In his acceptance speech, the US bassist acknowledged the organisation’s influence on his career 


Photo: Nicole Roche

Joseph Conyers

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On 23 March – the last day of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) national conference in Louisville, Kentucky – US bassist Joseph Conyers received the organisation’s Artist Teacher Award. It was given to him by ASTA past president Kristen Pellegrino at the Kentucky International Convention Center. In presenting it to him, she described Conyers as one of the ‘premier bassists of his generation and also a phenomenal teacher.’

In his acceptance speech, Conyers said: ’Being part of this musical family is one of the most important things in my life, because of what it has done for me, and also because I get to work with young people and encourage them to know that in a world of turmoil, there is a place of solace that we can all find together, and that is in the music that we make. Thank you so much for all you do, and know that, if you are asked how you are changing the world, you can say I am doing it one student at a time.’

P440 Graduation

Photo: Al B For Photography

Conyers with graduates of his social entrepreneurship scheme, Project 440

Conyers is the principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective. As a teacher, he runs the music training and mentoring programme Project 440, teaches at the Juilliard School and gives masterclasses across the US. He founded Project 440 in Savannah in 2007, later relocating it to Philadelphia. It concentrates on community entrepreneurship and leadership while developing young people’s passion for music. Its Doing Good programme, for example, helps Philadelphia high-school students run large-scale community artistic projects. 

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