Where are they now?
Strathmore Artists in Residence Take Flight
The Strathmore Artist in Residence (AIR) program, part of our Institute for Artistic and Professional Development, is designed to help launch artistic careers. There is nothing more satisfying to us than seeing the amazing accomplishments of our alumni. While we can’t take all the credit for their achievements, we are so proud to have been a part of their journey.
Wytold, Class of 2013
It’s no secret that Wytold, an electric cellist, is changing the instrumental music world as we know it. His most recent achievement was composing the musical score for We Are Not Done Yet, an HBO documentary that follows the life and realities of US veterans.
Although he is an amazing composer, Wytold is no stranger to the stage. For four consecutive years, he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra at Echostage with Grammy-nominated artist (and fellow AIR Alum) Christylez Bacon.
Since graduating from the program, Wytold has received a wide range of awards, including the 2018 Montgomery County Executive Award for Artistic Excellence and the “Best Six-String Electric Cellist” award from Washington City Paper.
Rochelle Rice, Class of 2015
Vocalist, clinician, songwriter—is there anything Rochelle Rice can’t do? Since her time in our program, Rochelle has become a force to be reckoned with. In 2018, the virtuosa was named the Grand Prize winner of the highly acclaimed Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Award. Rochelle took home the title for her two original songs “Survive” and “Wonder” from her 2016 debut album, Wonder.
Rochelle has graced the stages of high-profile venues such as The Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She also toured with internationally renowned a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock and performed with Grammy award-winning rock artist Melissa Etheridge.
As a teaching artist, Rochelle has developed education programming for DC Public Schools, DC Jazz Festival, and other area arts education organizations. She has also served in residencies in Springfield, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Nassau, Bahamas; and more.
Following the success of her debut album, Rochelle recently released her newest single, “Mountains,” a song that is sure to leave listeners feeling empowered.
Josanne Francis, Class of 2018
If you haven’t heard the mesmerizing sounds of Josanne’s steelpan playing, you are truly missing out! Her melodic lines and intricate rhythms landed her a coveted TedxBethesda lecture in 2018. Josanne used the platform to inform audience members of the versatility of the percussive instrument that was invented in her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago. Josanne has brought so much pride to her home country that she was recently presented with an award by the Trinidad and Tobago ambassador to the US in recognition of her work in the community as a rising leader.
When she isn’t performing at venues such as The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, Josanne can be found in the classroom. A masterful educator, she teaches the art of playing the steelpan to students of all ages across the DMV area.
Past AIR Alumni Spotlights
2/13/18 — Chelsey Green, Ines Nassara, Patrick McAvinue
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