Elite musicians from around the world converge in Wabash for the new Honeywell Arts Academy

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Just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, executives at Wabash ushered in the long-awaited grand reopening of their historic Eagles Theater.

A centerpiece of the community, the five-story theater from 1906 had been undergoing renovations for two years, turning it into a world-class playground for artists with music classrooms, recording studios and a great hall. fully restored ballroom.

Now, Wabash executives are teaming up with elite musicians across the country to make up for lost time in a big way.

Inside the Eagles Theater in Wabash.

In June, music specialists from around the world and world-renowned music teachers from multiple genres and instruments will converge at Wabash for the first annual Honeywell Arts Academy. The Academy is a three-week summer institute with a full scholarship, putting Wabash on the map for musicians from Los Angeles to South Korea.

An academic, a South Korean pianist, Sae Yoon Chon, traveled over 6,000 miles to participate.

Members of Honeywell Arts Academy’s Resonance 2021 program perform at the Eagles Theater in Wabash.

Debuting June 14-29, Honeywell Arts Academy features three separate music programs for different music specialist groups. Resonance (June 14-18) is an innovation-driven program for music entrepreneurs. Soundboard (June 19-23) is a program for the next generation of pianists. And the long-standing Wabass Institute in Wabash (June 24-29) is for double bass players.

All three programs are built on the continued success of the Wabash Institute at Wabash and united by a teaching philosophy, known as “knowledge sharing”. Ranaan Meyer, Artistic Director of Honeywell Arts Academy and Founding Program Director of the Wabass Institute, describes this philosophy as a non-traditional approach to musical scholarship, in which artists draw on each other’s ideas and strengths.

“We strive to break the hierarchy between teachers and students and empower them to become lifelong learners,” says Meyer.

Ranaan Meyer is Artistic Director of Honeywell Arts Academy and Founding Program Director of the Wabass Institute.

He points out that the student-teacher ratio at the Academy of the Arts is 3: 1, which allows for maximum interaction and learning potential. This, together with the mindset of “sharing” the programs, makes the Academy very selective for academics.

“Obviously we are looking for exceptional talent, virtuosity and creative minds, but we also want people of a supportive nature,” says Meyer. “We want students who can form a team and create a stimulating spirit. The goal is to look for strengths and continue to develop them. “

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The concept of the Honeywell Arts Academy began with the annual Wabass Institute, founded in 2008 and transferred to the Honeywell Center in 2015.

Meyer, an Emmy-winning gold record artist and bassist for Philadelphia, PA-based genre-mixing ensemble Time for Three, led the Wabass Institute for its 13 seasons. In this role, he worked with the Honeywell Center to attract the highest caliber of string bass specialists to participate in the intensive five-day training program each year.

The Honeywell Arts Academy was born out of the prestigious Wabass Institute for string double bass players.

For artists, the institute offers a chance to experience Honeywell’s world-class equipment, gain a once-in-a-lifetime mentorship from classical music rock stars and build a career as musicians. fulltime. The Wabass Institute has a 95% alumni placement rate in prestigious full-time music careers.

Meyer’s wife, Emily Meyer, who is also a classical musician, is Honeywell Arts Academy’s first program director.

“Former students work across the world in positions as diverse as that of first violin of the Israel Opera Orchestra to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra or to the alternative group Sybarite5,” explains Emily.

Ranaan Meyer is Artistic Director of Honeywell Arts Academy and Founding Program Director of the Wabass Institute.

For the Wabash community, Wabash has also provided an opportunity to meet and experience global musicians at the peak of their art. Honeywell Arts Academy is offering three paid performances this month at the end of each of its programs at the Eagles Theater.

Honeywell Foundation Director of Development Cathy Gatchel believes that the expansion of the Wabass Institute into a full-fledged Academy of the Arts broadens its catalytic impact in the music industry.

“The new academy, with three different programs, makes a bigger statement,” she said. “The expanded institute creates a cultural center, and this excitement reverberates far beyond Wabash.”

While Honeywell executives had argued with Meyer for years to build on the success of the Wabass Institute with additional programs, they had not had a chance to achieve this until the pandemic of COVID-19 puts other targets on hold.

“You don’t want to give the pandemic too much credit for anything,” Gatchel says. “But the pandemic allowed us to dig into the specifics of what it could be. “

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This year’s Honeywell Academy of the Arts includes a total of 30 classical music academics from 16 states and four countries who take turns living in the same residence at Wabash during their programs and learning from nationally recognized music teachers. at the Eagles Theater.

Emily says students participating in the Academy’s programs are “the cream of the crop,” chosen from over 150 qualified applicants. She believes the academy brings something unique to the music industry in the scope and nature of its teaching.

“As far as I know, we are the only organization in the country with this kind of program,” she said. “There are camps for bluegrass and jazz, or classical, but nothing multi-genre and with a full scholarship component. “

Members of Honeywell Arts Academy’s Resonance 2021 program perform at the Eagles Theater in Wabash.

She appreciates the camaraderie that the Academy of Arts cultivates, especially in the music industry, which can be fierce.

“Some music programs are very competitive and risk creating a negative environment; We’re doing the opposite, ”says Emily. “We want to make a space for everyone. Our goal is to help these young people become the best musicians possible.

Two of the students participating in the Academy of Arts’ Resonance program are the sibling duo, known as the Semper Sisters: Charlotte and Olivia Marckx, violinist and cellist respectively. They connected to the Academy by following Ranaan’s career.

“Olivia and I have been huge fans of Time for Three ever since I got the chance to collaborate with them on a pop cover video when I was about 13,” says Charlotte. “So when we heard they were doing a summer program, we knew we had to go. “

The Semper sisters, Charlotte and Olivia Marckx, respectively violinist and cellist.

Charlotte and Olivia are classically trained musicians who enjoy playing multiple genres, which also drew them to Resonance, which emphasizes experimentation and innovation.

“The multi-genre aspect of our music is not something we usually spend a lot of time on,” says Charlotte.

Ranaan Meyer is an Emmy Award-winning artist and bassist for the Philadelphia, PA-based genre-mixing ensemble Time for Three.

One of the faculty members they learn from at Resonance is multi-genre artist, Peter Dugan, who has appeared in several famous duets and trios and hosts NPR’s iconic show “From the Top.” Peter Dugan is a faculty member at Honeywell Arts Academy 2021. He is a multi-genre artist who has appeared in several famous duets and trios and hosts the iconic NPR show “From the Top”.

“Spending a week under the direction of Time for Three and Peter Dugan is truly an incredible opportunity for us,” said Charlotte. “Just being in the presence of these greats is inspiring.”

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Overall, the goals of Honeywell Arts Academy are twofold: to both advance the world of music and provide students with the tools to be able to earn a living from their music.

For the residents of Wabash, having the Academy of the Arts in their hometown also means bringing new cultures to the area.

“As someone who has lived my entire life in this community, I love to see the reaction of academics to Wabash,” says Gatchel. “For many, this is their first time in a community of this size. Typically, there is an appreciation for farms and the seemingly slower pace of life. There is a cachet in our city that they appreciate.

The historic Eagles Theater in Wabash has been completely renovated.

The Marckx sisters had never heard of Wabash before applying, but at the end of the Resonance program, in which they participated, they were given the chance to perform at the restored Eagles Theater.

Gatchel says the new theater has created a vibrant space, not only for the Academy, but also for a variety of programs the Honeywell Center hosts, spanning rock, gospel, pop and country music.

As the pandemic eases in 2021, she is grateful for the Academy of the Arts and other programs that bring visitors back to Wabash to use Honeywell’s world-class amenities.

Members of the Honeywell Arts Academy Soundboard 2021 program study with renowned teachers.

While the new Academy of the Arts brings many benefits to Northeast Indiana and the global music community, Meyer suggests that its greatest rewards could be felt among the professors themselves.

“I might be the one who will get the most out of it,” he says. “I feel like a kid again at the highest level of summer camp! “

Learn more

More information and a complete list of Honeywell Arts Academy professors are available at honeywellartsacademy.org.

Tickets for the Wabass performance on June 28 are available on the website at honeywellartsacademy.org.

To check out the summer offers at the Eagles Theater, visit honeywellarts.org.



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