April 5, 2021
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first-ever virtual gala on March 3, 2021! It was an inspiring evening featuring our talented students along with world-class artists in collaborative musical performances, a lively Q&A exchange with GRAMMY-award winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, poignant testimonials from friends of the program, and delightful messages from our students!
If you missed the original airing, you can now watch the virtual gala anytime in the screen above, or on our YouTube page. And if you enjoyed our program, please share the link with a friend or colleague!
Our gala is the most important fundraiser for the Harmony Program each year. If you are in a position to support our work, please consider making a donation by clicking the link below. Thank you for your belief in our work!
February 23, 2021
We are delighted to announce the election of three new members to our Board of Directors. We welcome them into our growing community and look forward to working together to bring music education to children across New York City.
Adriana Diaz is an Emmy award-winning CBS News national correspondent based in Chicago and anchor of the Saturday edition of the “CBS Weekend News.” Diaz joined the network in 2012. She has recently reported from inside COVID-19 wards where she interviewed patients and frontline workers in Wisconsin’s largest hospital. Diaz has reported extensively on Chicago gun violence, the Flint water crisis, and the Parkland school shooting. She has also reported from the ground in Mexico, documenting the journeys of migrants traveling by “caravan” attempting to reach the US by foot. Diaz was previously CBS News’s Asia correspondent based in Beijing, reporting twice from inside North Korea. Before journalism, Diaz was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. Diaz attended Princeton University, majoring in public and international affairs. She earned a master’s degree in public affairs and public administration in a dual degree program at Columbia University and France’s Sciences Po. Adriana grew up in New York City playing violin.
Rick is a prominent business leader in the New York advertising community and has worked in digital media and technology for over 25 years. He has helped build companies from start-ups to multibillion-dollar enterprises and currently serves as the SVP and Group Head of Digital at Nielsen. Earlier, Rick held commercial leadership posts at industry-leading companies, including Yahoo!, Microsoft, iHeartMedia and Rocket Fuel. An active industry advocate, he is an Officer and Board Director of The Advertising Club of New York and in 2014, he was honored with the club’s first “Volunteer of the Year” award. Rick is also a former President of 212NYC, a four-time IAB MIXX Awards juror and a founding member of the Digital Content Newfronts. For almost a decade, he has worked with Young Audiences New York, a non-profit that provides arts experiences programs to underserved NYC public schools, and served as their Benefit Chair for seven years. Rick is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and a proud Dad of three daughters, who each play multiple instruments, and has experienced first-hand the positive impact music has had on their lives. He is a native New Yorker and resides in Weston, Connecticut.
Nicole Wyskoarko is a veteran music industry attorney who currently serves as Executive Vice President of Urban Operations at Interscope Geffen A & M. In this newly created position, Wyskoarko implements processes to streamline communication, workflow, and coordinated efforts across the urban roster of the company. A Los Angeles native and USC alumna, Wyskoarko has spent the last 17 years living in New York City, having moved there in 2001 to attend Brooklyn Law School. While still in law school, she landed an internship in the business & legal affairs department at Universal Music Group and was offered a full-time position after graduation. She worked at UMG for the next 11 years, rising to Senior Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for the company’s East Coast labels (Island, Def Jam, and Republic) and working with artists such as Kanye West, Alessia Cara and Justin Bieber. In 2016 she joined the law firm of Carroll, Guido & Groffman, LLP as a partner, where she worked with Meek Mill, DJ Mustard and PlayboiCarti, among others. Wyskoarko holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. Nicole played piano, flute, and violin growing up and wants to ensure that these experiences continue to be accessible to underserved audiences.
October 23, 2020
In response to the ongoing health crisis, the Harmony Program has developed an original series of YouTube-based, beginner music lessons, called “Harmony at Home.” This free, year-long series will begin next month and consist of weekly, 30-minute lessons in music fundamentals. Our hope is that music educators will incorporate these videos into their music classes and that children and families will enjoy them at home.
August 17, 2020
From April through May, a diverse roster of Young Concert Artists (YCA) musicians led a series of 10 video-based performances and mini-lessons for our students as part of our “Community Continuo” partnership. These presentations on the flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, and viola (viewed 1,000 times by our home-bound students across the city) focus on lessons drawn from our Harmony Program curriculum and include topics such as “The History of the Music We Practice,” “Dynamics and Articulation,” and “Breathing Properly While Performing.” Building on our successful partnership, YCA musicians are continuing to support our students during our summer camp with special performances and master classes.
July 15, 2020
In addition to the Harmony Program’s own summer sessions, 46 of our students are taking part in other virtual summer camps. Thirteen students will participate in the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp; four students will attend the Elisabeth Morrow summer camp; five students have auditioned successfully for the Manhattan School of Music’s summer program; thirteen will attend the Inside Music Academy; eight are registered for the Mark O’Connor Fiddling Camp; and three will be part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA National Festival.
June 29, 2020
Following school closures in mid-March, the Harmony Program transitioned entirely to remote instruction and provided students with over 112 hours of lessons to wrap up the spring term. Students accessed instrumental and choral classes, tailored to their proficiency levels, using private YouTube videos, Google Classroom, Google Meet, Zoom, and Soundtrap, and viewed them 4,475 times. Additionally, our teachers and staff held weekly “office hours” to support home-bound students with one-on-one engagement in real time.
Following the spring semester, The Harmony Program’s eight-week summer camp began on Monday, June 29th. Participating students had access to 15 hours of instruction each week in group lessons, including drum line, world music, music theory, alternative styles, music history, ensembles, and masterclasses with guest artists. We also provided students with targeted private lessons for extra one-on-one instruction and support during this challenging time.
June 29, 2020
On Friday, June 29th, Harmony Program students premiered their first original composition, alongside musicians of the New York Philharmonic, via Facebook Live. The piece, which they called, “Transitioning,” is a powerful expression of their experiences during the pandemic and represents weeks of collaborative effort learning to develop, write, share, and edit their musical ideas online. We thank Jon Deak, founder of the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Project, and our team of Harmony Program teaching artists for introducing our students to the art of composition as well as our colleagues in the Philharmonic for performing alongside our budding composers.