The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s Dean’s Office Opportunity Award. Awarded to faculty projects that advance the school’s mission, selected initiatives embrace cross-collaboration with UCLA’s other arts units while expanding engagement with L.A.’s many diverse and artistic communities.
“The Dean’s Office Opportunity Award supports faculty research and creative activities at the School of Music, and in normal years this is a pretty routine task,” said Robert Fink, academic associate dean and chair of the school’s music industry programs. “In response to COVID-19, faculty were encouraged to consider projects that highlight themes of community and social justice and could be completed in a physically distanced manner while in lockdown.”
Nineteen projects received funding, representing music’s broad reach across cultures, generations and political affiliations.
“The Award will curate and highlight woman composers of Jewish heritage, a new version of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ a revival of Mexican baroque music at a local Hispanic cathedral, a bilingual song-life podcast in Santa Ana and much more,” said Fink.
Many of the selected projects showcase the power of music and its role as a uniting force through dark and divisive times.
“Music is an influential guiding force that transcends barriers,” said Eileen Strempel, the school’s inaugural dean. “It’s power to connect, heal and facilitate meaningful change will be critical as we collectively navigate the process of intentionally grappling with historic injustice and with our emerging post-pandemic reality.”