the new school's college of performing arts announces the appointment of brandee younger to faculty

Brandee Younger, photo by Edna Patrice O'Brien

November 23, 2020, New York - The New School announced today that harpist, composer, and educator Brandee Younger has joined the faculty at the College of Performing Arts (CoPA) where she will have a dual appointment at Mannes School of Music and the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.

A leading voice of the harp today, harpist, composer and educator Brandee Younger defies genres and labels. “No harpist thus far has been more capable of combining all of the modern harp traditions — from Salzedo, through Dorothy Ashby, through Alice Coltrane — with such strength, grace and commitment,” wrote The New York Times.

“The first time I had learned about Brandee Younger I thought that she would make an ideal faculty member at the College of Performing Arts and its three schools. Brandee’s practice is boundary crossing and she will play a vital role in uniting students and the larger community of faculty and staff across jazz, classical, and much more, not to mention Brandee and CoPA’s mutual interest in Alice Coltrane,” said Richard Kessler, Executive Dean of the College of Performing Arts.

At the College of Performing Arts, Younger will teach harp to students across Mannes and Jazz, lead an Alice Coltrane Ensemble, and collaborate with students and faculty across the college in a wide range of projects, courses, and ensembles. 

"I'm honored to join the faculty of the College of Performing Arts and Mannes School of Music. Having long been inspired by the school's progressive curriculum and creative teachings, I look forward to sharing and growing with the students and so many of my esteemed colleagues," said Younger.

Recently signed to Impulse! Records, home of the Coltrane legacy, Younger has performed and recorded with artists including Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Common, John Legend, The Roots, Stevie Wonder, and Lauryn Hill. In 2019, she released her fourth solo album, Soul Awakening, and her original composition “Hortense” was featured in the Netflix Concert-Documentary, Beyoncé: Homecoming. This same year, Younger was selected to perform her original music as a featured performer for Quincy Jones and Steve McQueen's’ “Soundtrack of America.” Younger’s ability to seamlessly inject the harp into arrangements and venues where it has historically been overlooked is a testament to her deep love for and exemplary command of the instrument.

Younger earned her Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance and Music Management at the Hartt School of Music and her Master of Music at New York University where she serves on the harp faculty. Past residencies and masterclasses include The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), University of Birmingham (UK), Howard University, Drexel University, Princeton University, Tulane University, Trinity College, The Hartt School, University of Michigan, DePaul University, and Berklee College of Music. 

She holds leadership positions through the Apollo (theater) Young Patrons Steering Committee and the American Harp Society, Inc. where she serves as Director at Large. As a concert curator, Younger has presented performances for venues including “Divine Ella,” part of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s annual Women’s Jazz Festival.  As well, she has organized series for Brookfield Arts including Harp On Park, “highlighting the diversity of the harp and the contemporary importance of an ancient instrument,” Her Song, featuring the works of women composers and most recently, the intimate and socially distant "Brookfield Encounters."

The College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) was formed in 2015 and brings together the iconic Mannes School of Music, the legendary School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the ground-breaking School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances. 

As a part of The New School, students across CoPA experience a supportive and rigorous environment that provides abundant opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty in a wide array of disciplines including the visual arts, fashion, design and technology, architecture, philosophy, psychology, public policy, advocacy, and more. CoPA has over 1100 students seeking degrees and diplomas in performance, composition, acting, writing, as well as arts management and entrepreneurship. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.

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Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School
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wilburw@newschool.edu

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