Steinhardt Student Songwriters Open for Eagles at Inaugural Vision Award Gala

Last night served as a final exam for three student songwriters in the 2012 fall Songwriters Forum, offered through the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.

Under the direction of NYU Steinhardt faculty members  Phil Galdston, Ron Sadoff, and Glenn Frey, co-founder of the American rock band, the Eagles, sophomore Tiger Darrow, senior A.J. Smith, and junior Peter Wise opened for the famous act at the first NYU Steinhardt Vision Award Gala. Darrow, Smith, and Wise performed their original songs, “How to Love Someone,” “Kings & Crowns,” and “Our Ship Has Sailed,” respectively, while the NYU Steinhardt Orchestral String Ensemble joined the Eagles for hits “Desperado” and “Take it to the Limit.”

The inaugural event raised more than $1 million. Funds will be used for Steinhardt student scholarships.

“I’ve gone through so many emotions,” Darrow explained. “The initial shock from being asked to open — complete pre-show stage fright and nerves, then back to ‘oh my goodness…this really happened.’”

Darrow continued. “What’s really fantastic about working so closely with Professor Sadoff, Professor Galdston, and Mr. Frey is that it feels more like a collaborative effort rather than a ‘class’ or ‘lesson.’ They’ve all said that they are not here to teach us how to write songs, but to give us tools and new ways of thinking to help us become better songwriters.”

Musicians Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit, and Joe Walsh, along with philanthropists Judy and Michael Steinhardt, were the first recipients of the Vision Award, which recognizes individuals whose creativity, passion, and innovative thinking have shaped the American experience.

“We honored the Eagles for their distinctive musical vision, which continues to inspire NYU Steinhardt students, and for making music that has become the soundtrack of our lives,” said Dean Mary Brabeck. “We honored the Steinhardts for their contributions that have strengthened American Jewish life, supported education and the arts, and enriched the academic culture of NYU and the school that bears their name.”

Following his appearance as a featured guest at NYU Steinhardt’s third Songwriters Hall of Fame Masters Sessions, Frey emerged as one of the primary instructors in the fall 2012 Songwriters Forum. The Forum is a core seminar of NYU Steinhardt’s new songwriting program.

“Glenn has been an invaluable resource, a wonderful partner, and a loyal supporter,” Galdston explained. “He’s gone way beyond his celebrity and stature as a member of one of the world’s greatest bands, and is playing a significant role helping us to forge an academic path that’s truly distinctive. As the outstanding collaborator that he is, he is digging in deep with me this term as a dedicated teacher.”

Make sure to check out the New York Times’ story “An Eagle Pushes Students Onto the Stage at the Beacon“ and the AP story, “Eagles’ Glenn Frey Teaches Songwriting; Talks Tour.”