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Sweet Sounds: Brooklyn College Announces Music Appointment

The inaugural Tania León Chair of Music is conductor and educator Malcolm J. Merriweather, who will assume the position in the fall of 2024.
Tania León (L) and Malcolm J. Merriweather.

Brooklyn College and its School of Visual Media and Performing Arts (SVMPA) announced the creation of the Tania León Chair of Music and awarded the position to conductor and educator Malcolm J. Merriweather. 

The position was funded by the Tow Foundation and named in honor of León, who taught at Brooklyn College beginning in 1985 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2019, according to a news release. 

Malcolm J. Merriweather, who has taught at the college since 2015, will assume the chair position in the fall of 2024, with the endowment supporting his teaching, research, and mentorship to nurture diverse talent.

"It is a great honor to have the first ever chair in music at Brooklyn College endowed in my name," said León. "This extraordinary school has been both a haven and an inspiration for me for over thirty years, and it offers the best of what music and the arts can be: powerful, relevant, innovative, and reflective of the diversity of our great city. It gives me tremendous hope for the future to know that this position will help support singular talents like Malcolm J. Merriweather, in both their teaching and their creative pursuits."

Merriweather currently serves as director of the New York Philharmonic Chorus and music director of The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, and his acclaimed world premiere recordings have been nominated for a GRAMMY Award. He was the founding artistic director of “Voices of Haiti,” a 60-member children’s choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

"I am honored beyond words to be named as the inaugural Tania León Chair of Music," said Merriweather. "Tania is a gift, both for her singular music-making and her irrepressibly joyful presence, and her unwavering commitment to mentoring the next generation of talent. I look forward to building upon the extraordinary example she has set, and using this opportunity to develop new ways to guide and support the musical voices of the future."

The new position will be celebrated on March 28, with Tania León in conversation with Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson, as well as a performance by Merriweather of a work by León.