The Violin Channel recently caught up with Ranaan Meyer, artistic director of the Honeywell Arts Academy.
Tell us about the Honeywell Arts Academy? When was it founded and what is its main mission?
Auditions are happening now for the Honeywell Arts Academy which launches this June, and I am so proud to be artistic director. Thirteen years ago I started a bass camp with my buddies Hal Robinson of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Juilliard, and Curtis faculty, and Eric Larson of the Houston Symphony. That vision was completely ideal.
The concept was — through a philosophy we follow called Sharing of Knowledge — to accept extraordinary bass players to come hang out with us for a week. We would swap ideas, play for each other, make music together, and push our musical boundaries.
Thirteen years later, we are blown away by the people who have come to attend. They are now in orchestras like the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Concertgebouw, and more. Because of the success, we are launching the expansion of this program for all instruments called Honeywell Arts Academy.
What would you say are the core values you try to always embrace?
I think collaboration is at the heart of almost every decision I make in my life. My whole career has embodied that, whether it be teaching or performing and even entrepreneurial visions. It’s not about me, myself, and I. It’s always about the greater sum of all parts. We all have our strengths so why not play to them.
That’s what our core values are when it comes to Honeywell Arts Academy — finding your true inner authenticity and highlighting it. Honestly, it doesn’t stop there because everyone who attends adds so much by exposing and inspiring people to new perspectives and ideas.
What programs are you offering this year? Can you tell us about the faculty that will be attending?
I’ve dreamt about having a program with my artistic brothers Time for Three, who are pretty much my musical family. We’ve partnered up with Peter Dugan, Host of NPR’s From the Top, to create a versatile program for all musicians.
Resonance is a program where we’ll jam with all of the fellowship scholars, we’ll make music together, we’ll talk about entrepreneurialism, and discuss what it takes to be a successful artist. The fellowship scholars' individuality will guide the rest.
We are pumped to have a piano-centric program called Soundboard that carries on the legacy of the success we’ve had with the double bass program. John O’Conor and Peter Dugan will be creating a platform for pianists to have an extraordinary retreat.
Wabass will continue with the original faculty Eric Larson, Hal Robinson, and myself.
To summarize, Honeywell Arts Academy collectively includes:
- Resonance Institute June 14-18 for versatile progressive musicians of all instruments.
- Soundboard Institute June 19-23 for pianists.
- Wabass Institute June 24-29 for double bassists.
What are the costs associated with taking part in your courses?
Education can be expensive unless you are able to get a full scholarship. Even then, costs add up and it makes it so challenging.
Our vision is all about it being tuition-free. Of course, you have to earn it, you have to audition and blow us away with your creativity, your presentation, and your imagination because this is a very high-level program.
The only costs for Honeywell Arts Academy are the application fee and you have to get yourself to and from Wabash but once you’re there, all expenses are covered.
How can readers apply if they are interested in joining?
Everyone can apply through this link www.honeywellartsacademy.org/admissions.
We often get a question about repertoire. We just ask people to send us their best stuff for both piano and double bass programs, which means 10 minutes of your best presentation. For the Resonance program, it’s 2-3 songs. This sometimes confuses people because it’s not super specific but just realize that’s the point.
We’re trying to encourage applicants to be their best selves as musicians. So I encourage y’all to get creative, you may surprise yourself.