Honoring Future Maestros: Bruce Montgomery Foundation Announces Springboard Grant Winners

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — For years, The Bruce Montgomery Foundation for the Arts (BMFA) has been a beacon of support for aspiring artists. Since 2014, the Foundation’s annual Springboard grants have helped talented high school and college students ignite their careers in performing arts. On Monday, April 29, BMFA announced its 2024 Springboard Grant Winners at the annual Winners Showcase Fundraising Gala. Among the talented selectees were bassist and composer Isabella Amada, violinist Cyrano Jett Rosentrater, cellist Julio Martin-Navas, violist Sophia Nam, and violinist Miro Raj.

The BMFA was established in honor of the late Bruce Montgomery, who dedicated five decades of his life imparting knowledge and fostering talent at the University of Pennsylvania. Montgomery’s spirit continues to uplift young artists, thanks to BMFA and the theater bearing his name at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at Penn.

The Winners Showcase Fundraising Gala was a vibrant affair that included dinner, live and silent auctions, and performances by Broadway stars hailing from “Aladdin,” “Wicked” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Last year’s Springboard Grant recipients also graced the stage. The gala’s fundraising efforts received a significant boost from an anonymous benefactor, pledging to match all donations, up to $20,000 per year. Sponsors for the glamorous evening included 2300 Arena, 12th Street Catering, Susan Beard Design, Frost 321, Ilyan Jewelry, the Katz Family Charitable Foundation, and Weston Sound.

Among the 2024 grant recipients, Isabella Amada, a senior at The University of the Arts, has demonstrated exceptional talent as a bassist and composer. She has earned several awards, including the Jazz Bridge Emerging Artist Award and the Presser Award, and leads various musical projects in genres ranging from jazz and fusion to rock, pop, and R&B.

Cyrano Jett Rosentrater, a 16-year-old violinist-composer from Philadelphia, is another noteworthy recipient. Rosentrater’s remarkable achievements include winning the SPHINX MPower Grant and the Marian Anderson Grant, in addition to several national competitions.

Julio Martin-Navas, an 11th-grade student from Abington, has shown extraordinary passion and talent for the cello. Martin-Navas has impressed audiences with solo recitals, chamber music performances, and performances with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. He continues to expand his musical prowess, participating in masterclasses with renowned cellists.

New Jersey-based violist Sophia Nam, a current student at Juilliard Pre-College, has accumulated substantial accolades in her musical journey. Nam’s recognition extends to both national and international competitions, and she currently serves as the violist of the Solare Quartet.

Miro Raj, an 11th-grade violinist from Philadelphia, is another recipient. Raj’s talent has been recognized through several concerto competitions, and he has performed as a soloist with various orchestras. Raj’s dedication to honing his craft is evident in his active participation in masterclasses with acclaimed violinists.

The Springboard Grants are a testament to the BMFA’s commitment to nurturing talent and honoring Bruce Montgomery’s legacy. The extraordinary achievements of these young artists provide a glimpse of a future enriched with phenomenal performances, garnering the next generation of applause.

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