Recent Interlochen Arts Academy graduate to be featured in From the Top’s Juneteenth special

A recipient of the program’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, clarinetist Najee Greenlee will perform Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Clarinet Quintet in F-Sharp Minor with four Arts Academy peers.

Najee Greenlee

Clarinetist Najee Greenlee, a recent Interlochen Arts Academy graduate from Flint, Michigan, will be featured on the Juneteenth special of NPR’s classical music program, From the Top. The episode will air the week of June 14 and will also be available to stream on demand on From the Top’s website.

The most popular weekly one-hour music program on public radio, From the Top features performances by young artists as well as conversations with them about musical pursuits and day-in-the-life musings. Since the show’s inception in 2000, more than 300 students from Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp have been featured.

The Juneteenth-themed episode will feature young Black musicians from across the country and will highlight music by Black composers including Florence Price, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Sam Cooke, and Ebun Oguntola, an emerging 15-year-old composer. Grammy Award-winning musician Kevin Olusola of the a capella group Pentatonix will serve as guest co-host.

During the episode, Greenlee will be interviewed by host Peter Dugan and will perform the second movement of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Clarinet Quintet in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 10 with fellow Arts Academy students Aidan Kreiger (violin), Valerie Xu-Friedman (violin), Emma Boyd (viola), and Gabriel Hennebury (cello).

In addition to his appearance on the show, Greenlee received From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, a $10,000 prize awarded to promising young artists to help offset the costs of studying classical music at a high level. Each year, From the Top chooses approximately 20 exceptional pre-collegiate musicians ages 8-18 to receive the award. Greenlee is the fourth Interlochen Arts Academy student to receive the award this year, joining cellist Maximus Gurath, oboist Elizabeth Perez-Hickman, and guitarist Daniela Santiago Martinez.

From the Top’s programs are made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment of the Arts, a grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, partnerships with radio stations nationwide, and contributions from generous individuals.