Emerging Ensemble Residency

Emerging Ensemble Residency

During the summer of 2024, Arizona Early Music will host its first Emerging Ensemble Residency (EER).

Applications have closed for the 2024 AEM Emerging Ensemble Residency. Applicants will be notified of their first-round status no later than December 20.

2024 EER Fact Sheet (PDF)

About the Emerging Ensemble Residency (EER)

AEM’s 2024 Emerging Ensemble Residency will provide one ensemble of between 2 and 6 historical performance specialists the opportunity to rehearse, perform, and hone their craft during a 9-day paid residency scheduled between May and August 2024 in Tucson, Arizona.*

The EER is simultaneously an ensemble retreat, where the selected ensemble will have ample private time to rehearse together, and a residency program that includes:

  • A $6,000 Ensemble Prize and up to $3,200 in travel reimbursement
  • Three performances in Southern Arizona (one in a traditional venue in Tucson; one in a non-traditional venue in Tucson; and one outside of Tucson)
  • A period of ensemble and entrepreneurial coaching with a mentor matched to the selected ensemble
  • Informal seminars with AEM Board Members and staff covering topics such as taxes for musicians, non-profit management, and working with presenters

*Specific details pertaining to the residency dates (between May and August 2024), performance venues, and ensemble coaching will be set in consultation with the selected ensemble.

Ensemble Prize, Travel, and Accommodations in Tucson

AEM will provide private accommodations and a rehearsal space. Additionally, the ensemble will receive:

  • a $6,000 Ensemble Prize,
  • and up to $3,200 in travel reimbursement (to be used for airfare within North America, and a rental car for on-the-ground transportation in Tucson).

Who is Eligible for the EER?

The ERR is designed for an ensemble that is at least 6-months old and formed by 2 to 6 young professionals at the beginnings of their careers. Eligible ensembles:

  • have been active for at least 6 months,
  • consist of members who, at the time of application and the residency, have the legal right to work in the United States,*
  • consist entirely of members between 18 and 35 years old,
  • consist of between 2 to 6 members,
  • have at least one licensed driver,
  • and perform using period instruments and/or historically informed approaches to singing.

*Citizens from other countries who are studying in the United States are encouraged to apply, but must have the requisite US training or work permits to participate in the residency. Arizona Early Music will not be responsible for procuring permissions necessary to participate in this residency and we respectfully request that applicants know in advance that they are eligible, and submit proof of their eligibility as a supplemental document in the EER application.

Application Review Process

Applications to the EER must be submitted at the following link: EER Application Form (going live October 1, 2023). Applications will be accepted from October 1 through 11:59 p.m. MST on December 3.

Applications will undergo two rounds of review:

  • Round 1 will be conducted by an internal panel from AEM’s Programs Committee. The Round 1 Review Period will take place from December 4 through December 20. Applicants will be notified of their status by December 20, and notes from the Round 1 Panel will be available upon request.
  • Round 2 will be conducted by an external panel of jurors. The Round 2 Review Period will take place from December 20 through January 16. Applicants who advance to the second round may be asked to virtually interview with the jury. Applicants will be notified of their status by January 16, and notes from the Round 2 Panel will be available upon request.

Application Requirements

Applicants are asked to submit the following materials to AEM through the EER Application Form:

  • Statement of Intent (500 words max)
  • Ensemble Bio (250 words max)
  • Member Bios (200 words max per bio)
  • Publicity Photo of your ensemble
  • 3 performance videos of individual movements/pieces*
  • a 2–5 minute spoken video introduction featuring members of your ensembles*
    • There is no set prompt for this component of the application. Sample prompts to speak on could include:
      • What is your ensemble’s origin story?
      • What is one piece you are excited to work on together and why?
      • What specifically are you hoping to achieve through the EER?
      • How does your ensemble see itself in the scope of the Historically Informed Performance movement? 
  • 3 professional references (phone numbers and email addresses)
  • a 3-year ensemble plan and how the EER may help you accomplish that plan
  • Up to 5 supplemental documents/images demonstrating your ensemble’s past activities
    • Examples include past programs, photos, and awards/grants

*PLEASE NOTE: All videos should be provided as YouTube links and published publicly or as unlisted. 

Application Timeline

  • October 1 – Application Opens
  • December 3 (11:59 p.m. MST) – Application Closes
  • December 4–20 – Round One Review Period
    • Applicants will be notified of their status by December 20.
  • December 20–January 16 – Round Two Review Period
    • Applicants will be notified of their status by January 16.

2024 Emerging Ensemble Residency Jurors

Maria Romero Ramos, historical violins (top left)

Maria Romero is Assistant Professor of the Practice in Violin and Baroque Violin and Director of Historical Performance at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Maria is Concertmaster of the Nashville-based period ensemble Music City Baroque and was recently appointed its Artistic Director. She has collaborated with period ensembles including the Orchester Wiener Akademie, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Bourbon Baroque, Michigan Bach Collective, Open Gates Project, Les Delices’s SalonEra, and Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, among others. Most recently, Maria has performed with Philharmonie Austin, Mountainside Baroque, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Bach Akademie Charlotte, and Nashville Opera Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist with the Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra, Mountainside Baroque, and Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra as winner of their concerto competition, among others. Maria has been featured in period performance festivals such as Valley of the Moon Music Festival, Bloomington Early Music Festival, Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, and Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival Ensemble at the Boston Early Music Festival. A versatile musician, she collaborated with Wayne Wallace and Michael Spiro in latin jazz album recordings; the album “Canto América” received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2016. 

Maria is a graduate of Venezuela’s El Sistema music program and has since been passionate about music education as a tool for social empowerment and transformation. She holds Master and Doctor of Music degrees from Indiana University, where she studied violin with Kevork Mardirossian, baroque and classical violin and viola with Stanley Ritchie, and violin pedagogy with Mimi Zweig. Maria holds a B.M. degree and Graduate Artist Certificate from the University of North Texas, where she studied violin with Julia Bushkova and baroque violin with Cynthia Roberts. Other important mentors to her include her former teachers Stephen Redfield, Jorge Orozco, and Lyle Nordstrom. Maria holds an Executive Graduate Certificate in social enterprise, cultural agency, teaching artistry, and civic leadership from the Global Leaders Program, and she was a fellow for the Cleveland Institute of Music’s inaugural Future of Music Faculty Fellowship Program. She currently serves on the board of Early Music America.

Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone and composer (top right)

Jonathan Woody is a versatile and dynamic musician who maintains an active schedule as a performer and composer in New York and across North America. Cited by the Washington Post for singing “with resonance and clarity,” Woody is in demand as a bass-baritone soloist, appearing regularly with historically informed orchestras including Boston Early Music Festival, Apollo’s Fire, Pacific MusicWorks, Bach Collegium San Diego, Trinity Baroque Orchestra and New York Baroque Incorporated. In the 2021-2022 season, he served as Artistic Advisor for the Portland Baroque Orchestra, curating a program of 17th-century German music for voices and orchestra.  

 An accomplished chamber musician, Woody often performs as a member of the GRAMMY®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, where he has earned praise from the New York Times for his “charismatic” and “riveting” solos. He has also recently performed in collaboration with Kaleidoscope Ensemble, Les Délices, Seraphic Fire, Byron Schenkman and Friends, and TENET Vocal Artists. 

Woody’s compositional voice blends 17th and 18th-century inspiration with the minimalism and socially conscious subject matter of today. Since 2020, he has received commissions from Apollo’s Fire, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Chanticleer, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Cathedral Choral Society of Washington, D.C., and the Five Boroughs Music Festival, among others.  

 As a sought-after new music proponent, Jonathan has participated in premiere performances of several leading composers’ works, including Ted Hearne’s The Source (2014), Ellen Reid’s p r i s m (2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner), Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves (NYC premiere, 2018), and Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone (2017 Pulitzer Prize-winner). 

In recent seasons, Woody has appeared at the Staunton Music, Portland Bach, Carmel Bach, and Oregon Bach Festivals, the American Bach Soloists Academy, and at the Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings. He has also been seen on the operatic stages of Opera Lafayette, American Opera Projects, and Beth Morrison Projects. Woody can be heard on the Choir of Trinity Wall Street’s GRAMMY®-nominated recording of Israel in Egypt, released in 2013 on the Musica Omnia label, as well as on ACRONYM’s Cantica Obsoleta (Olde Focus Recordings), Boston Early Music Festival’s St. Matthew Passion of J. Sebastiani (RadioBremen), New York Polyphony’s Roma Æterna (BIS Records), and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street’s Missa Gentis Humanae (Musica Omnia). 

Jonathan is committed to racial equity in the field of the performing arts, and currently serves on Early Music America’s Task Force for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access. Presently living on traditional Lenape lands now known as Brooklyn, NY, he holds degrees from McGill University and the University of Maryland, College Park.  

Byron Schenkman, historical keyboards (bottom left)

Byron Schenkman (they/them) is a Queer Jewish keyboard player and scholar with a background in Historical Performance and a passion for connecting people through music. In addition to performing live on piano, harpsichord, and fortepiano, Byron can be heard on more than forty CDs, including recordings on historical instruments from the National Music Museum, Vermillion, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. They can also be heard in numerous online performances with Sound Salon.

A founding director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Byron received the Erwin Bodky Award from the Cambridge Society for Early Music “for outstanding achievement in the field of early music” and they were voted “Best Classical Instrumentalist” by the readers of Seattle Weekly. Their piano playing has been described in The New York Times as “sparkling,” “elegant,” and “insightful.”

In recent seasons Byron has been a featured artist at the Boston Early Music Festival and the Vancouver Bach Festival, and they have premiered new works by Damien Geter, Caroline Shaw, and Jonathan Woody. Caroline Shaw’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings was dedicated to Byron. Their 2023 tour of Chile, including concerts and masterclasses in six cities, was sponsored by the Education and Culture program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by Partners of the Americas.

Byron is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and received a master’s degree with honors in performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Debra Nagy, historical oboes and recorder (bottom right)

Praised for her “dazzling technique and soulful expressiveness,” (Rocky Mountain News), and a musical approach that’s “distinctly sensual…pliant, warm, and sweet,” (New York Times), Debra Nagy is one of North America’s leading performers on the baroque oboe. She is principal oboe with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society and performs with ensembles around the country including the American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Boston Early Music Festival, and others. Passionate about chamber music, Debra is the founder/director of Les Délices and also performs late-medieval music as a regular guest with Boston’s acclaimed Blue Heron and Chicago’s Newberry Consort. Debra was recently recognized with a 2022 Cleveland Arts Prize (Mid-Career) and received the 2022 Laurette Goldberg Prize from Early Music America for her community outreach work with Les Délices on the acclaimed web series SalonEra. Additional awards recognizing her creative and scholarly pursuits include first-prize in the American Bach Soloists Young Artists Competition, a 2009 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a 2010 Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Debra’s passion for unearthing little-known masterpieces caused the New York Times to dub Les Délices “an early music group with an avant-garde appetite,” adding, “concerts and CDs by Les Délices are journeys of discovery.” Inspired by a creative process that brings together research, composition in historical styles, improvisation, and artistic collaboration, Debra creates programs that “can’t help but getting one listening and thinking in fresh ways” (San Francisco Classiacal Voice). Recent projects have included critically-acclaimed multimedia productions of Machaut’s Remede de Fortune, an acclaimed CD combining jazz and French Baroque airs called Songs without Words, and The White Cat, a pastiche Baroque opera with puppetry and projections based on Marie Catherine d’Aulnoy’s 1690s feminist fairytale.

Recent social unrest and the restrictions of the COVID-19 Pandemic inspired several new projects. Debra reimagined Les Délices’ traditional concert series for the virtual space, safely recording 11 different programs for broadcast during their 2020-22 seasons. One reviewer described the first program as, “in a word: sensational!” and another recognized “[Les Délices] raises the bar for streaming events that have fairly taken over since the pandemic halted live performing arts. At a most challenging time Les Délices embarks on a creative adventure to extend its audience beyond their in-person performances rather than an alternative to them. The modest ticket price is a cultural gift.”

At the same time, Debra created a bi-weekly web series variety show for early music called SalonEra. Entering its 4th Season in 2023-24, SalonEra is a salon experience for the 21st century that brings together regular contributors and special guests whose personalities, perspectives, and contributions set the stage for fascinating conversations and fulfilling artistic exchange. Unlimited by geography or program conventions, SalonEra has attracted a wide audience and enables Debra to dramatically expand the range of repertoire and artists that Les Délices presents.

A dedicated and inspiring teacher, Debra serves on the artist faculties of the American Bach Soloists’ Summer Academy and the Oregon Bach Festival’s Berwick Academy, and has given masterclasses at Juilliard, the Cleveland Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory, and University of Washington. She is also committed to service and to fostering the next generation of leaders through her work as a mentor and as a former board member of Early Music America; she helped found what has become EMA’s Emerging Leadership Council.

Debra has recorded over 40 CDs with repertoire ranging from 1300-1800 and has had live performances featured on CBC Radio Canada, Klara (Belgium), NPR’s Performance Today, WQXR, and WGBH. When not rehearsing, performing, or dreaming up new projects, Debra cooks prodigiously (including much canning and pickling) and loves commuting by bicycle from her home in Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood.