Community Music Center of Boston Announces New Executive Director

June 26th, 2017 in Blog with Comments Off on Community Music Center of Boston Announces New Executive Director

A Cast Change after 34 Years:

Community Music Center of Boston Announces New Executive Director

Boston, MA  (June 9, 2017) — Community Music Center of Boston (the Music Center), New England’s oldest and largest community school of the arts, has appointed Lecolion Washington as Executive Director through a national search process guided by Arts Consulting Group. Washington begins at the Music Center in September 2017 and is currently Executive Director of the PRIZM Ensemble and Director of In-Schools Programs for the Memphis Music Initiative.  He succeeds David Lapin who has been the Music Center’s Executive Director for a record-breaking 34 years.

Washington will be introduced to Music Center supporters and stakeholders on Saturday, September 16 at the Music Center’s Gala, Crescendo! Building Community Through Music, to be held at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts.  The gala will also serve as Lapin’s official farewell.  An extraordinary honorary committee has been assembled for the occasion, headed by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.

“I am extremely honored that the board of Community Music Center of Boston has selected me as the incoming Executive Director.” said Lecolion Washington.  “After meeting with the board and spending time with the senior staff, I feel like I was born to be part of the work that the Music Center is doing in Boston.  I’m very excited about the future!”

Lecolion Washington has been a staunch advocate for the relevance of music as an agent for social change.  He was the Co-Founder/Executive Director of the PRIZM Ensemble, an organization whose mission is to build a diverse community through chamber music education, youth development, and performance.  Under his leadership, PRIZM created 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.  Washington was invited to serve as the Director of In-School Programs for the Memphis Music Initiative (MMI) after having served for several months on an advisory council and as a consultant for the MMI. He led a team that created and implemented a teaching artist program, led teacher/principal professional developments, and fostered partnerships between schools and local music nonprofits—much like the Music Center has done in its historic partnership with Boston’s public schools.  In 2015, he was named by the Memphis Business Journal as one of the Top 40 under 40.

As a performer, Washington 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 to much acclaim.  Washington was the first non-string recipient of the MPower Artist Grant from the Sphinx Organization, and 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.  Washington served as a bassoon professor over the course of 14 years, and he was tenured in 2008 at the age of 33.  He studied at the University of Texas at Austin, the Manhattan School of Music, and Southern Methodist University.

Last year, in an effort to prepare the organization for a seamless transition of power, the Music Center promoted Marie Tai to the position of Associate Director. Tai has been with the Music Center since 2004 and currently oversees the organization’s fiscal responsibilities, human resources and technology and registration processes.  Most recently, Tai was accepted into the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute for 2017 (a program of the National Guild for Community Arts Education) and serves on ALAANA –its network designed to raise the profile of work being led by people of color in the arts.  “I am happy to be part of this landmark transition,” stated Tai, “and am committed to ensuring the Music Center’s continued vitality.  We have talented and dedicated staff and faculty who have prepared the Music Center in the best ways possible for our new Executive Director.  We are thrilled to welcome Lecolion to our family!”

“I am very excited about the strong leadership team we’ve built at Community Music Center of Boston,” said Music Center Board President Mary Carney.  “We thank our forward-thinking Board and our dedicated, tireless search committee headed by Vice President Martin Thomson for bringing the future of the Music Center into focus with the engagement of Lecolion Washington as our new Executive Director.  We are confident that this gifted musician and longtime teacher will build on David Lapin’s legacy and will affirm the Music Center’s dynamic position in Boston’s burgeoning arts education environment.  We know that everyone in the Music Center family – students, parents, faculty, board members and especially our funders – will do everything they can to welcome Lecolion and his family to Boston.”

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