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Rising Hill School Sixth Former Selected for Annual GRAMMY Camp

For as long as she can remember, Mofe Akinyanmi ’21 has been passionate about music.  She began taking violin lessons at just two years of age and shortly after began taking music theory and piano lessons.  Akinyanmi is the second-youngest person to graduate from the Westminster Conservatory Honors Music Program, doing so with high honors, and she currently plays the viola in The Hill School Orchestra.

Akinyanmi soon will have the opportunity to broaden her musical talents on the national level when she participates in the 16th-annual GRAMMY Camp, held from July 14 - 18.  Akinyanmi was one of 84 teenage musicians from 19 states to be invited to participate in the five-day camp in which participants who are interested in a career in music choose from one of eight career tracks and learn from industry professionals.  Guest artists at this year’s camp include Kat Cunning, Moon Taxi, OK GO, Tim Lopez and Tom Higginson from the band Plain White T’s, and Brice Vine.

The eight career tracks the camp offers are Audio Engineering, Electronic Music Production, Songwriting, Vocal Performance, Instrumental Performance, Music Journalism, Video Production and Motion Graphics, and Music Business.  Akinyanmi will participate in the Music Production track. 

Typically held at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, the 2020 camp will be conducted virtually due to Covid-19.  The virtual nature of the camp did not dampen Akinyanmi’s enthusiasm for being chosen as a participant.

“I was really excited when I learned I was chosen to participate,” Akinyanmi said. “They told me they’re happy I applied to the Music Production track because not many women are in the production industry.  When I learned that, it added a little extra meaning for me.  I find it interesting that while many women sing, produce, and song-write, not many produce exclusively. Because of this, most girls really do not have anyone they can see themselves as in the music production industry, which is something I’ll actively think about while I’m in camp.”

Akinyanmi first learned of the camp a few years ago while watching the GRAMMY award show.  While she was interested in the camp, she was unable to attend prior to this year because of another summer camp she attended for several years.  This year, however, the date fit her schedule and she decided to apply in April. 

Applicants must select two career tracks to which they wish to apply.  Akinyanmi chose to apply to songwriting, which required her to write two original songs, and to electronic media production, for which she had to produce two songs.  She additionally made a video in which she introduced herself and discussed her musical interests and ambitions.

In addition to learning more about creating music and what a professional career in the music production industry is like, Akinyanmi hopes to interact with students in other tracks, although she admits that might be difficult to do in Zoom. 

Akinyanmi is heavily involved in school life at Hill in addition to playing in the Orchestra.  She is a member of the varsity tennis, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field teams; she is editor of the “Arts and Leisure” section of The Hill News, and she is a member of several committees including the Women of Color Association, Hobart’s Runners, Black Student Life, and the newly formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.  After graduating from The Hill, she hopes to study Music and Economics in college.