The National Sawdust-Juilliard Blueprint Bridge Fellowship is a dual-track career and project mentoring course designed to further inspire music composition students and recent Juilliard graduates to dream about building a blueprint for success in their lives through a dual-track career and project mentoring course. Leveraging the extensive project development and cultural sector knowledge of the National Sawdust team in tandem with hands-on mentorship from leading women composers and musicians, the fellowship culminates with a performance of new music created during the fellowship performed by the NS Ensemble. Mentorship for the fellowship is led by Paola Prestini, composer, Artistic Director, and Co-Founder of National Sawdust, and includes composer Laura Kaminsky, composer and flutist Nathalie Joachim, bassoonist Rebekah Heller, composer-director Amy Beth Kirsten, and composer Reena Esmail. This program is generously supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and The Juilliard School.
National Sawdust Ensemble (NSE), led by cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, is the in house band of National Sawdust. Made up of highly acclaimed artists who are or have been members of the Da Capo Chamber Players, New York New Music Ensemble, the Internationally Contemporary Ensemble, Imani Winds, Flutronix, and the Kronos Quartet, this instrumentally flexible group is an integral part of National Sawdust Mentorship Initiatives, playing, teaching and collaborating with emerging and professional composers from the Blueprint Bridge Fellowship with The Juilliard School, as well as the internationally renowned Hildegard Commission Concert for composers who are women and other marginalized genders. The mission of the ensemble is to give composers and artists access to the high caliber of musicianship that is native to National Sawdust. The NSE has also supported projects such as Liederabend, Senses with Beth Morrison Projects.