A new era for PRIZM Ensemble

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A new era for PRIZM Ensemble

Our former chair Dr. Abby Parrill-Baker recently stepped down to dedicate her time fully in her new role as Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Memphis. We are thankful for all that she has done to continue to support our organization through the years, and are excited to see what she has in store for the students at the UofM.

With change comes new responsibility.

PRIZM co-founder Carina Nyberg Washington is stepping up as our new board chair. We know her tenure and tenacity for our organization will bring a new level of commitment to drive our mission forward. We’ve also elected PRIZM alumna Elisha Johnson to the board of directors. We look forward to getting Elisha’s fresh perspective to help us continue to connect with Memphis youth in a creative, meaningful way. Get to know them below. 

Get reacquainted with Carina.

Carina has been an integral part of PRIZM Ensemble since co-founding the organization with her husband Lecolion Washington in 2009. Since then, she has helped the organization drive its mission to make chamber music performance and education accessible to the Greater Memphis community. 

During her time in Memphis, she operated a private clarinet studio, performed across the Mid-South and served as an adjunct at the University of Memphis. In 2017, she transferred her nonprofit expertise to her current role as an executive assistant at Verve Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Meet Elisha.

Elisha Johnson is the newest member of PRIZM’s board of directors. She recently earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Central Arkansas. 

Elisha was a student of PRIZM Ensemble, carrying with her into college a passion for cultivating representation in music education as early as prekindergarten. During her high school years, she regularly participated in PRIZM’s annual Summer Camp and International Chamber Music Festival, which helped her advance her skills in French horn performance. She’s currently a member of the National Association of Music Education. 

A new era

The 2022-23 board kick starts a new era for PRIZM. We have developed plans for the coming months to expand the organization’s efforts to provide more affordable opportunities for students to participate in intensive instruction outside their school bands and orchestras. In our new era, we are reviving the PRIZM Chamber Orchestra – a rotating group of professional chamber musicians – to perform free or affordable concerts for various communities across the city year-round. 

We’re excited to embark on this journey, and we hope you’ll continue to get involved and support PRIZM as we hit higher notes and extend our reach in the Memphis community.