The Eastman School of Music boasts a distinguished reputation of educating the finest and most creative minds in the world of music.

One such notable group, NeoCollage, prides itself on its artistic fusion of classical and pop music. The talented group members, all juniors at Eastman, are Rick Williams, Curtis Stewart, Megan Bledsoe, Nick Revel and Stephen Clark.

The group’s etymology rises from their inventive blend of jazz, funk, improvisation and contemporary forms of music, which harmoniously coexist to create an illustrious and unparalleled genre of music all on its own. NeoCollage began in the fall of 2004 when the members began their freshman year.

Through the years, the group has learned from the diverse backgrounds that embody each member in an effort to form a unique and professional mix. Each member represents a unique assortment of musical aptitude. Together their classical instruments blend to create something new and different.

“Stephen plays the acoustics, Meagan plays the electric harp, Nick is our violist, Curtis plays the violin and I’m the percussionist,” explained Williams.

When asked about their motivation for fashioning such remarkable music, Williams responded, “We wanted to do something different. We wanted to be able to do our own creative musical outlet.”

The five members are influenced by the grand capacity reflected by a number of unique musicians. These figures include Stefon Harris and Lalo, both jazz vibraphonists; electronic harpist Deborah Henson, singer and pianist Melissa Bledsoe Fischer and jazz tuba player Bob Stewart, among several others.

Pop influences include the beats of Justin Timberlake and the orchestrations of Panic! at the Disco.

NeoCollege has already released one album entitled “Against the Current,” which was completed in 2005. In addition, their forthcoming album, “City Nights,” is scheduled for release this May.

NeoCollage has been especially active in New York State, holding performances in Rochester, Cooperstown and New York City.

The group’s unmatched talent and charisma has earned them a spot in the semi-finals of the 2006 Independent Music World Series.

On March 23, NeoCollage sent rhythmic waves of euphoria vibrating through the walls of Common Ground Caf. Dressed in stylish attire, they performed several selections from both their albums. The group wrote and performed these prominent tracks, which include “Rhapsody,” “Agent,” “Ms. Vodka” and “Broke.” “Tango,” also performed by NeoCollage, is a remake of an Astor Piazzolla tune.

They proficiently used the electric harp, percussion, violin, acoustic base, and electric base, to produce a vivacious performance with each note resonating powerfully through Wilson Commons. By the end of the night, the packed crowd was left awed by the celebrated two-hour performance. NeoCollage is sure to astonish and carve their prevailing tunes into the soul of any music enthusiast.

Today, NeoCollage is busy working to perfect and promote their upcoming album, “City Nights.” One of NeoCollage’s goals with this album is to intertwine a melodic quilt of varying musical domains. The album is designed to personify the upscale and classy endeavors that magically harbor the youth-driven urban world.

“This album is really exciting because it chronicles a journey through the night in the city – all the way from the night to the next morning,” Williams said.

Fans, as well as those interested in learning and hearing more about NeoCollage are invited to visit the following websites:

Tase is a member of the class of 2010.

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