In recent months, my student Dakota Lichauco practiced with added zeal at the piano – she had applied for the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship (Brandeis University), a distinctive and highly selective performance program. The fellowship provides a small number of accomplished musicians the benefits of private lessons, chamber performance opportunities, large ensemble performance opportunities and a substantial scholarship. Realizing the steep competition she might face, we decided to showcase both jazz and classical skills for the audition, prepping an audaciously difficult Balakirev composition (which you can watch here) along with a couple of jazz standards that would show her improv skills as well. Happy to share the good news that she was selected!

Here are the jazz tunes “Armando’s Rhumba” (Chick Corea) and My Foolish Heart (Clifford Brown).