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Eight faculty and student music projects at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music have received grants from the UCLA Library’s Hugo and Christine Davise Fund for Contemporary Music to support both creative and scholarly endeavors.

The program, which is administered by the UCLA Music Library, chose projects for their potential to advance the field of contemporary music.

Grants between $1,500 and $5,000 per project will elevate creative pursuits spanning a range of departments and programs, from performance to composition to ethnomusicology, and include commissions, performances, recordings, residencies and a scholarly symposium.

Among this year’s awardees carrying on the Davises’ devotion to music and composition is a recording project by the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra(opens in a new tab), whose members include Samuel Lamontagne, who is an ethnomusicology doctoral candidate.

This broad scope aligns with the Davise fund’s goal to elevate contemporary music in diverse ways, including music library collections and preservation efforts, competitions for music students and the Contemporary Music Score Collection, established in 2018 as the first open-access repository of new music published by a library and the largest of its kind in the world.

“Because of Hugo and Christine Davise’s legacy of generosity and the leadership of the UCLA Music Library, we are able to continue to explore and expand the wonderful creative possibilities for contemporary music in all of its diverse genres and applications,” said Eileen Strempel, inaugural dean of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. “This is an exciting alignment with the Herb Alpert School of Music’s mission that centers on the integration of scholarship and practice.”

The UCLA Music Library provides access to one of the largest academic music collections in North America and is one of the largest and oldest major music libraries in the western United States. With access to more than 400,000 physical items, the resources for music research, performance, and study span all genres of music from ancient times to today.

The Davise Fund is stewarded by Matthew Vest, music inquiry and research librarian, and Callie Holmes, music collections librarian. It is named for UCLA alumni Hugo and Christine Davise, who earned four UCLA degrees between them, including music degrees in 1931 and 1927, respectively.

“There are very few opportunities in academic libraries to be a direct catalyst for new creative work,” Vest said. “The Davise fund allows us to support and engage with the Herb Alpert School of Music in unexpected and meaningful ways.”

The awardees’ projects:

  • “Bridge to Everywhere Workshop and Concert,” organized by ethnomusicology professor Kim Nguyen Tran.
  • “Engaging with Musical Traditions of the World – 2022 Call for New Works,” led by Alec Norkey, ethnomusicology graduate student.
  • Composer Emily Koh commission for Bent Frequency Duo, led by music performance professor Jan Berry Baker.
  • Support for commissions of new piano works for Grammy-award winning music performance professor Gloria Cheng by six Jazz composers, including: ethnomusicology doctoral candidate Jon Jang; renowned composer and retired distinguished ethnomusicology professor James Newton; multiple-Grammy winner and professor of global jazz studies Arturo O’Farrill; bassist Linda May Han Oh; and composers Anthony Davis and Gernot Wolfgang.
  • “Music and Metaphor Symposium,” led by Nina Eidsheim, professor of musicology.
  • “The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra Composers recording project,” led members of the Arkestra, including Lamontagne.
  • Quatuor Diotima Quartet residency, led by music composition professor David Lefkowitz.
  • “Wish U Best” led by vocal performance graduate student Shyheim Selvan Hinnant.

Originally published by UCLA Newsroom at in a new tab)

Main image credit: François Rousseau