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2020/2021 Season

Artist Stories Series

Hosted by the New York Youth Symphony and the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Artist Stories Series is a series of weekly one-hour virtual conversations exploring the importance of equity, inclusion, and representation in the classical music, jazz, and Broadway world. This summer features guest speakers Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Jeff Scott, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Sean C. Jones, and Weston Sprott discussing what it means to navigate a professional music career. In addition to sharing their personal experiences, the artists will have the opportunity to impart their insights into needed actions to reinforce accountability and pursue responsive outcomes in American orchestras, music education, and the music industry. 

This six-week webinar series is over, but all episodes are viewable below!

Toyin Spellman-Diaz

Oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz is an original member of Imani Winds and hailed by the Washington Post for her “smooth, controlled tone and excellent technique.” 
Ms. Spellman-Diaz is interviewed by New York Youth Symphony board member Rima Vargas-Vetter.
This episode originally streamed on July 8, 2020, at 7:00 (EST)

Kelly Hall-Tompkins

Acclaimed by the New York Times as “the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive”, and featured in the Smithsonian Museum of African- American History, violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins is trailblazing an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial career as a soloist and chamber musician. Ms. Hall-Tompkins is interviewed by New Jersey Youth Symphony Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha-Pyo. This episode originally streamed on July 15, 2020 at 7:00 PM (EST).

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott is the french hornist in the internationally-acclaimed wind quintet Imani Winds, and is on faculty at Montclair State University and Oberlin College. Mr. Scott is interviewed by New Jersey Youth Symphony Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha-Pyo. This episode originally streamed on July 22, 2020 at 7:00 PM (EST).

Carmen Ruby Floyd

Singer and actor Carmen Ruby Floyd is known for her roles on Broadway (Avenue Q, Hello Dolly!), and television (Orange is the New Black, Person of Interest). Ms. Floyd is interviewed by New York Youth Symphony board member Rima Vargas-Vetter. This episode originally streamed on July 29, 2020 at 7:00 PM (EST).

Sean C. Jones

An internationally-recognized educator, trumpeter Sean C. Jones was recently named the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz at John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Mr. Jones is interviewed by New Jersey Youth Symphony Director of Jazz Orchestra Julius Tolentino. This episode originally streamed on August 5, 2020 at 7:00 PM (EST).

Weston Sprott

Weston Sprott is a Metropolitan Opera Orchestra trombonist, and Dean of the Preparatory Division at The Juilliard School, leading Juilliard Pre-College and the Music Advancement Program. Mr. Sprott is interviewed by New York Youth Symphony board member Rima Vargas-Vetter. This episode was originally streamed on August 12, 2020 at 7:00 PM (EST).

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