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Public Q&A and Talk Back: Lecolion Washington

Wednesday, September 19 at 12:00pm

Foo Family Lounge, Frohnmayer Music Bldg.

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve

After over 20 years as a performing musician, 15 years as a music professor, and 10 years as an arts administrator, Lecolion Washington has established himself as a leader for the next generation of arts entrepreneurs, and he has been a staunch advocate for the relevance of music as an agent for social change. Lecolion resides in Boston, Massachusetts and is the Executive Director of Community Music Center of Boston, a 108-year-old legacy organization which provides equitable access to excellent music education and arts experiences. The Music Center is the largest outside provider of arts education in the Boston Public Schools, manages over 30 satellite programs in 13 different neighborhoods and for over 35 years, has been one of the longest running Music Therapy programs in Boston. Serving over 6,000 students each week, the vision of the Music Center, under Lecolion's leadership, is to continue to build, strengthen and bridge the communities with whom the Music Center serves.

Prior to this work, Lecolion was the Co-Founder/Executive Director of the PRIZM Ensemble in Memphis, an organization whose mission is to build a diverse community through chamber music education, youth development, and performance. PRIZM has community engagement and youth development programs such as the OMusic Project (a music program in a neighborhood in Memphis called Orange Mound, the first African-American neighborhood to be built by African Americans), the PRIZM in the Schools Program, and the PRIZM International Chamber Music Festival. In 2015, he was named by the Memphis Business Journal as one of the Top 40 under 40.

 

 As a performer, Washington has performed solo recitals and master classes at colleges and universities all over the world including at the Eastman School of Music, University of Texas at Austin, Bruckner Conservatory, and the University of Cape Town among others. He was the first non-string recipient of the MPower Artist Grant from the Sphinx Organization in which he received support to embark on a global concert and masterclass tour during the 2015-2016 season. The tour featured solo and chamber music performances in cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Cape Town, and Zurich. He served on the faculty of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa from 2006-2013. At this festival, he was a featured soloist on multiple occasions. In addition to his performances he coached chamber music and taught masterclasses along with distinguished faculty from all over the world including principal players from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra, the National Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony. His CD entitled Legacy: Music for Bassoon by African-American Composers was released on the Albany Records label. Washington studied at the University of Texas at Austin, the Manhattan School of Music, and Southern Methodist University. As an orchestral musician, Washington has performed as principal, guest principal, and/or co-principal bassoon with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and Sphinx Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work in the community, Washington served as a bassoon professor over the course of 14 years at the University of Missouri and the University of Memphis, and he was tenured in 2008 at the age of 33.

Today, Lecolion is most proud of his wife, Swedish clarinetist and co-founder of the PRIZM Ensemble Carina Nyberg Washington; their two sons, Henning and Matteus; and their dog, Shadow.