Born: April 21, 1995 Primary Instrument: Piano
Pianist Alma Macbride is currently an honor roll, full scholarship student at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT and is the piano chair of the Jazz Band. Alma was the first ever recipient of the Susan Freydberg Scholarship for her musical talent. This scholarship enabled Alma to attend the International Festival of Jazz Educators in Toronto, Canada in 2007. She is also the 2009 Winner of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Mary Lou Williams Competition, where she performed with Wynton Marsalis and the JALC Orchestra in NYC. In addition to performing Alma composes music as well and is a recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award for 2012 for her composition Full House She is a member of The Duo Con Alma, a performing group that performs at senior centers, libraries, and the like throughout the community. The money raised is donated to the instrumental music funds of Whiting Lane School in West Hartford, CT. To date, this group has raised over $5,000. Other community involvement included a self-produced performance at the Hartt School, where donations were collected for West Hartford’s Gifts of Music Program. This program provides funds for needy students to have private music lessons as well as providing instruments for these children. Alma performs freelance throughout the Greater Hartford area. In addition, she has been a member of the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, a group of talented high school students who rehearse and perform weekly at the Jazz Standard in NYC. Summer of 2010, Alma attended the Skidmore Jazz Workshop as well a the Stanford Jazz Residency Workshop, having been awarded scholarships from both these institutions. She also received a full scholarship that summer to attend Grammy Camp in Los Angeles. Recent performances include the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival, where Alma was invited to perform as the first pianist in the festival's new Piano Prodigy Series. She recently opened for trumpeter Eddie Allen at Killingworth Arts Center Jazz Night Out Series in February, 2012.
Awards:2012 - ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award 2012 - Opener for Eddie Allen Group at Killingworth Arts Center Jazz Night Out Series 2011- Featured performer in the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival "Piano Prodigy Series" 2010 - Selected as a member of the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra 2010 �" Full Scholarship to attend Grammy Camp, LA 2010 �" Scholarship to attend the Stanford Jazz Residency 2010 �" Scholarship to attend the Skidmore Jazz Workshop 2010 - West Hartford Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in the Arts 2010 �" Keyboard Magazine feature article in April issue 2009 - West Hartford Superintendent’s Award for Scholarly Excellence 2009 �" Winner of the Jazz at Lincoln Center “Who is the Next Mary Lou Williams?” Competition 2007 �" Susan Freydberg Scholarship for saxophone to attend the International Association of Jazz Educators in Toronto, Canada.
One of the festival's best ideas resides in the new Jazz Prodigy Series, and Alma Macbride, the first participant, displayed surprisingly stunning maturity and poise at the keyboard Wednesdayevening at the Berkshire Music School. Joined by the other members of her trio, bassist Matt Dwonszyck, drummer James Macbride, her brother, and, for one number, trumpeter Kyle Athayde, Alma Macbride, only 16, explored standards and original repertory with digital strength and dexterity reminiscent of Gina Bachauer. One hesitates to say she plays like a man, but certainly like a seasoned artist. - Berkshire Eagle, Richard Houdeck October, 18, 2011