'Pathways with Sebastian Winter' is a series featuring current and former students of The Juilliard School on how to get accepted at one of the world’s most renowned schools for the performing arts.
#5 - Noémie Chemali (Juilliard Viola, MM ‘22)
French-Lebanese-American violist Noémie Chemali graduated from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, where she received her Bachelor’s degree. She received her Artist Diploma from the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University where she studied with Becca Albers and Hsin-Yun Huang. She currently lives in New York City where she is a Master’s Degree student at the Juilliard School studying under Carol Rodland.
Some performance highlights from her time at McGill include playing a concert with clarinetist David Krakauer in a program of Klezmer music, being selected to perform a chamber work by John Rea in a concert presented by the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) alongside Schulich faculty and students, and participating in the 2018 Musical Chairs Chamber Music Festival, where she collaborated with students from the Mozarteum (Austria) and the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore). During her time at the McDuffie Center for Strings, she performed alongside faculty members of the Cavani and Ehnes String Quartets. In 2019, she also performed in “A Night of Georgia Music,” a tour of the American South with violinist Robert McDuffie, guitarist Mike Mills of the band R.E.M., and pianist Chuck Leavell of the Allman Brothers Band/Rolling Stones.
Noémie has spent her summers at music festivals such as The Music Academy of the West, Sarasota Music Festival, Orford Musique, The Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP), Scotia Festival of Music, Manhattan in the Mountains, and Green Mountain music festivals. While Ms. Chemali was a fellow at the Music Academy of the West, she played under the baton of esteemed conductors Larry Rachleff, Stéphane Denève, Gustavo Dudamel, and James Conlon. While at Sarasota Music Festival, she served as principal violist of the festival orchestra under the baton of Jeffrey Kahane and performed in a faculty concert as a member of a quintet with bassoonist Frank Morelli. She has, throughout the years, participated in various masterclasses with artists such as Joseph Silverstein, Ida Kavafian, Cynthia Phelps, Karen Dreyfus, Richard O’Neill, James Dunham, Jutta Puchhammer, and the Pacifica String Quartet.
Passionate about diversifying musical audiences, she co-founded the Hildegard Project, which aims to bring music written by women composers to women’s shelters in the greater Montreal area, and was invited to speak about her work at the Classical Evolution/Revolution Conference in Santa Barbara, CA. Most recently, she founded Music@Daybreak, an interdisciplinary performance and research project which features performances at homeless shelters in collaboration with the Sociology department at Mercer University.
Noémie is the recipient of a Juilliard Career Grant, George J. Jakob Global Enrichment Grant, and Gluck Community Engagement Fellowship. In August 2022, she will be releasing Opus 961, her debut album of music written by contemporary Lebanese composers.
#4 - Joseph Parrish (Juilliard Vocal Arts, MM ‘22)
Joseph Parrish previously performed operatic roles with the Asheville Lyric Opera as well as the Cincinnati Opera. He already holds a degree from Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School.
#3 - Elizabeth Yeoman (Juilliard Drama, MFA ‘24)
Elizabeth Yeoman is both a model and an actress who is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Juilliard’s School of Drama. Born and raised in England, she already holds a degree in English Literature from the Warwick University. She has walked during London Fashion Week, worked for Calvin Klein, L’Oreal, and has appeared in Editorials for Nylon, Vogue Italia, and Dazed.
#2 - Jacob Melsha (Juilliard Jazz Trombone, MM ‘22)
At 22 years old, New York City-based trombonist, bass trombonist, tubist, educator, composer, and activist Jacob Melsha is one of the finest young forces on the scene today.
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Jacob has enjoyed performing in local venues like Jazz at the Bistro and Powell Symphony Hall with groups such as the Funky Butt Brass Band, the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, the St. Louis Philharmonic, the Gateway Festival Orchestra, the Cecil Cope Swing of Hearts Orchestra, and with his own small groups. As a student at Kirkwood High School, he enjoyed participating in the 2017 Grammy Band, Jazz Band of America, and All-National Jazz Ensemble. The product of two music educator parents, Jacob is thankful for his supportive, Midwestern upbringing.
Since splashing into the New York music scene in 2017 to pursue his Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School, Jacob has enjoyed working throughout the city in a variety of ensembles, bringing music to venues like Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Smalls Jazz Club, The Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Fat Cat, Ginny’s Supper Club, The Django, and more. He’s had the pleasure of playing with Frank Lacy’s Tromboniverse, Ben Vereen, The Evan Sherman Big Band, The Nate Sparks Big Band, The Abdias Armenteros Quintet, his own small ensembles, The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis to name a few.
Jacob has traveled the world, playing at festivals and clubs in both hemispheres. He’s toured with Davina and the Vagabonds, performing at the Vail Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Victoria Island Blues Bash, Seattle’s Jazz Alley, and the Flood City Music Festival. In 2019 he joined the Tazelaar-Moseholm Superband at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Prior to that, Jacob traveled with Juilliard Jazz ensembles to play in São Paulo, Brazil at the Ilhabela In Jazz Festival, as well as the 2019 Jazz Education Network Convention in Reno, NV.
When he’s not playing the trombone, Jacob is committed to helping transform the future of music and the country we live in. He’s taught a large private lesson studio for years and has done clinics and workshops at high schools, summer camps, and youth programs in St. Louis. A volunteer and Campus Core Leader for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, he’s made sure to educate, empower, and organize fellow students to help catalyze real change on a national and global scale. He's also worked as a strategist for the student-led political organization, BeThere, since early 2020, fighting for political representation for young people and people of color in swing states by getting them to the polls and staffing polling locations with college students.
Jacob is thankful for his many musical mentors, including his parents Jeff and Martha, Gary Lipsutz, Jonathan Reycraft, Wayne Coniglio, Jason Jackson, Frank Lacy, Elliot Mason, and Wynton Marsalis.
Jacob has played on a custom BAC (Best American Craftsmen) trombone since 2019.
www.jacobmelsha.com • Instagram: @jacobmelsha
#1 - Madison Pineda (Juilliard Dance, BFA ‘21)
Madison Pineda began dancing in Sacramento, CA, and later in Keller, TX. After completing two years at the Joffrey Ballet School Jazz and Contemporary Program under artistic director Michael Blake, Madison studied and recently graduated from The Juilliard School in June 2021. She trained at summer intensives including Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Dance Festival, the Nederlands Dance Summer Intensive, and the Arts Umbrella Summer Dance Intensive, and has performed works by Bryan Arias, Marne Van Opstal, Crystal Pite, Desmond Richardson, Rena Butler, Nijawwon Matthews, and Darrell Moultrie. With multiple achievements, Madison was recognized as one of the four recipients of The Fields Ballet Scholarship Award in 2017, awarded Julilliard’s Martha Hill Award, received the Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship Grant, and was chosen to present work in Juilliard’s Choreographers Composition program. Her performing highlights include dancing on the Jacob’s Pillow InsideOut stage, performing Martha Graham’s Rite of Spring, and dancing for the new Warner Brothers film, “In the Heights.” Madison is very excited to perform with Barkin/Selissen Project.
Very informative & inspirational
The best interview podcasts of my fellow Juilliard peers. I had seen many YouTube videos of students talking about their “a day in the life” of how many hours of practice to perf their craft, but never to this level. Seb does a good job of interviewing and asking well-thought-out questions. It sure does help me get insights into further pursuing my education at Juilliard, both professionally and personally. Thank you!!