Harlem School Of The Arts Yolanda Wyns Honored at American Composers Orchestra 2020 Gala
Yolanda Wyns, Director of the Music Department at the Harlem School of the Arts was one of three honorees feted at this year's American Composers Orchestra's 2020 Gala, held on Wednesday evening, March 4 at the Bryant Park Grill on West 40th street in New York City.
Ms. Wyns was responsible for helping to organize a collaborative partnership with the American Composers Orchestra, on a new multidisciplinary pilot program which was recently launched at HSA. SONIC SPARK LAB is a project-based program that creates an environment where students are inspired to be curios, to be imaginative and to explore their capacity for developing collaborative new ideas and "creating original works of art".
Yolanda Wyns has been inspiring students at the Harlem School of the Arts as a teacher and as Director of the Music Department for a total of seven years. Prior to arriving at HSA, she had been a veteran performer, touring as a backup singer with many top R&B acts including Freddie Jackson, Stephanie Mills and Patti Austin. She was also on Broadway as part of the original cast of A Color Purple before finding her passion for teaching and for helping to develop the next generation of musical talent.
Without altering the vision of its founder Dorothy Maynor, Yolanda Wyns has added a fresh approach and placed a contemporary spin on HSA's music department; in the process, she has enriched the community using her extensive cultural network to create branded master classes, artist lectures, and outreach programs with established and notable musicians and leaders.
Ms. Wyns joined fellow honorees -countertenor, Anthony Roth Costanzo and President & CEO of the League of American Orchestras, Jesse Rosen for a very special evening, where all three of these inspirational individuals, were celebrated for their impact on the American musical landscape.
American Composers Orchestra makes the creation of new opportunities for American composers and new American orchestral music its central purpose. ACO programs increase opportunities for American composers and generate broader awareness of their work. ACO's new approach generates further interest and programming by other music organizations. It also increases the audience for contemporary American orchestral music by influencing music decision makers.
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