BMP Staff Spotlight | Taylor Lents
At the Boston Music Project, we are proud to have an exceptional team with a diverse background of teaching and performance experiences. Each year, BMP partners with area colleges, conservatories, and young professional orchestras in the local Boston area to provide collegiate musicians with teaching and administrative internship opportunities.
This year we are excited to welcome Taylor Lents to the BMP Team as our new Collegiate Arts Admin Intern!
Taylor is a second-year Masters student at New England Conservatory where she studies with Will Hudgins (Principal Percussion, Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Dan Bauch (Assistant Principal Percussion, Boston Symphony Orchestra). At NEC, she currently serves as the Department Assistant to the Percussion Studio and she previously worked as a Student Ensemble Manager for NEC’s Preparatory School.
As an orchestral musician, Taylor has performed with various orchestras across the southeast and midwest, including the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Augusta Symphony Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and as substitute timpanist of the Ohio Valley Symphony and Gwinnett Ballet Theater Orchestra. Over the years, she's had the opportunity to study and perform with principal players of many of the major U.S. orchestras. She also recently earned a position on the New World Symphony’s substitute list for percussion.
Born and raised in Blue Ridge, GA, Taylor formally began her musical studies and training at the age of 18 after she auditioned for the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music, from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion and Timpani Performance degree as a student of Timothy K. Adams Jr. (former Principal Timpani, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra) and Kimberly Toscano (former Principal Timpani, Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
We asked Taylor to share a bit more about her musical background and her experience with NEC’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Internship program.
Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up?
"The two that always first come to mind are my older brother and the percussion soloist Evelyn Glennie.
I didn’t really start listening to or wasn’t exposed to much classical music until college, but I remember seeing my older brother join our middle school’s band program as a percussionist and continue all the way through high school. Seeing him play in concerts and later in football games as part of the marching band always looked super fun, and I was always fascinated by how many instruments the percussionists got to practice and play. When I was old enough to finally join the middle school band, I already knew exactly what instrument I wanted to play and was excited to follow in my brother’s footsteps.
When I got to high school, our band director, a trombone player, always did an amazing job at researching various educational and performance resources related to percussion, and he would often take some of our class time to show us the percussion performance or technique videos he found. One day, he pulled up a few videos of Evelyn Glennie performing and talking about her musical philosophy, and ever since I was introduced to her I knew I wanted to keep playing percussion for the rest of my life."
What energizes you most as a performer?
"As a performer, I really love the preparation process as a whole, from the moment I pick up a brand new piece of music to the moments after the performance when I can take a deep breath. I especially enjoy the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment that comes from figuring out any tricky technical passages or logistical challenges that I haven’t come across before. Any of those little “aha!” moments are what energizes me and I’m always excited to share these discoveries with my colleagues and audiences."
Can you talk a little bit about your work as an Arts Admin Intern and NEC’s EM Department?
"The Entrepreneurial Musicianship (EM) Department at NEC is a fantastic resource for student musicians like myself to branch out and develop other skills that can help us build multifaceted careers in music."
“EM provides students and alumni with individual advising and career coaching, courses to gain professional skill within the conservatory curriculum, pathways to gain professional experience through hands-on learning, and opportunities to fund and incubate new creative work.”
"I had been wanting to branch out and dive further into the arts admin side of music for some time now, and I’m so grateful to have access to the EM Department as a resource and that they provided the opportunity to work as an intern with the Boston Music Project! So far, I’ve really enjoyed learning about the day-to-day processes and systems that make a successful nonprofit run and accomplish its mission as well as getting to know the team that makes the magic happen. I’m passionate about and advocate for programs that help give children and families access to the resources to include music in their lives, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with BMP. I’ve also always enjoyed the creative element that comes with working with social media, so I’m grateful that BMP is giving me the opportunity to continue building on those skills."
Outside of music, what are some things you enjoy doing that bring you joy?
"I really enjoy cooking and making up new recipes inspired by meals or recipes I’ve tried before. I also enjoy reading, discovering new art/music, going for walks, runs, or hikes in nature, and hanging out with my two cats, Cedar and Sage."
To learn more about Taylor, we invite you to read her full biography on our Administration page.
Learn more about NEC's Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department here.