Artist in Residence Program
A flagship program of Strathmore’s Institute for Artistic and Professional Development, the Artist in Residence (AIR) program was created more than a decade ago to support artists as they transition to professional careers. Since its inception in 2005, the program has mentored 76 musicians ages 16-32. Every year a class of six is chosen after a competitive selection program. Strathmore Artists in Residence benefit from the support of mentor musicians, participate in professional development seminars, and are offered extensive performance opportunities throughout the 10-month program.
Auditions for our Artist in Residence program are held in January each year. Audition information will be posted each October and applications will be due in mid-December.
Artist in Residence Class of 2019
Multi-instrumentalist Dante’ Pope communicates his love, passion, and appreciation of life through his music. At the Merit School of Music in Chicago, he studied under distinguished musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, and Robin Eubanks. During his participation in a trio with Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Pope learned early-American rhythms and percussive instrumental styles such as bones and spoons. This experience allowed him to perform at the grand opening of the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Whether he is playing the piano, guitar, or drums, Pope’s signature soulful sound is infused with elements of gospel, jazz, and R&B.
Washington, DC native singer-songwriter Anjali Taneja strives to reintroduce soul music in an accessible and contemporary way by exploring intersections among urban sounds, old-school R&B melodies, and Indian ragas. Influenced in equal parts by Sam Cooke and Ravi Shankar, Taneja believes in the power of the Indian Classical tradition to sonically transform contemporary music styles. Having trained in Indian classical and Sufi music from a young age, her goal as an artist is to fuse R&B and pop music with Bollywood rhythms to bring the sounds of her heritage to a wider audience.
For Eliot Seppa it’s all about that bass! The Washington, DC-based bandleader, arranger, and composer is a master of both the upright and electric bass. His jazz fusion sound is heavily influenced by R&B, hip-hop, gospel, Latin, and African music. Seppa has performed as a sideman for many of the top jazz and R&B acts, including The Impressions, Raul Midón, Benito Gonzalez, Sarah McKenzie, Warren Wolf, and Sharon Clark. He has been described as having the assurance often reserved for much older players, even while retaining the verve of a youthful comer.
Singer-songwriter Calista Garcia brings a mix of lyrical complexity and musical sophistication to her folk-rock and blues sound that harkens back to ’70s classic acts such as Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and Joni Mitchell. Even though she is still in high school, Garcia’s study of human emotion allows her to deliver lyrics beyond her age and reveal stories that are yet to be lived. Described as a creative machine by her mentors, Garcia’s most highlighted honors include being named the 2018 National Young Arts Winner, two time Berklee Performance Showcase Winner, and a 2017 Grammy Foundation Young Songwriter Program Artist. A multi-talented artist, Garcia plays guitar, piano, ukulele, bass, mandolin, and harmonica.
Inspired by his Scottish ancestry, violinist Seán Heely breathes new life into the rich traditions of Celtic music, engaging audiences with every bow stroke. Follow Heely’s fiddle on a journey through Scotland, Ireland, and America. A US National Scottish Fiddle Champion and a Nationally awarded Irish fiddler, his music also encompasses classical, bluegrass, and swing music. Heely has performed with traditional music icons such as Irish fiddle legend Liz Carroll and cellist virtuoso Natalie Haas. From lively reels and jigs, to the haunting airs and songs of Scotland and Ireland, he seamlessly weaves ancient traditions with modern compositions.
Trey Sorrells fell in love with the saxophone when he was just 12 years old. After honing his sax skills in church, Sorrells became enamored with hard-bop jazz music popularized by musicians like Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis. By integrating the technical aspect of hard-bop style jazz with the soulful melodies of gospel, Sorrells creates an original sound resembling a mix of R&B, funk, and hip-hop. Sorrells has performed with legendary musicians Dick Oatts, Boris Koslov, the Chuck Brown Band, Darrin Atwater’s Soulful Symphony, and is currently a part of the band Future Prospect.
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