MTA Arts & Design hosts music event in New York

52 finalists selected from more than 100 applicants across music genres competed to be added to the list

Check out the photos from today’s audition

Check out the highlights from today’s audition

Watch the welcome video

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Arts & Design held auditions today at Madison Grand Central Station for the New York Music Initiative (MTA MUSIC), now in its 34th year. All musicians who auditioned submitted their applications to Music Under New York by the March 1 deadline, and 52 finalists were selected. The finalists had five minutes to perform before a panel of two dozen judges composed of music industry professionals, members of cultural institutions and MTA MUSIC musicians.

“It’s always incredible to see a group of musicians eager to perform in an MTA music program – the judges certainly had a tough decision to make because of how talented they are,” said Sandra Bloodworth, MTA Director of Art and Design. “New York music is an important part of Arts & Design’s mission to create meaningful experiences for all who use the MTA system, and through our annual auditions, MTA MUSIC selects talented new performers to add to the roster, and in Improve your transportation experience over the next few months and times.

“Last year was the first year we’ve held auditions since 2019, so it’s exciting to be hosting MTA Music’s annual auditions again.” said Shanifah Rieara, MTA chief account officer and senior advisor. “Whether you ride the subway regularly or not, chances are you’ll encounter one of the many talented performers on your journey, and that’s the purpose of this program – to create a positive experience for everyone who travels through New York’s transit system.”

The auditionees were judged on their quality, suitability for the traffic environment and musical diversity, with the aim of increasing the number of genres represented in the programme. Twenty-five new actors will be added to the show’s roster, with the MTA School of Art and Design to announce new show members in June.

This year, morning performances include salsa, funk, Andean music, Latin fusion, jazz band, folk, electric violin, accordion and charango guitar. Afternoon sessions include classical, pop, reggae, rock, rhythm and blues, singer-songwriter, bolero and gayageum.

About MTA Music

MTA MUSIC features more than 350 performers showcasing classical strings, jazz ensembles, world orchestras, folk, a cappella groups, singer-songwriters and more, playing a variety of instruments such as Gambian kora, Korean drums, West Indian steel drums, Andean flutes, Cajun cellos, Celtic and Baroque harps, guitars, violins, hammered dulcimer and musical saws. Performers perform at 45 MTA MUSIC locations throughout the transit system, including subway stations, MTA commuter rail terminals and the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The MTA Center for Arts and Design hosts more than 7,500 musical performances annually on the transportation system. Musicians performed at designated locations and held New York Music banners with their names and the New York Music logo.

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