-Sonic Spark Lab Registration-

Connecting Students in Detroit and New York City through CREATIVITY

Through a new initiative of ACO, in partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and supporting organizations including the New York PhilharmonicYouth Orchestra of St. Lukes, and En.Jinn Arts, Sonic Spark Lab will use an innovative new networked environment to become the creative link between students in Detroit and New York City!

ACO Sonic Spark Lab
ACO SONIC SPARK LAB is a hands-on, project-based composition program. Sonic Spark Lab inspires curiosity, grows imaginations, and engages creativity – as students build sparks of their musical ideas to full artistic realization.

This new Sonic Spark Lab initiative is a program of the American Composers Orchestra presented in partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Classes in Detroit and New York City will create together in real-time, connected via Cohere Touch, a networked learning environment developed by Trevor New with the support of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory Fellowship, and adapted for education by the nonprofit, En.J.inn Arts (enjinnarts.org). Trevor New will be the Lead Teaching Artist for this exciting new class.

Learn more from Trevor and Nick about the program!



Scroll down to find the registration form and more info

In Sonic Spark Lab we explore questions like:

  • Where do our best ideas live and how do we find them?
  • How do skills and ideas come together to create meaning?
  • How does collaboration magnify our efforts, even from a great distance?
Things that make this class fun:
  • Class size is limited to ensure individualized attention.
  • Class time is built around the examination of a variety of approaches to sound exploration.
  • Students will complete at least one individual project and one collaborative project during the semester.

This class is perfect for students with an interest in self expression. It provides approaches for funneling our creative energies into music and prepares students to more deeply explore the creative arts. To get the most out of our classes, students should have some prior music experience, but there are no minimum requirements beyond enthusiasm.

Learn more about Cohere Touch!

I am extremely appreciative for all of the time, work, and dedication that the SPARK Team has given to my children. It has made a wonderful difference and a lasting impact on their creativity, confidence, and learning.

His teacher was such a gift. The way [they] talked to the class, encouraged their creativity, and offered such kindness to the group was beautiful... a wonderful experience during this time.

Important Information

8th –10th grades.
Older or younger students may be admitted with a teacher recommendation – register here and we’ll be in touch. 

NEW YORK: The Resnick Education Wing at Carnegie Hall (154 West 57th Street in Manhattan).
DETROIT: “The Max” (3711 Woodward Ave, Detroit). 

Classes are offered in-person only at each location, but will be connected in real-time over the internet via Cohere Touch, a networked learning environment developed by Trevor New with the support of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory Fellowship, and adapted for education by the nonprofit En.Jinn Arts (enjinnarts.org).

Days & Times:
February 4, 11, 18 —  March 4, 18, 25  — April 1, 15, 22  —  May 6, 13.
1pm-2:15pm (ET). 

Depending on interest, we may be able to offer an additional class from 2:30pm-3:45pm on Saturdays.
Final presentations will take place during the final class on May 13.  


With great appreciation for our New York City Partners who are so instrumental in helping us make this program happen:

Many thanks to the 
Resnick Education Wing at Carnegie Hall for hosting our New York City classes


Fill out and submit the form below – you’ll need to scroll through this section to see all the questions. When you hit “Submit”, you’ll receive a confirmation that your registration has been received at the top of the form.

Questions & Information

If you have any questions or would like further information on how you child could benefit from Education programming offered by the American Composers Orchestra or the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, contact :

ACO Education Director Kevin James: 212.977.8495 ext. 202 or education@americancomposers.org
DSO Debora Kang Director of Education: 313..576.5598‬ or dkang@dso.org

Meet the Teaching Artists

All of our Teaching Artists are active professional composers with burgeoning careers and exceptional teaching skills.

Trevor New will be the Lead Teaching Artist for this program and will guide the class with the students in New York City.

Trevor New is a composer, classically trained Violist, technologist, and educator that explores many contexts through music, visuals, and storytelling. His current projects are focused on exploring how we are connected, how we can make music together, near or far, and how these connections can effect the time and space we see as separate. Apart from writing for orchestra and smaller ensembles his work as a sound designer, engineer/producer, and performer can be found in a variety of media, including film scores, arranging, electronic music, TV. Trevor designs pieces where he plays his viola using Ableton Live for looping and effects, and performs in-person or in real-time synchronized multi-location networked performances with people around the world. 

Nicholas Felder will be our Detroit-based Teaching Artist.

Having a passion for community engagement and working with youth, Nicholas Felder creates art that inspires relational bonds between people in a given space. He builds community in artmaking, unlocking truths around self-identity, and creating a space for embodied expression. Nicholas currently leads an Activism Through Art program at the Neutral Zone, a teen-driven nonprofit in Ann Arbor, MI, and loves to encourage teens to express their social and political views through artmaking.

An active composer and collaborator, Nicholas recently worked with co-composer Alfredo Cabrera at The School at Marygrove in Detroit on a project called “Sing My Song.” Under the Hampsong Foundation’s partnership with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, Nicholas and Alfredo led workshops to guide a class through writing, recording, and producing a song about experiencing and overcoming trauma.

For more on Nicholas, find him at https://soundcloud.com/nicholas-felder-845603463

Our Mission & Vision

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

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