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New England Conservatory staff at home and abroad

April 5, 2015

From New England Conservatory

The faculty at New England Conservatory of Music consists of some of the finest musical talent in the world. The Conservatory’s teaching staff hails from many different walks of life; their extraordinary musical abilities and highly regarded educational skills help facilitate amazing experiences for NEC students every day.

Embedded deep in the core of NEC’s learning foundation, is the idea that students can do incredible things with music–they are asked to think beyond competitions, performances and concert halls. They are encouraged by their professors to think of music as a catalyst for change, social transformation and global connection.

Many NEC teachers live by this example themselves; they take their music and teaching methods to populations outside of NEC and create wonderful programs that help make the world a better, more musical place.

Two such faculty members at NEC are Nedelka F. Prescod and Eden MacAdam-Somer.

About Nedelka F. Prescod:

Background:

Nedelka F. Prescod is now in her 20th year of service to youth as a teacher, as well as with religious and community organizations. Her work with youth and adults is “signatured” with training in vocal and choral arts, songwriting, keyboard for beginners, and an introduction to music. She has very strong ties to gospel music and bridges the foundations of music and theory to current trends in sound. She has worked with Alicia Keys, Jason Moran, Anti-Pop Consortium, Kenny Garrett and many others.

Work in the African American Community:

Nedelka has spent a lifetime with music. Raised on classical and Latin music, Nedelka finds herself drawn to all music and simply sings songs from the heart and for the soul. She has very strong ties to gospel music, African American history and works to facilitate learning and experience in the greater African American community. Nedelka has curated several performances with her NEC students, faculty and other esteemed musicians at the Museum of African American History/African Meeting House in Boston.

Highlights: 

1. Nedelka formed the community youth-based choir, “Progression,” allowing local youth to come together to share their experiences and release through song.

2. Her “Gospel Ensemble” has performed at MAAH frequently.  It explores contemporary African-American culture and spirituality as it is expressed through one of many genres of music. Not just a sound but the driving force behind a centuries long struggle, gospel music connects cultures through an awareness of the human spirit that is revealed and shared in song.

3. The African-American Roots Ensemble is also led by Nedelka. Its music has origins in Africa. Students learn Yoruban (or South African) songs as well as their related rhythms. Work Songs and early Spirituals are introduced as well as comprehending their significance for the Underground Railroad and the various efforts towards freedom and the introduction to Western religion into the African spiritual tradition. The ensemble covers blues, jazz, doo-wop, a cappella and rhythm & blues. The ensemble is a study of African rhythms and European melodies and harmonies and the genres that have been born of their union.

4. Nedelka has also been featured in “Earthtones” at MAAH.  “Earthtones” is New England Conservatory’s acapella ensemble. It is the collaboration of New England Conservatory students who first joined forces after their participation in the NEC African American Roots Ensemble.

5. Lastly, Nedelka started Conscious Uprising, an organization committed to elevating glocal/eco-consciousness through the arts; supporting and educating the upstart independent artist towards personal/business independence and glocal/eco awareness.

Additional Information:

Nedelka is a graduate of The LaGuardia High School of the Arts in New York City and holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Performance from New York University, a Master of Arts in Music Education from CUNY Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory. She received the Gunther Schuller Medal for extraordinary contributions to the life of NEC and her choir, “Progression” was in McDonald’s Gospelfest 2003. Her father is Panamanian musician/educator, Roy A. Prescod.

More about Nedelka and NEC here:  

http://necmusic.edu/faculty/nedelka-prescod?lid=2&sid=3 

About NEC at MAAH: http://necmusic.edu/african-meeting-house

This is her personal web site: http://nedelkaprescod.com

About Eden MacAdam-Somer:

Background:

Eden is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians performing and teaching today. Her music transcends genre through soaring violin and fiddling, vocals, and percussive dance. She is a featured soloist with symphony and chamber orchestras, jazz and swing bands, and Eastern European and American folk ensembles. She is also an extremely well-respected educator and composer and improviser.

Work in Afghanistan at ANIM:

Since 2009, Eden has made annual visits to Afghanistan where she teaches, develops curriculum, and performs at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM). Her work there has led to her research of the current opportunities for women as musicians in Kabul, culminating in her Doctoral of Musical Arts Thesis: “Dukhtar-e Afghan – Women and Music in Kabul in the 21st Century.” She is currently working on a piece for chamber ensemble, entitled “The Shooting Gallery,” reflections on war as seen through the eyes of children, largely inspired by her work in Afghanistan.

Eden’s 2011 visits to Kabul involved teaching and collaborating with students and faculty at the Afghan National Institute of Music, where boys and girls of all ages study both academics and music from Eastern and Western classical and folk music traditions. Later that spring, she traveled to Israel and did performances and workshops with children from Jewish and Arab Israeli backgrounds, as well as cross-cultural performances at the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

Additional Information:

Eden has been a guest artist and educator at many institutions and festivals around the globe, including Dundalk Institute of TechnologyEastbourne, and Beijing International Music Festival. She frequently tours internationally with her contemporary duo, NotoriousFolk and also maintains a full-time studio at NEC.

More about Eden and NEC here:  

http://necmusic.edu/faculty/eden-macadam-somer?lid=8&sid=2 

About NEC’s work in Afghanistan: http://necmusic.edu/anim-nec

Eden’s personal web site: http://fiddlegarden.com/

Please feel free to contact Lisa Helfer Elghazi if you have any questions or would like to schedule interviews.

Lisa Helfer Elghazi, Media Relations Consultant

New England Conservatory of Music

Cell: 1-646-373-9946

Email: lisa@celestapr.com

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