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Alumni Entrepreneurship Grants


2016 Alumni Entrepreneur Grant Winners

In June 2016, Curtis awarded its first entrepreneur grants open to all alumni. Three grants of $2,200 were awarded to the following alumni in the categories of Community, Performance, and Innovation. Their projects met the criteria of innovation, creative employment of their musicianship and skills, and sustainable impact on a community.


Community Grant
Gabriel Globus-Hoenich (Timpani and Percussion ’08)

PlasticBand is a drumming based project that works with the New York City Department of Probation to provide 10 weeks of free drumming classes to probation clients and community members in Harlem. PlasticBand is striving to expand its programming by commissioning four PlasticBand teaching artists to create, perform and record original compositions: percussionists Gabriel Globus-Hoenich and Rogerio Boccato, as well as Puerto-Rican percussionist Victor Pablo and South African singer/percussionist Vuyo Sotashe. Each teaching artist will compose a work for the ensemble. The compositions will be video recorded professionally and used to develop and grow PlasticBand as both an educational and artistic organization.


Performance Grant
Jennifer Orchard (Violin ’91), Tatjana Mead Chamis (Viola ’94), Bronwyn Banerdt (Cello ’08)

“Entartete” (degenerate) music, music by composers who were suppressed during the Third Reich, is the focus of this string quartet, made up of musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony. The name Clarion Quartet comes from their desire to serve as a clarion call to the world about this lost music. Their goal is to bring to light through performance this incredible music and to celebrate the lives of these amazing composers and the music they left behind. It is of immeasurable value and benefits audiences around the world who may or may not have heard of these composers. By highlighting the program through the composers’ personal stories, poetry and historical context, the audience will understand the importance and feel the full impact of these lost voices.


Innovation Grant
Elizabeth Zharoff (Opera ’12)

Vocal Video Games is a new company, which seeks to improve video games by focusing on increasing awareness of the emotional impact of vocal music, creating interactive demonstrations, and helping composers with vocal writing. Vocal Video Games will create interactive vocal demos using middleware (a software which acts as the link between programming and interactive music), as well as provide an incubator for vocal compositions in the exploding industry of gaming music.