Introducing: The Spark Collective
The Spark Collective is a collaborative, mixed-instrumental ensemble, dedicated to developing skills as artist-citizens through community and audience engagement. The Spark Collective consists of five outstanding graduate student performers (open instrumentation) who demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit, passion for sharing music in innovative ways, and a mentality of ‘thinking outside the box’.
Additionally, we are looking for young artists who have experience or interest in expanding their skills as composer-performers, arrangers, players of multiple genres, areas of media and technology, advocacy and artivism, and/or secondary instrumental skills. Our goal is to identify and support creative musicians interested in expanding their own potential as artist-citizens and artist-leaders within society.
Members of the Spark Collective take part in a varied curriculum which includes:
• Professional development with leaders in the arts and music field
• Creating and presenting through-composed, innovative, and engaging performances
• Designing and implementing community engagement initiatives
• Composing, arranging, transcribing and commissioning music
• Cultivating improvisation skills as a performer and facilitator
• Recording and multi-media projects
• Collaborating with local community organizations and venues
Prospective members of the ensemble must be accepted into a graduate degree program by the appropriate faculty. The new Spark Collective Graduate Assistantships are half-time with 10 hours of work per week, and each member will receive a monetary stipend and a tuition supplement that may boost the value of the positions to over $28,000 each year. Priority is given to applicants who have submitted all application materials and completed the audition by Feb. 25.
Beginning in the Fall of 2021, the Spark Collective will be directed by Assistant Professor of Cello, Claire Bryant. Professor Bryant was the original cellist in Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect which prepares extraordinary young professional classical musicians for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. She is also a founding member of the chamber music collective, Decoda, and the founder of Decoda’s criminal justice initiative, Music for Transformation.