New School News

“Trade Winds” Carries Mannes Alumni to Nairobi

Children in Nairobi being taught by Mannes alumni Ellen Hindson and Nicholas Walls.

Outreach: it’s the core concept for the quintet Trade Winds.  In fact, their very first meeting was devoted not to playing music, but to interpreting the meaning of outreach, and how it can be expressed musically. One year and a three-week workshop in Kenya later, these five young musicians—some recent New School graduates—continue to find new ways to make outreach part of their mission.

“It’s our way of paying it forward,” said oboist and Mannes College The New School for Music alumna Ellen Hindson. “All of us feel lucky to have had the teachers, training, and resources for our own musical journeys. We want to inspire confidence, give support, and provide engaging workshops to those that would otherwise not have access to musical education.”

Trade Winds’ mission is a direct reflection of The New School’s commitment to social development and engagement through free expression.  “In organizing this group, all of us held the conviction that reaching out to communities in need is not only something ‘good,’ but something essential,” said Hindson.

Founded in May of 2012, Trade Winds is comprised of young professional woodwind players whose aim is to provide musical education to youth in the east African country, as well as here at home. Mannes alumnus and hornist Nicholas Walls, flutist Christina Hughes, oboist Ellen Hindson, clarinetist Brian Gnojek, and bassoonist Midori Samson offered free music classes and musical performances to young people in Nairobi during a visit in May and June of this year. Partnering with local institutions like the Art of Music Foundation, the Barbara Jasinka Rise and Shine Academy, and the International School of Kenya, the quintet collaborated with the Nairobi Orchestra during their stay to further promote art, culture, and knowledge exchange.

To learn more about Trade Winds, visit their website at

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