Purchase Students Head to London
In the fall of 2017, studio composition major Abrielle Scharff ’18 placed second in the Coffee Music Project songwriting competition, along with Purchase students included Jack Redsecker ’19, Francesco Catricala ’19, and Eric Frost ’18, all jazz studies majors.
There was a pre-screening audition, preliminary rounds held at Pianos and finals held at Rockwood Music Hall. Out of hundreds of applicants, 33 contestants advanced to the preliminary rounds and 11 finalists. The rules required a performance of two original songs, one specifically written for the competition, with the theme of New York City.
Popdust reviewed Scharff’s performance and referred to her original, “New York Makes Me Cry,” as a “sensitive treatment of well crafted songwriting.”
This competition is a part of the New York Coffee Festival and in support of Project Waterfall, a nonprofit raising funds for clean water in coffee growing communities. Scharff writes, “Shedding light on charitable organizations has always been really important to me. I became secretary, editor, and performance manager of Generocksity NYC in 2016 and shortly after, organized and headlined charity show to benefit The Chase Home for Children. I have also featured my music through charitable platforms such as the Melodies 4 Water project. In spring of 2017, I placed in the top ten for the Brandi Carlile Cover Stories competition in support of War Child International. Music means so much more when I feel I am impacting the greater good.”
Scharff continued, “Because of my success in the Coffee Music Project, I performed at the New York Coffee Festival 2017 held at the Metropolitan Pavilion and was offered the opportunity to perform at the London Coffee Festival this April. I decided to take my band members along with me, which includes Jakob Rush, Jack Redsecker, Francesco Catricala and Andrew Kaplan (all Purchase students). This is a self-funded trip. I received a grant of $2,000 and sought out funding from private donors as well.”
“We are currently in the process of tracking the studio version of the song I wrote for the competition. Release date to be announced, but you can follow me on instagram @abriellescharffmusic for updates! You can also check out my music at abriellescharff.bandcamp.com.”