making invaluable contributions to our new society during these years. Bravo to The Walden School for the 2011 American Music Center New Music Educator Award!”

Also being honored at the May 2 awards ceremony will be preeminent composer John Harbison, as well as the Copland House and So Percussion.

The Walden School, founded in 1972, is a summer music festival offering programs that emphasize creative application through a comprehensive musicianship curriculum, improvisation and composition. In residence on the campus of the Dublin School, the School provides an inspiring retreat-like environment ideal for creative music making.

Walden’s Young Musicians Program provides fun and rigorous training for young musicians ages 9 to 18. The school is deliberately small, and a student to faculty ratio of 4 to 1 ensures that coursework is geared to the individual student, beginner through advanced, and that a supportive musical community is formed and nurtured. During the five-week program, students attend classes in music history, analysis, computer musicianship, jazz and other topics to complement Walden’s core curriculum of musicianship and composition. The School’s Concert Series features performances by renowned artists and ensembles that interact closely with students, including during Composers Forums where students’ creative work is presented and discussed. All students and faculty participate in chorus, which meets daily and performs a concert at the end of the session.

The Walden School offers a Teacher Training Institute that presents a weeklong summer intensive to help music educators sharpen their musicianship skills, enrich their teaching with imaginative activities, and more effectively guide the creative voices of their students. Interactive sessions with master teachers include classes in musicianship, computer music, solfege, choral singing, jazz, rhythms, and improvisation. At Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat, adult musicians take classes, sing in chorus, compose music, and improvise. Participants are exposed to a variety of Walden musicianship materials and take classes in contemporary music topics, music history, computer music and applied skills (conducting, improvisation and more). Composition lessons and tutorials are also offered.

For more information, please visit www.waldenschool.org.

Contact: Seth Brenzel
Executive Director, The Walden School
Email: sbrenzel@waldenschool.org
Telephone: (415) 648-4710 (office)