New Voices

January historically sees an uptick in gym memberships, participation in weight-loss programs and renewed commitments to tackle the projects that didn’t materialize over the previous year. In our anxious attempts to do more and be more, we may forget that transformation takes time – and that sometimes, the best way to go about it is to get out of our own heads.

These are lessons that violinist Sarah Whitney has learned over and over again in her years-long journey to treat chronic, debilitating pain in her hands. Whitney shares her story of injury, recovery and the wisdom gained along the way, calling upon musicians to destigmatize the issue of playing-related injuries.

Then, in the spirit of taking inspiration from new sources, we are proud to publish the prize-winning essays of our inaugural “New Voices” essay contest.

We offer a hearty congratulations to Hillary LaBonte, our first-place winner. Reflecting on the historic lack of representation of women in opera, LaBonte explores new works that give voice to complex female characters.

Second place goes to Anjali Misra, who delves into how her newfound obsession with traditional Irish music has contributed to a fresh perspective on the evolution of art.

And we congratulate our third-place winner, Leah Dunbar, for her reflections on a performance (or 26 consecutive performances) of Frank Ticheli’s “An American Elegy,” which memorialized the lives lost in school shootings over the past 20 years.

Finally, we have our first POP curator team in composer Cynthia Lee Wong and librettist Richard Aellen, who share 2019’s first batch of inspiring people, organizations and projects.

As for our New Year’s resolutions? We’ll keep doing what we do best: building a community of one-of-a-kind artists.

Thanks for joining the conversation.

Mark Rabideau
Director, 21CM


Why Practice? – A Prologue

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I wonder if you are like me. Can you point to the very moment you got hooked on practicing? Not the moment, remembered so fondly by many of us, when we picked the instrument into which we would pour our blood, sweat and tears, but when you made the decision to embark on a journey to become a musician and all that goes with that.


Joe Farnsworth – “See the drum. Hit the drum.”

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Drummer Joe Farnsworth has emerged as quite possibly the world’s leading jazz drummer. Fierce on the bandstand in laying down uncompromising and often lightning-fast time, he transports the audience back to the days when “Philly” Joe Jones proved to be the driving engine of what would become known as “The Quintet.”


re/CREATE: Sarah Goldfeather Reimagines Mitski

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re/CREATE celebrates musicians paying homage to the traditions they love while creating music from the heart. Here, we feature violinist, singer-songwriter and composer Sarah Goldfeather and her rendition of a favorite Mitski song.


re/CREATE: Kaoru Watanabe
Reimagines Björk

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re/CREATE celebrates musicians paying homage to the traditions they love while creating music from the heart. In this episode, we feature flutist and taiko musician Kaoru Watanabe and his rendition of music by Björk.