Help MNMP reach 100 donors

In a mailing yesterday, I wrote on behalf of Manhattan New Music Project’s 100 donor December initiative. The letter is quoted below. I know everyone is inundated with funding requests at this time of year, but if it’s a cause and organization that moves you, I hope you’ll help them continue their mission to help both kids and new music composers, performers and teaching artists. I did.

It’s December 23rd. Hanukkah is here and Christmas is just hours away. As you scramble to find the perfect last-minute gifts for your loved ones, will you consider one more? The gift of music?

For young students from low-income communities with little access to the arts, and for composers and musicians trying to make their voices heard in difficult times, MNMP’s education and performance programs are as precious as anything that might fit into a stocking (or a sleigh).

Last week, you heard from one of MNMP’s teaching artists about how creative expression enriches her students’ lives. This week, we spoke to a recent collaborator about MNMP’s impact on the professional musicians we serve.

Christian Carey (right) with fellow composer Hayes Biggs.

Meet a Composer: Christian Carey

Christian Carey (pictured, right) is an active composer and music theorist, as well as a Contributing Editor at the classical music blog Sequenza21. In October, Sequenza21 and MNMP joined forces to bring the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) to Joe’s Pub, performing the work of eleven composers chosen through a call for scores. “We wanted this to be an inclusive and community-building experience,” says Carey, “so I’m particularly proud that we agreed from the outset to make it an open call: no entry fee, age limit, or geographic restrictions. This allowed many composers who don’t often get a chance to participate in competitions, which often include high fees and age requirements, to be included. We ultimately received over 260 eligible entries, from as far away as the UK, Italy, South America, and even Uzbekistan. We even got a review in the New York Times in which Steve Smith praised our community-building activities!

ACME’s Clarice Jensen.

“On the night of the concert, I heard over and over again from the composers about how impressed they were with their experience. Several of them remarked that they rarely, if ever, had had the opportunity to hear their pieces performed after their initial premieres; and certainly not by musicians of the caliber of the members of ACME.

“What our organizations were able to do together made a big difference in these artists’ careers and provided them, and the audience, with a memorable musical experience that they will cherish. That’s why even in the tough economic times we are all currently experiencing, events like these are so important and sorely needed.

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