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from the
NYC Summer Youth Employment Program

Isaac Berroa, Summer Intern

Isaac is a college student and trumpet player who will provide social media commentary about opera and classical music from an instrumentalist's perspective on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Read his blog post on Terence Blanchard below.

A Brief Description of Terence Blanchard: The Man with a Trumpet’s Roar

Terence Blanchard is a remarkable trumpeter who has been an important figure in the performing arts industry. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to a father who was a part-time opera singer. He is a 6-time Grammy Award Winner and is a 2-time Oscar Award Nominee. Some of the Grammys that he has won were with his collaboration with Spike Lee as a composer for some of his films. He has done a lot of social work and activism for the African American community such as his project with the Metropolitan Opera, “Fire Shut Up My Bones”, which tells the story of journalist Charles M. Blow’s youthful encounter with violence. This project was significant because it is the first time an African American composer’s music has been presented at the Metropolitan Opera during its 130 year run. 

Terence Blanchard has even collaborated with fellow trumpeter Wynton Marsalis for several years. From Terence Blanchard’s website, “In summer music camps, he became friends with Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis. After a teenage stint touring with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, in 1982 Wynton recommended him to take his place in Art Blakley’s Jazz Messengers. Blanchard joined and served until 1986 as the band’s music director—the same role Shorter, the band’s primary composer, filled from 1959-1963.” This event would lead on to Blanchard taking on more projects and eventually transition to include a different genre of music, opera. He was inspired by his father to engage in that field of music which in turn caused him to collaborate with the MET OPERA. 

Terence Blanchard is a man with many talents, but also many passions. From the love of his father of music, to diverting and creating his own love for it, himself. He has helped communities bring awareness to the performing arts industry and because of that, it has led a lot of aspiring young African American children to be more engaged in it. From Opera, to Jazz, and through media, Blanchard has inspired many to keep going with their craft. Blanchard’s journey had to do with him taking multiple paths instead of taking one path, which resulted in him being a part of different communities and taking on the experience from that community and putting it to the other one. This inspires me to take on a similar route where I’m able to learn from and transfer it to something else due to the connection that I may have with it.


Isaac Berroa-MORE Opera Intern


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