Each year several fellows and scholars are chosen from among applicants who are uniquely qualified to help lead the festival. Fellowships and scholarships exist for vocalists, composers, and keyboardists. Those interested in a fellowship or scholarship write a letter of intention and upload supporting documents during the application process. Fellows and scholars occupy leadership roles during the Festival and receive tuition waivers in part or total. All fellows participate in all parts of the festival. See who has been a NEO Fellow/Scholar in the past.
"The more time I spent at N.E.O. 2023, the more energized I became. So many ideas, possibilities, and connections all opened at once, propelling me forward in a way I’ve never known before. It’s an invaluable experience that I always recommend to vocalists and composers." ~Kion Heidari, 2023 Vocal Fellow
Composition Fellows and Scholars
Composers with advanced skills and experience are eligible for the composition fellowships and scholarships. In addition to writing for the ExplOratorio, composition fellows and scholars support other composers with ideas and resources, and help inspire conversations and explorations during the festival week.
“The NEO Voice Festival is run by a team of talented, caring, artistically creative professionals, and they foster that same sense of musical exploration and mutual support throughout the week among all the super-talented participants.” ~Ethan Gans-Morse, composer, 2022 Festival Composer Fellow
"The true value of NEO is the aggregate of all the rehearsals, performances, sound meditations, working sessions, and hallway conversations where diverse minds meet in creative exploration. It's not simply about 'new' sounds, but about how sounds that are not often heard can open up new communicative pathways. NEO is an utter joy!" ~David Walters, 2023 Composition Fellow
Organ fellows will support Abe Ross by serving as collaborative keyboardists for some of the works during the Festival. They will work with composers and Festival Directors to create new works for voice and keyboard. In addition, organ fellows will experience sessions with Abe focused on writing, improvising, and performing music on The Great Organs, one of the largest organs in the world. Ample practice time on The Great Organs is also a part of the position, and opportunities to play your own repertoire in concert sessions. Organ fellows will be expected to in residence beginning the Thursday before the festival to have time to prepare on the instrument.
“For an organist, N.E.O. is an exceptional, unparalleled opportunity. Despite my limited experience with aleatory, atonality, gestural theory, and extended techniques prior to the festival, the staff and participants supported me, challenged me, and valued my artistic contribution. Dr. Ross is an incredible mentor with a wealth of knowledge to share, and Dr. Harris’s respect for organists, singers, and composers comes through in the rehearsal process in a very special way. By the end of the week, I felt comfortable registering at the console at First Congregational— which is absolutely gargantuan, allowing for remarkable versatility— and could play pieces and implore techniques I had never thought possible.” ~JoEllen West, 2023 Organ Fellow