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Project Beacon High School Composer Initiative

to identify and mentor high school composers with potential, and showcase their work through performance and recording


Project Beacon is the education arm of Brightwork newmusic whose members believe strongly in nurturing the next generation of musicians. Brightwork is excited to join with composer Nina Shekhar to present The High School Composer Initiative which will identify young composers from greater Los Angeles with potential and ambition, and provide educational workshops, ongoing mentoring and other support over the course of six months as the composers write new works for Brightwork. These new compositions will be performed and recorded at a Tuesdays @ Monk Space concert in June 2021. To increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of new music, during the application roll-out we will focus on high schools that enroll high numbers of students from historically underrepresented groups in classical music. To further remove barriers of participation there will be no application fee. We aim to enroll 6-10 young composers in this first cohort, and estimate audience attendance at the January demonstration concert to be around 50, and attendance at the June showcase to be around 100. Students who participate will receive a copy of the recording for their portfolio and college applications. The musicians of Brightwork and Nina Shekhar are ideal artist-mentors to lead this project. They are all established and passionate educators who are on the faculty of local high schools, community arts schools and colleges and universities including University of Southern California, Chapman University, Pomona College, Claremont College and University of Redlands.  Brightwork has a consistent track record of commissioning new work from emerging composers. They are frequently invited to be in residence at local universities to read student compositions and offer constructive feedback.



Mid-August 2020: announce application, begin outreach to local high schools

October 1, 2020: application deadline, panelists review and rank applications

November 1, 2020: winners are announced, all applicants are invited to January demonstration concert

Early January 2021: student cohort comes together for a full day of learning and workshops presented by Brightwork newmusic and composer mentor Nina Shekhar. The day ends with a “demonstration concert” by Brightwork for student cohort, all applicants, and their families. A local school will serve as the site for this event.

March 2021: student cohort receive individual check-ins with composer mentor about the progress of their new composition for Brightwork newmusic

June 2021: culmination performance and recording of new student works at Tuesdays @ Monk Space concert series


Start and End Dates



Los Angeles, California

Project Created By

Los Angeles, California
Brightwork newmusic was founded in 2013 by pianist Aron Kallay. The mission of the 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation is to enliven and expand contemporary classical music with a focus on West Coast composers and performers. The members of our in-house ensemble, Brightwork, are among the best chamber musicians in the world. The ensemble strives to find…

In Collaboration With

composer, educator
Los Angeles, California


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