Knight Foundation Awards $180,000 in Support to Frost School of Music

Knight Foundation Awards $180,000 in Support to Frost School of Music

By UM News

Knight Foundation Awards $180,000 in Support to Frost School of Music

By UM News
Talented young musicians Zach Manzi and Evan Saddler named fellows in residence.

To support dynamic and engaging musical experiences for the next generation of audiences, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will invest $180,000 in a two-year fellowship at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
Clarinetist Zach Manzi and percussionist Evan Saddler were named as the fellows-in-residence. Following an intensive audition process, they were accepted for a graduate residency in chamber music performance. While they are emerging artists in their own right, together they have launched Conduit, an ensemble to explore themes of our time through the creation of new work and experiential performances.
Shelly Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music noted that “Evan and Zach are very fine musicians and wonderful young men.  Their innovative work at Conduit in applying design thinking and audience empathy to chamber music and new music performance will help engage a new generation of audiences.”
“Artists and arts organizations must develop creative solutions to engage new audiences – particularly younger individuals, with whom they can cultivate a lifelong commitment to the arts. This project will create tools that help musicians generate inviting, dynamic performances to attract Millennials and beyond,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for the arts.
"True innovation requires a better understanding of people who we are trying to serve. Through this work we hope to create new lessons to engage people in fresh musical experiences," said Zach Manzi. 
Evan Saddler added, “Both Knight and Frost are bold in the projects they support, and this fellowship, the first of its kind, is another step that I believe will influence how the performing arts approach the concert experience and audience engagement. The work is already underway. "
In creating alternative formats, Zach and Evan will be using a creative approach to problem solving called design thinking. This approach is borrowed from fields like tech and business, and involves observing and interviewing target audience members, generating numerous ideas about a new kind of experience for them, testing the ideas with low-fidelity prototypes, and producing full-scale pilot performances. In preparing for Conduit performances, they will study and rehearse weekly with Frost faculty. Additionally they will be actively engaged in working with faculty and mentoring emerging chamber artists at the Frost School of Music, including the Stamps Scholars Ensembles, to help incorporate these innovative ideas as they develop their own careers as music professionals.

More About Evan Saddler
Percussionist Evan Saddler is the Co-Artistic Director of Conduit and is currently a Knight Fellow at the Frost School of Music. He was the winner of the 2016 Black Swamp Competition and the 2014 Kerope Zildjian Competition, and was a fellow at the inaugural Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab. Evan has performed at the Bang on a Can Festival, Madison New Music Festival, Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, Princeton Festival of the Arts, and in venues such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Carnegie Hall, and National Sawdust. Evan is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Michigan, and The Juilliard School. 
More About Zach Manzi:
Clarinetist Zach Manzi is the Co-Artistic Director of Conduit and a Knight Fellow at the Frost School of Music. Before Conduit, Zach played three seasons as a Clarinet Fellow at the New World Symphony, where he also created performance and educational experiences for new audiences. Zach’s most recent project, Transmuse, was a performance created in collaboration with the transgender community in South Florida to celebrate the trans experience. He has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Lucerne Festival Academy, and Colorado Music Festival, and received his Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School.

More About Conduit (group):
Conduit explores themes of our time through the creation of new work and experiential performances. The ensemble began their adventure premiering new work in 2017 as part of the Lewis Center for the Arts opening at Princeton University. At this event, Conduit performed their first commission comfort patterns, a work composed by Anna Meadors that reflects the obsessive relationship of humans with digital technology. They recently created a multi-disciplinary experience called (Dis)connect, which further explored the relationship between humans and technologyperformed at The Juilliard School. This summer, Conduit was in residence at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and appeared on the 2018 Madison New Music Festival in Wisconsin.

About Frost School of Music
The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of the largest and best music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive and relevant in all of higher education. With more than 700 students and 100 faculty members, it is a top choice for instrumental, keyboard and vocal performance as well as composition, music business, music education, music engineering technology, music therapy, songwriting, jazz, studio music, and more. It is one of two schools created when the University of Miami was founded in 1926. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was a historic occasion.
The Frost School of Music seeks to transform lives through the study and performance of music, and to enhance music’s future as the result of the most innovative and relevant curricula in higher education. The Frost School of Music is devoted to excellence and a culture of collegiality, in which a diversity of people, musical styles, and careers are valued. The Frost School of Music is a community of musicians committed to advanced musicianship for all Frost students across a broad array of majors and programs. The Frost School of Music seeks to elevate the community through intensive, sustained outreach to underserved populations. The Frost School of music strives to enhance the cultural richness of the University of Miami, South Florida and throughout the world as the result of world class performance, scholarship and research. For further information, visit: www.frost.miami.edu
About Knight Foundation: 
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.