Porfirio PiÃ±a, Director of the BMI Foundation’sÂ peermusic Latin Scholarship, has announced thatÂ Monica FernandezÂ is the winner of the 11th annual peermusic Latin Scholarship, a competition for original Latin songs and instrumental compositions. Fernandez, a native of Monterrey, Mexico and a student at the Berklee College of Music, received the $5,000 scholarship for her song, â€œSepia.â€ The scholarship was presented at a private award ceremony at the BMI New York City office on July 9, 2014.
The scholarship competition was established in 2003 through the generosity ofÂ Ralph PeerÂ II and the peermusic companies. It is awarded annually and is open to students between the ages of 16 and 24 attending colleges and universities in the United States and Puerto Rico. PiÃ±a, who also serves on the BMI Foundation Board of Directors, oversaw the selection and judging process. PiÃ±a said, â€œIt’s an honor to serve as the peermusic Latin Scholarship Director; for the past ten years we have seen the winners go on to work on TV, Film, record labels A&R and performing as solo artists or part of a band.â€ PiÃ±a went on, â€œWe are proud that the scholarship can help those students that are in need to continue their music education.â€
Monica Fernandez said, â€œI am filled with gratitude for the financial assistance to fund my college education; this award gives me the confidence to continue studying music and doing what I love by bringing value to my musical ideas.â€ Fernandez continued, â€œI am so thankful to have the support and encouragement from the BMI Foundation which gives a space for Latin music and aspiring composers like me.â€ Fernandezâ€™s song, â€œSepia,â€ is a love story that speaks to the uncertainty of love; she says that the song is meant to reflect a dream.
â€œpeermusic is proud to support writers like Monica at the earliest stages of their careers,â€ said Mary Megan Peer, President of Asia Pacific and Strategic Markets at peermusic. â€œIn todayâ€™s music market, it is important that songwriters have a deep understanding of arrangement, performance, production and composition. Monicaâ€™s exposure to all of these areas at Berklee will be an asset to her as she develops her craft. Many of our successful Latin writers, including Prince Royce, Alcover and Xtassy (â€œA&Xâ€) and Chayanne, have developed their careers as BMI songwriters.â€
About the BMI Foundation, Inc.
The BMI Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985, is dedicated to encouraging the creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, internships, grants and commissions. Support for the Foundation comes primarily from BMI affiliated songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees, and members of the public with a special interest in music. Many donors have chosen to contribute to the Foundation in the spirit of “giving back” to the field of music, which they feel has been generous to them. Because all members of the Foundation’s staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 91% of all donations and investment income is available for charitable grants. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Throughout the year, the Foundation works to administer the various competitions for awards, scholarships, internships and commissions. The final selections for these programs are entrusted to panels made up of some of the world’s most distinguished artists and musicians, all of whom volunteer their time and knowledge. The focus of these programs is on American music; however, there are several opportunities open to international students. The Foundation also awards grants on an annual basis that are directed primarily to not-for-profit music organizations from around the country. The Foundation’s Advisory Panel reviews and makes recommendations for these awards, which range from the support of classical music groups specializing in contemporary works, to musical theatre programs for inner-city youngsters, to programs designed to preserve and continue indigenous American music such as jazz and blues.
About Monica Fernandez
Born in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico in 1992, Monica grew up surrounded by music. She began writing songs at the age of 12 and started taking singing and piano lessons at the age of 14. Monica has explored different singing styles from classical to R&B. She was an original member of the a capella group â€œCantorama,â€ which focuses on Latin and Mexican music repertoire. With this project she recorded one album and had several performances on local TV, radio stations, and national venues. She then spent five years studying classical music student at the conservatory â€œEscuela Superior de Musica y Danza de Monterrey.â€ Monica was determined to record her EP â€œCondemned to Dream,â€ a collection of music born from stories destined to live as mere dreams, with music and lyrics composed entirely by her. The EP was recorded at Audiexperts studios, where Monica studied in audio engineering under the instruction of producers Gerardo Rocha and Jheiva. She took her songs to Berkleeâ€™s Songwriting Workshop in the summer of 2012. A year later, in 2013, Monica began studying at Berklee College of Music. There she has participated with the Audire Soundtrack Choir, which specializes in the performance and arrangement of music from movies, TV shows and videogames. Together they have presented many concerts at Berklee and elsewhere. They have also made music videos that have been very successful on the Internet, even being acclaimed by the original composers and creators of the shows. Monica also won a place in the Women Musicianâ€™s Network Concert of 2014,where she completed the dÃ©but for her song â€œSepiaâ€, part of â€œCondemned to Dreamâ€, at the Berklee Performance Center.
Founded by Ralph S. Peer in 1928, peermusic is the largest privately-owned music publishing company in the world. With well over a quarter of a million titles in its catalogue, peermusic works in all genres including pop, Latin, country, classical, jazz, blues and rock. peermusic is known for its global presence and worldwide activity having six offices in North America, nine in South America, nine in Europe, and six in Asia. Latin music has been a focus for peermusic since its founding, when Ralph S. Peer was one of the first to bring Mexican music across the border. The Companyâ€™s offices in 30 countries put its global footprint on a similar scale to any other major music publisher yet still allows their writers to receive personal, boutique attention and service.