Ayinde Williams, 16, pianist, who studies at Berklee City Music Network member the Richmond Youth Jazz Guild, and Open High School is a National YoungArts Foundation Merit Winner in Jazz. Out of approximately 11,000 applications from students in ten disciplines across the literary, performing, visual, and design arts fields, Ayinde has been recognized for his outstanding work and accomplishments. A complete list of this year’s 687 Winners is available online at this link.
Ayinde will participate in the YoungArts Regional program in Miami, Florida this February, and last summer was a Berklee City Music Summer Scholar attending the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program.
YoungArts Winners are designated into three categories–Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit– and are selected through a blind adjudication process. All of the 2014 Winners are eligible to participate in the Emmy-nominated HBO series YoungArts MasterClass and in YoungArts’ regional programs in Miami, Los Angeles, or New York, space permitting. During these life-changing experiences, participants will take intense master classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists and will have the opportunity to present their work to the public.[youtube http://youtu.be/sUegkL_EvHA]
All Winners receive a certificate of achievement, a recommendation letter, and the choice to be added to the YoungArts Student List Service (SLS). If added, their information will be sent to participating colleges, universities and professional schools. These schools have expressed interest in identifying young artists they may offer opportunities for admission and/or financial aid, and may be in touch with Winners regarding scholarship opportunities.
Winners also become part of the YoungArts alumni network of 17,000 artists, some of whom have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields including Vanessa Williams, Kerry Washington, Adrian Grenier, Raúl Esparza, Nicki Minaj, Chris Young, Josh Groban, and Terence Blanchard.
YoungArts is the exclusive nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the highest honor that can be awarded to any artistically talented graduating high school senior. Every year YoungArts nominates 60 YoungArts Winners to the White House appointed Commission on Presidential Scholars, 20 of whom are then selected to become U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.