Bienen School alumna Kellen Pomeranz ’11, who goes by Pom Pom, won a Grammy Award for best R&B album as a cowriter and coproducer on John Legend’s album Bigger Love.
A New York-based producer and songwriter, Pomeranz cowrote and coproduced “Conversations in the Dark,” the lead single from Bigger Love (Columbia Records). The song hit #1 on iTunes after Legend performed it on the TV show This is Us, and it has since been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Pomeranz studied music technology at the Bienen School of Music and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2011.
In addition, Bienen School alumni and faculty were well represented among this year’s other Grammy nominees.
For the fifth consecutive year, Bienen School director of choral organizations Donald Nally and his new-music choir The Crossing received a Grammy nomination for best choral performance, this year for Carthage, with music by James Primosch. The album features alumni Micah Dingler ’09 MMus, Robby Eisentrout ’15, Dimitri German ’16 MMus, Michael Jones ’14 MMus, Chelsea Lyons ’17 MMus, and Elisa Sutherland ’12, ’14 MMus, with Kevin Vondrak ’17 MMus as assistant conductor and assistant producer.
This was Nally and the choir’s sixth Grammy nomination to date; they have won twice previously for best choral performance—in 2018 for Gavin Bryars’s The Fifth Century and in 2019 for Lansing McLoskey’s Zealot Canticles.
Dover Quartet, the Bienen School’s Quartet-in-Residence since 2015, received its first Grammy nomination, for best chamber music/small ensemble performance for The Schumann Quartets.
Third Coast Percussion—with alumni Sean Connors ’06 MMus; Robert Dillon ’02; Peter Martin ’04 MMus, ’11 DMus; and David Skidmore ’05—also was nominated for best chamber music/small ensemble performance for Fields (also nominated for best engineered classical album). Third Coast Percussion won a 2017 Grammy for Steve Reich and was nominated in 2020 for Perpetulum.
Josephine Lee ’07 MMus, vocalist for Ted Hearne’s Place, was nominated for best chamber music/small ensemble performance with Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, and Ayanna Woods. This was Lee’s first nomination.
Baritone Stephen Powell ’86 received his first two Grammy nominations. His recording American Composers at Play: William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto was nominated for best classical solo vocal album.
Powell’s second nomination was for best opera recording as a principal soloist for Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen with conductor Gil Rose, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera Chorus, and soprano Heather Buck.
From the Latin Recording Academy, Tony Alonso ’02 was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the best Spanish-language Christian album category for Caminemos con Jesús. The collection of sacred music celebrates Alonso’s Cuban heritage and features performances by some of the finest Cuban American musicians in the United States.