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The SAVVY Musician in Action announces tuition scholarships

Fifty full tuition scholarships will be awarded for 2016 workshop; priority round deadline is Jan. 26.

The SAVVY Musician in Action, hosted by the University of South Carolina, is the world’s leading experiential entrepreneurship workshop empowering artists to maximize income and impact. Since 2013, SAVVY has attracted 180 participants from 30 states and five countries, representing music/arts students, faculty, working professionals, educators and administrators. Understanding that short-term financial concerns are sometimes a barrier to individuals who could benefit most from SAVVY, workshop organizers have introduced a new initiative to offer 50 full tuition scholarships in 2016, awarded on a competitive basis.

SAVVY attendees pitch arts-based business ideas, vote on favorites, form teams, develop business, financial, and marketing skills, and design a venture from the ground up, competing for awards. Throughout the process, participants develop invaluable, transferable success skills applicable to a wide range of arts careers and environments. Coached by world-class faculty, participants work collaboratively in an environment that fosters community, big ideas and getting things done. SAVVY can prove pivotal for participants hoping to boost a career, earn more money, expand reach, or transform an organization.

The scholarship application requires participants to answer two questions, prepare a one-minute video, and pay a one-time $25 application fee.

The top 50 applicants will be awarded a full tuition scholarship ($725 value) to attend the 2016 SAVVY Musician in Action workshop, June 7-12. Applicants have two opportunities to submit: Priority round deadline is Jan. 26 and second-round deadline is March 1. Applicants are asked to submit only once; double submissions will be eliminated from the competition.

Scholarship application details can be found online. All accepted participants are responsible for a $250 meal/supply fee, housing and transportation.

For more information visit sc.edu/music/savvy or email mastermind@mozart.sc.edu.

Via: USC School of Music

Savvy Musician in ACTION names winners of Arts Venture Challenge and Chamber Showcase

The Savvy Musician in ACTION has announced the winners from its intensive entrepreneurial workshop and Arts Venture Challenge, plus the winner of the Chamber Showcase. Sixty participants from around the country pitched arts-based business ideas, voted on favorites, then formed teams and designed a venture from the ground up to compete for awards on the final day. Attendees completed assignments that examined innovation strategies, business models, competitive research, finance, marketing, and social media, allowing participants to develop transferrable skills directly applicable to their own careers and environments. Multiple art forms – music, dance, theatre, and visual art – were used to teach lessons in success. The teams had three days to develop their product or business and pitch it to three judges – Ken May, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, Juliana Iarossi, professor at the Darla Moore School of Business, and Philippe Herndon, founder of Caroline Guitar Company. Arts Venture Challenge winners:

  • Top Arts Venture – Janet’s Band: a music hospice program
  • Runner Up and Audience Choice – impromptu: an app to sell discounted unsold event tickets
  • Best Exhibit – Music for Transformation: a music program for prisons
Arts-based businesses developed during the workshop:
  • Musique Unique: live arts experiences for brick and mortar retail stores
  • ARTSploration: mentoring program where high school musicians are paired with professional musicians
  • Wigglebug Box: subscription box of developmental toys for ages 0-3 year
  • Fire It Up!: stage production workshop for musicians
  • Sound Crawl: classical music bar crawl event
  • Musical Passages: a music program for refugee families in Utica, NY
Chamber Ensemble Competition Innovative event design and artistic excellence were the criteria for the Chamber Ensemble Competition, held in conjunction with The Savvy Musician in ACTION. Peter Ferry and Xuan (pictured above) took first place, and Cre.Art Project won second place and audience favorite. Among the prizes are professional management, a USC School of Music residency, and a performance on a Chamber Music America showcase concert in New York City. Michael Harley, artistic director of Southern Exposure New Music Series and coordinator of the chamber competition said, “The duo of Peter Ferry and Xuan, who began working together as students at the Eastman School of Music, represents a new performance paradigm for musician-artist collaboration: one that stretches the definition of "chamber music – what they do might better be called chamber arts.” Ferry is a percussionist who is also well versed in video and other multi-media platforms. Xuan is a video artist who, because of her training as a classical pianist, brings an unusual amount of musical insight to her video designs. Together, they create programs that unite music and video with extraordinary skill, humor and sophistication. Ferry is typically the main performer and Xuan the video designer. However, for a short portion of their prize-winning performance, which included site-specific video created in Columbia, they turned the tables: Xuan played piano, accompanied by a video designed by Ferry. Learn more about The Savvy Musician in ACTION at sc.edu/music/savvy. Learn more about the Chamber Ensemble Competition at sc.edu/music/chambercomp. Via: The Savvy Musician in ACTION

Savvy Musician in ACTION announces finalists of national Chamber Music Competition

Some of the country’s most innovative chamber music ensembles will be in Columbia competing for major prizes during USC’s innovative arts entrepreneurship workshop, The Savvy Musician in ACTION (SMIA). The Chamber Music Competition, sponsored by the University of South Carolina in collaboration with Chamber Music America, is the country’s only major chamber music competition in which the judging criteria includes both artistic excellence and innovative event design. The Chamber Music Showcase concert takes place June 4 during Columbia’s First Thursdays on Main event at Tapp’s Art Center from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The four finalists will compete for prizes including professional management, a NYC showcase concert, and a paid residency at the University of South Carolina. The showcase concert is free to attend. The competition’s four finalists, selected from a large field of applicants, will each play a 25-minute set during the showcase concert. In addition to reimagining the concert experience, the program highlights each group’s stellar musicianship and creative programming. The finalists: Cre.Art Project - Cre.Art Project is a chamber ensemble that works through multidisciplinary interaction gathering musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors, writers, designers and acrobats from all over the world to create unique performances. Founded in 2006 by Guillermo Laporta and Tagore González , Cre.Art Project has produced shows at leading venues and festivals across Europe and America with a wide range of productions like the musical London the Show, the multimedia music series Visuality and the opera Noctum. Peter Ferry and Xuan - Peter Ferry, percussion soloist, and Xuan, video artist, redefine the modern duo by transcending the limits of traditional performance and collaboration. Through original interdisciplinary projects involving live video and musical performance, they explore new artistic territory through percussion’s lush sonorities and rhythmic vitality, and film’s intricately constructed animations and beautifully layered imagery, all of which left critics at the Rochester Fringe Festival calling the show “Breathtaking... all that such festivals are supposed to be: funny, boundary-pushing, thought-provoking.” (Democrat and Chronicle) Chicago Q - Named as one of the “leaders of the new school” by Symphony Magazine, Chicago Q Ensemble is a trio of equal creative partners who develop intimate, seamless performance works grounded in contemporary and classical chamber music. Their aesthetic approach is deliberately raw and stripped-down, leaving space for audiences to connect with the performance in a deeply personal way. The ensemble rejects the traditional image of the performer as mere interpreter, striving instead to emphasize individuality, vulnerability and risk-taking. District5 - Specializing in contemporary works and original transcriptions, District5 creates immersive and dramatic shows that depart from the standard concert format. By combining innovation with musical integrity, their imaginative interpretations seek to heighten the audience’s emotional connection to the music. With the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ROTARY Woodwind Quintet already to their credit, this emerging wind quintet continues to produce one-of-a-kind performances.

Musicians: learn to generate more income and impact at Spark’s workshop

Winners of the Chamber Ensemble Competition will kick off the workshop with performances at Tapp’s Art Center on June 5. (Pictured above, first-place winners The Fourth Wall Ensemble.) The Savvy MusicianSpark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory holds its second annual summer workshop June 5 – 8 on the University of South Carolina campus. The Savvy Musician in ACTION is an intensive, experiential four-day event designed to help musicians generate more income and impact. Participants pitch arts-based business ideas, vote on favorites, form teams, design a business from the ground up, and compete for awards. The workshop is designed for:

  • Professional musicians in search of solutions that further advance their professional and financial level of success while expanding impact.
  • College music students from all disciplines, both undergraduate and graduate, who want to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills that lead to greater professional success.
  • College music faculty and administrators interested in experiential education and/or the pedagogy of music entrepreneurship and leadership. Please note this is not just geared to teachers of career classes or music business. Lessons explored are relevant and applicable to all faculty and administrators interested in creating a greater culture of entrepreneurship throughout their institution.
  • Full chamber ensembles
The workshop kicks off with a concert featuring winners from Spark's Chamber Ensemble Competition.  In addition to music excellence, the winners expand beyond the musical-only concert format with the use of unexpected innovations like multi-media, choreography, audience engagement, theatrical elements, or unusual performance practices. The competition, hosted by the University of South Carolina School of Music, was open nationwide. Winners were chosen through a competitive juried process and evaluated on artistic excellence and innovative event design. Learn more about Spark’s Summer Workshop and register to attend online. The Chamber Ensemble Competition winners: First place winner: The Fourth Wall Ensemble Based in Indiana and founded in 2010, The Fourth Wall explores a new hybrid of the performing arts in which musicians are also dancers and actors. Stretching the boundaries of instrumental performance, the ensemble commissions new interdisciplinary works and reinterprets established repertoire to make music that literally leaps from the stage. A flutist dancer, a trombonist choreographer, and a percussionist narrator took the first-place prize and were awarded the opening night performance, full tuition scholarships to the workshop, a cash stipend and professional development coaching with Dr. David Cutler. Runner-Up: Warp Trio On piano, cello and violin, Warp Trio push the boundaries of music through inter-disciplinary collaborations and eclectic programming that includes electrifying original material, dynamic interpretations of popular music, improvisation and unique takes on classical repertoire. For this performance, they are joined by a drummer and dancer. Runner-Up: Ensemble39 Ensemble39’s unique mix of strings and winds embraces many musical styles from the classical oboe to the jazz bass, the klezmer clarinet to the old time fiddle. The group, featuring graduates of Curtis, changes the conventional concert paradigm, exploring new venues, seeking diverse collaborators, loosening the presentation protocol and pursuing mixtape-style programming. Honorable Mention: Duo Anova Based in New York City, the cello and guitar duo opens up listeners’ minds to a new dimension of textures and sounds unique to cello and guitar. Honorable Mention: invoke Believing that the string quartet remains one of the most maneuverable ensembles, Maryland-based invoke, aims to reinvent the string quartet as a relevant 21st-century medium. Via: Spark

New entrepreneurship initiative to develop savvy musicians

Participants from 21 states and Canada will descend on the University of South Carolina campus June 6-9 for The Savvy Musician in ACTION, a unique 4-day experiential retreat designed to help musicians increase income and impact (think The Apprentice meets higher education.) Music professionals, faculty and students will pitch arts-based business ideas, vote on their favorites and form teams to design business models and marketing campaigns to compete for awards. Attendees will experience a variety of learning opportunities including training sessions, peer-teaching, mentorship, an “expert expo,” field research, prototyping, reflection sessions and more. The Savvy MusicianLed by pianist, composer, “The Savvy Musician” author and USC director of music entrepreneurship David Cutler, the retreat brings attendees face to face with thought leaders and entrepreneurs from the arts world. Participants take part in training sessions and learn from experts including Lance LaDuke of the Boston Brass, internationally known as a performer, writer, producer, speaker and educator, and Justin Kantor, co-founder of (Le) Poisson Rouge, a multi-media performance space, art gallery and cabaret in New York's Greenwich Village. The retreat culminates with a Venture Challenge, where teams pitch their proposed arts businesses to a panel of judges including Ken May, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, and Greg Hilton, executive director of Midlands Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation, as well as a panel of Columbia-based leaders involved with the arts, entrepreneurship and economic development. USC School of Music Dean Tayloe Harding says, "This retreat is a perfect collection of learning and doing experiences for delivering the profound message and companion skills necessary to make one’s way in the world of professional music. The USC School of Music has championed, through its distinctive SPARK: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory, the very principles and visions for our musical futures that are at the heart of this intensive retreat. We are so proud to be able to offer it to musicians and music lovers everywhere who are committed to tomorrow's musically enriched America that is essential for our society." The Savvy Musician in Action is about both music and entrepreneurship. To emphasize this dual goal, one of the retreat’s initiatives is a Chamber Music Competition with winners chosen through a competitive juried process. Open to forward-looking students and young professional chamber groups, the competition's judging criteria included artistic excellence and innovative event design. The winning ensemble, C Street Brass, was awarded full tuition scholarships to the retreat, a $500 stipend and an add-on professional development workshop with retreat faculty. The public is invited to performances by C Street Brass and two runners up during First Thursdays on Main Street, Columbia's cultural festival, on June 6 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Tapp’s Art Center (1644 Main Street). About Spark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory Spark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory taps into the creative and imaginative energy of USC music students and faculty and organizes a number of initiatives that benefit the university community. Focused on success, innovation and community, Spark, formerly Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music (CILEM), prepares music leaders for the 21st century. Spark’s formula for developing leaders is at the core of its mission: Success + Innovation + Community = Leadership. Spark and the USC School of Music are committed not only to cultivating outstanding musicians, but also leaders who are well equipped to succeed professionally.

The Savvy Musician in Action: an entrepreneurship retreat

Professional musicians, music students, professors, arts administrators and music business owners - here's a retreat designed just for you! Spark: Carolina's Leadership Music Laboratory at the University of South Carolina presents The Savvy Musician in ACTION, an intensive, experiential 3½-day retreat designed to cultivate music entrepreneurs and leaders (think The Apprentice meets higher education). The retreat takes place June 6-9 on the USC campus in Columbia. The Savvy MusicianCombining interactive presentations, games, team challenges, breakout groups, video conferencing, mentorship, networking and competitions, each day of this solutions-based event is built around a different challenge facing the music world. Whether you are a student, performer, educator, faculty member, administrator, business owner, or all of the above, this experience will  teach you what it takes to thrive professionally and develop practical entrepreneurial skills that benefit your career or organization. Participants will learn by doing -- developing business and marketing plans for an arts-based business with potential to generate significant revenue and impact. By the end of the retreat, participants will possess skills and a process for applying these lessons to their own musical life. All levels of business background are welcome, including none. The retreat faculty includes David Cutler (pianist, composer and author, The Savvy Musician), Justin Kantor (founder, (Le) Poisson Rouge), Lance LaDuke (trombonist, Boston Brass), Ariel Hyatt (social media guru), Ken May (executive director, South Carolina Arts Commission), and others. Early bird tuition of $399 is available until April 1. Tuition includes all events and seven meals. Low-cost campus housing is available. Despite what you may have heard, there is a lot of important and unexplored work for musicians to do. Come learn about the craft of business and the art of opportunity creation! Find out more about the retreat and how to register. Via: University of South Carolina