Skip to main content

“Music has the power to ignite social change”

Mon 30 September 2019

Introducing our new Fulbright Scholar Garrett Snedeker

Joining our Faculty of Music this September as the 2019/20 Fulbright-Trinity Laban Scholar is American pianist Garrett Snedeker.

Having graduated this summer with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance/Pedagogy from Washington State University, Garrett is a young pianist interested in exploring the intersections between music, gender, sexuality and society.

Washington-born Garrett’s interest in music and gender was first fostered during his undergraduate degree. In 2017 he undertook personal research in Brazil on the life and music of pioneering pianist and conductor Chiquinha Gonzaga (1847-1935), who bridged separate social classes by mixing popular and classical styles and sold her music door-to-door in Rio de Janeiro to buy freedom for slaves.

He has given lecture recitals and presentations about Gonzaga’s life at conferences across the United States and has written an article that will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Music Teacher.

Garrett explains –

“Gonzaga’s life taught me that music has the power to ignite social change, and inspires me to play music for the purpose of building and empowering communities.”

During this academic year Garrett plans to create a one-hour lecture recital that will demonstrate concepts of modern gender fluidity and gender role flexibility through a performance and discussion of the first movements of three Beethoven’s sonatas, using the music as a cultural and educational tool to help others empathise and take action as advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Garrett will study piano with Professor of Piano and Composition Douglas Finch, known for his innovative and imaginative approach to performance, and for helping to revive the lost art of classical improvisation in concert.

The new scholar will also work closely with Dr Sophie Fuller, Programme Leader of Trinity Laban’s Masters programmes and acclaimed author of The Pandora Guide to Women Composers: Britain and the United States. Sophie recently spearheaded our Venus Blazing initiative, an unprecedented commitment to tackling gender parity by celebrating the music of women composers across the 2018/19 academic year.

On receiving the Fulbright-Trinity Laban Award in Music or Dance Garrett comments –

“I’m thrilled to continue my study of music, gender, and social change as an ambassador through the US UK Fulbright programme. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can while in London, and to absorbing a new and creative environment. I’m always happy to perform and share music, and I want to introduce listeners to new ways to process and think about what they are hearing. Trinity Laban is the perfect place to challenge social norms, introduce provocative ideas through music and collaborate with other people passionate about music for social justice and change.”

This is the fourth year we have worked with the US UK Fulbright Commission to offer the opportunity for US citizens to study at a UK Higher Education institution.

Previous recipients include US  Marines veteran and Artistic Director of Exit12 Dance Company (New York) Roman Baca, who has just been awarded the Fulbright Association’s Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture Award.

If you’re interested in applying for the Fulbright Trinity Laban Award for 2020 entry, the deadline is 8 October 2019.

You can find out more about the Fulbright Scholarship by visiting our international pages.