Category: Alumni

  • On Show 338 in New York City back in 2017, From the Top pianist Coco Ma shared her passion for writing with our listeners and described the young adult fantasy novel she was working on at the time. Her novel, Shadowfrost, was still in manuscript form at the time, but Coco allowed us to publish an […]

  • 2017 was the pilot year for From the Top’s Alumni Leadership Grant, which funds leadership initiatives launched by our alumni all across the country. One of those grants supported FTT alum Avik Sarkar as he spearheaded a benefit concert in support of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights. Not only did Avik fundraise, program, and […]

  • We’re in the second year of offering our Alumni Leadership Grant, a program that funds arts leadership initiatives pursued by our alumni. Angelica Hairston received the grant in its pilot year, and we caught up with her about her project, Challenge the Stats. Note: this interview was edited for clarity and length. Hi, Angelica! Can […]

  • We are pleased to announce the selection of three outstanding From the Top alumni as recipients of the 2018 Alumni Leadership Grant: 19-year-old violinist Corinne Auger 21-year-old violinist Ariel Horowitz 21-year-old baritone Thomas West The Alumni Leadership Grant, which began in 2017, seeks to support alumni of From the Top’s media and arts leadership programs who […]

  • “I have watched our society become more and more divided each day. I have listened to people talk about feeling voiceless. I have seen stereotyping become popular and bitterness override common sense. And in the midst of it all, I have wondered if there was anything that I could do to encourage people to put […]

  • We seek to positively impact Diné society through empowering youth. Today’s political climate is filled with negative rhetoric and actions towards indigenous people. Our cultural exchange works against this climate through music – a shared language that can foster peace and justice. Ariel Horowitz, 2018 From the Top Alumni Leadership Grant recipient 21-year-old violinist Ariel […]

  • “I strive to be an artist who serves everyone, not only those who are already familiar with classical music and those who can afford expensive concert tickets.” Corinne Auger, 2018 From the Top Alumni Leadership Grant recipient 19-year-old Corinne Auger is the co-founder and Executive Director of Music Lens, a free, summer music program for elementary […]

  • My name is Noah Lee, and I am a high school senior from Oakland, New Jersey, getting ready to start college in Boston in the fall. I was fortunate enough to have been born into a musical family. My mother and sister are both musicians. In fact, my mother was my first teacher. So it […]

  • December 12, 2017, Janet Fagan “Marcelina attitude” is what this From the Top alum had from at an early age. Her full name is Marcelina Suchocka and she was born in Bialystok, Poland. “My mom was a pianist. She played with the philharmonic of Bialystok and taught piano in their school. After I was born, […]

  • Meet Jessica Shand Jessica first appeared on our show just this past summer, as a soloist and as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. She, along with alum Theo Luu, will be premiering J.P. Redmond’s new #Note4Note composition, Shifting. Read more about her and the campaign below. Our #Note4Note Campaign […]

  • Meet Tom Vignieri Tom was From the Top’s Music Director for 12 years, and was our 2016 #Note4Note Campaign composer whose piece was premiered by pianist Theo Luu and violinist Chad Hoopes. You can watch the world-premiere here. Now living in the beautiful countryside in the UK, we had the opportunity to speak with Tom […]

  • Meet J.P. Redmond J.P. appeared on our show back in 2013 at the age of 13 where he received a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award in conjunction with his performance. Since being on From the Top, he’s been recognized with three ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, a 2017 Davidson Fellowship, and was a […]

  • From the Top alumni are no strangers to celebrating big-time success, and Emi Ferguson has a lot to celebrate right now. Emi first appeared on From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley  on Show 121 playing one of J.S. Bach’s famous flute sonatas, and has since gone on to attend Juilliard with a prestigious grant, perform […]

  • Pianist and alum Victoria Francis Young (Show 235) was born and raised in Las Vegas. She wrote a piece in memory of the victims of the recent mass shooting, and as a message of sympathy to their families. My heart was shattered to pieces by the October 1, 2017 massacre that took place in the […]

  • Alum Joseph Conyers, age 36, grew up in the small southern city of Savannah, Georgia. He performed on From the Top in 1999 as part of our second pilot program. We reached out to him recently to see what he’s up to in 2017. 18 years after performing on From the Top, he now serves […]

  • If you like to stay in the loop on the classical music, a cappella, or even popular music scenes these days, you’ve almost certainly heard of From the Top alum, Kevin Olusola. First featured as a saxophonist on Show 144 when he was 17, Kevin was invited back to perform on From the Top at […]

  • There’s no doubt about it; being on NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley is a big deal for our young musicians. They work very hard to perfect their playing, and they even get a chance to rehearse their interviews before stepping up to the microphone. When it’s over, there’s a palpable sense of […]

  • This interview is part of This Land/Our Land, a music video project bringing together six young musicians from immigrant backgrounds to perform a new arrangement of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” The arrangement is by From the Top host Christopher O’Riley. Watch the video here. Want more stories like this? Scroll down to […]

  • This interview is part of This Land/Our Land, a music video project bringing together six young musicians from immigrant backgrounds to perform a new arrangement of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” The arrangement is by From the Top host Christopher O’Riley. Watch the video here. Want more stories like this? Scroll down to […]

  • This interview is part of This Land/Our Land, a music video project bringing together six young musicians from immigrant backgrounds to perform a new arrangement of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” The arrangement is by From the Top host Christopher O’Riley. Watch the video here. Want more stories like this? Scroll down to […]