The New York-based philanthropic organisation for the support and promotion of new music, New Music USA, has appointed Aja Burrell Wood, Susan Wegleitner and Joseph Young as directors to expand its expertise in music diversification and business.
The move follows the recruitment of Reena Esmail and Joe Walker as Co-Chairs in June under the organisation’s leader, President and CEO, Vanessa Reed.
Wood is already the Managing Director of Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice with and extensive background in teaching and researching musical community among black musicians and other genres of the African Diaspora. She has worked in academia at numerous colleges, universities and in the entertainment industry with Gate Pass Entertainment and Wynton Marsalis Enterprises.
Susan Wegleitner is the former Managing Director and Group Head of Corporate Client at JPMorgan Chase, advising boards on building and expanding businesses. Her knowledge of corporate governance and risk management will be a valuable asset to New Music USA’s trust management and funding.
Joseph Young is Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony, Artistic Director of Ensembles for the Peabody Conservatory and Resident Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra USA at Carnegie Hall. He is noted for his adventurous programming and is recognised as one the most gifted conductors of his generation.
Vanessa Reed, who took over as CEO and President a little over a year ago after years at the PRS in London, says, ‘We are thrilled to welcome three new directors to our board, and to bring their strong ideas and perspectives into our conversation. In every decision we make at New Music USA, we strive to promote a thriving, equitable ecosystem for new music in all its compelling forms.’
The new directors will work with New Music USA to continue its work nurturing new composers and performers through project grants, connecting creative talent through programmes such as Amplifying Voices and spreading the word through its online publication NewMusicBox, a project introduced by Reed.
The organisation has been particularly busy during the pandemic, providing small hardship grants to over 1000 musicians and is actively fundraising to help foster new talent and diversity in US music.