NEXTGen Teen Musicians: 2023 Cohort

Sofia, Violin/Drums/Piano/Guitar

Freshman, TAPCo

My name is Sofia; music has always been a part of my life and I want to excel in it as much I can. My instruments are violin and guitar and I attend TAPCo High School.

Parker, Voice
Junior, TAPCOParker has been singing ever since the age of 7 years old and has been self taught ever since. They were told that they had a gift but they weren’t sure what to do with it but it wasn’t until they were introduced to musical theater in 6th grade.They had such a love for theatre and performing ever since and they want to even pursue a career in it. Parker goes to TAPCo and ever since they’ve been getting better and getting the support they need to be a better singer and performer in the arts. They hope that one day that their talent can inspire others to go on and pursue their dreams and talents.



Leo, Violin
Junior, LaGuardia High SchoolHello, my name is Leo and I am a Junior instrumental major at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. I have been playing violin since I was four years old. Outside of school, I graduated from The Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program last spring and attended the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles National Festival in California last summer. Aside from music, I enjoy drawing, 3D printing, mechanical engineering, and making models out of paper, cardboard, or sheets of plastic. In the future, I hope to become both an engineer and a musician.
Lysmary, Vocals
Sophomore, Celia Cruz Bronx High School of MusicHi, my name is Lysmary! I was born and raised in the Bronx and I am a vocalist. Music was everything to me ever since I was a little girl. Very passionate about this, later on in my life I’ve always strived to be the best singer I can be. I grew up on musical genres like classical and r&b. It really helped me express myself and boosted my confidence. Singing gave me happiness and a sense of peace. Music will never fail to release my stress or worries. I will forever be glad for music and how much it grew me into the person I am today.
Jonathan, Tuba
Freshman, Talent Unlimited High SchoolMy name is Jonathan. I go to Talent Unlimited High School and I play the tuba. Playing an instrument has been something that I wanted to do for so long and I am happy that I play the tuba everyday. I want to focus further on teaching music and being able to have a band.  Hopefully my music career can continue and if I am lucky enough I will be able to teach others how to play an instrument. 
Ibrahima, Guitar/Trumpet
Senior, LaGuardia High SchoolI may sound like a broken record when I say that I find music to be a universal language that can connect with anyone, but how can I not when it has shaped my life. Coming from a family that is deeply entrenched in the arts, I was taught to seek out art I’m passionate about. Because of this I have had many unique and unforgettable experiences that have introduced me to many amazing people ,and molded who I am. My goal as a musician is to now further my craft and share what I learn with my community and those who lack access. I have studied guitar, trumpet, trap drum, djembe, viola, and berimbau. Currently, my principal instruments are classical/ flamenco guitar and classical trumpet.
Francese, Vocals/Bass
Junior, James Madison High SchoolMy name is Francese and I am sixteen years old. I go to James Madison High School and I play bass as well as sing. I started playing music in second grade. I would sing around the house all the time and when it was time to play music in class, I would eagerly be the first one to want to play something. I continued to sing in fourth and fifth grade during the afterschool program that was offered and even put on two shows at my school. My favorite color is green and I like making art in my spare time as well. I hope to further grow as a musician and continue my love for music. 
Elijah, Voice
Junior, TAPCoSinging has been something that has always been interesting to me. Especially the way it can draw you in and make you feel emotions. I think every voice has a weight to it and my voice helps me convey a story. I feel like I have a voice that can fit into anything, which is fun when you’re someone who likes various types of singing like jazz or country or even pop. Music is my form of telling a story or recalling events, it paints a picture with melodies, and escapes in between harmonies and beats. I believe that New York is the center of music in a lot of ways and I am honored to grow as a writer and vocalist in the Big Apple.
Cristiani, Piano/Guitar/Trumpet
Fordham High School for the ArtsMusic has been with me since I was born. Always playing on Sunday mornings when my mother was cleaning, seeing her dance and just having something to give her joy, brought me joy too. I started playing the piano in the 6th grade and it’s been a life changer for me. It’s brought me so much joy and given me a sense of community. My goal is to give people this feeling too by spreading it to the community. It doesn’t matter what the music genre is, it’s important to me that everyone just enjoys being there and has fun making music with me and that’s all I could ever ask for.
Benjamin, Guitar
Fordham High School for the ArtsHello my name Benjamin. I go by he/him and I am 15. You can call me Ben or Benjie. I have been playing the guitar for a year and a half. My favorite guitar solo is Van Halen’s Eruption. My favorite song producer is Chase Atlantic, and a guitar style I want to learn is math rock.
Alexandra, Harp
Junior, Hunter College High SchoolI am a harpist a Junior at Hunter College High School. I have been studying harp for eleven years. When I was five, I asked my parents for harp lessons because I associated the instrument with angels and I really liked the idea of playing music while sitting on a cloud! I introduced the idea of playing harp with the chamber ensemble to my school’s musical director and it has been a great experience to be a music pioneer at Hunter. Music connects me to my family, my heritage and my school community. Music education has given me courage and a sense of independence. It has given me the confidence to try my hardest and show others that the harp is a special instrument. My harp also gives me a workout whenever I need to move it for performances! In addition to studying and playing music, I am on the Varsity Girls Cross Country and Track & Field teams and I am an editor of two medical publications at school.
Aiden, Guitar/Ocarina
Fordham High School for the ArtsHi, I’m Aiden Martinez and since the age of 12 I’ve had a passion for music. My first passion started with an ocarina in which I self taught myself how to play. I then fell in love with guitar and was eager to take lessons and learn. I started with acoustic guitar and eventually learned electric guitar. Currently I am the president of a cover band club in my school and Im a theater performer in my school.