• Jennifer Hurley-Wales and Gerald Slavet conceive of an old-time radio program featuring young musicians to be taped at the newly-restored New England Conservatory’s (NEC) Jordan Hall


  • Concert Productions Inc. (CPI) creates a demo radio program entitled Child’s Play hosted by Gerald Slavet as Executive Producer with musician George Russell, Jr., and Producers Wesley Horner & Jennifer Hurley-Wales


  • Jennifer Hurley-Wales and Gerald Slavet invite concert pianist Christopher O’Riley to serve as host
  • Relationships form with Public Radio International (PRI) and WGBH in Boston
  • First pilot Young Performance taped at New England Conservatory (NEC)’s Jordan Hall in Boston with Christopher O’Riley as host
  • Second Young Performance pilot plays for a focus group at Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) National Conference


  • New program title “From the Top” is introduced at the PRPD National Conference
  • From the Top, NEC, and the Education Development Center (EDC) join forces to pilot an education program at the Lincoln-Eliot School in Newton, MA


  • U.S. Department of Education provides $3 million in start-up funding over the next four years
  • Tom Voegeli is named as Producer.
  • Three more pilot programs are produced, with two recorded at Jordan Hall featuring special guests Richard Stoltzman and Mark O’Connor
  • Hayley Goldbach is cast as Co-Announcer
  • Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” is first performed as theme by Christopher O’Riley
  • Show #1 is recorded at Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA


  • Weekly radio broadcast of From the Top launches on 100 stations; PRI reports carriage at 132 stations within the first month
  • Joanne Robinson cast as Announcer, Hayley Goldbach re-cast as Roving Reporter
  • Program eliminates controversial “Audience Choice” competition after first taping season
  • First interdisciplinary curriculum is developed and piloted in two Boston public schools
  • Francis Hunnewell joins staff as CEO to expand funding base


  • From the Top carried on 200 stations with the fastest growth of any music program in history
  • Second interdisciplinary curriculum (math, music, and technology) is developed and piloted in Boston Public Schools
  • From the Top becomes a member of the National Consortium for Music-in-Education
  • Partnership is forged with Cherry Lane and From the Top education materials appear in Cherry Lane Magazines reaching 300,000 kids and 15,000 teachers


  • From the Top carried on 231 radio stations nationwide
  • Arts Leadership program developed; nine From the Top alumni participate in five Massachusetts school programs
  • In partnership with Music Educators National Conference (MENC), From the Top produces seven music lesson plans available on MENC and From the Top websites
  • From the Top partners with Young Audiences to develop an in-school residency program


  • From the Top carried on 245 radio stations nationwide
  • Peter Rosen Productions records TV demo at Oberin show
  • From the Top incorporates as independent 501(c) 3 non-profit
  • New Board of Directors created. Francis O. Hunnewell becomes Chairman; Jennifer Hurley-Wales and Gerald Slavet are named CEOs & Directors; 8 Directors are appointed
  • From the Top launches Young Composer Project
  • In partnership with Young Audiences, From the Top creates Make Your Own Radio Show in-school residency for 5-8 graders with pilots in three states


  • From the Top teams up with McGraw-Hill Publishers to feature From the Top musicians in music textbook series for grades 2-12, expected to reach millions of kids over five years
  • Arts leadership workshops begin, training every performer who appears on the radio show to return to their community as advocates for the arts and peer role models
  • Board of Overseers forms to engage a select group of donors as ambassadors
  • 250 attend From the Top’s first event fundraiser at Jordan Hall with special guest, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg


  • From the Top partners with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to identify and award 25 deserving young musicians a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award of $10,000 in support of furthering their musical education
  • 200 attend Impromptu, From the Top’s first gala fundraising event – a dinner followed by a live concert taping in Boston’s Symphony Hall
  • Caeli Smith named new Roving Reporter


  • NPR begins national distribution of From the Top
  • UBS becomes national corporate sponsor for the radio series
  • Taping of a 13-part TV series From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall is produced by Don Mischer Productions for From the Top and WGBH, in association with Carnegie Hall with exclusive corporate sponsorship by Liberty Mutual
  • Second annual Gala raises over $300,000, nearly three times more than the previous year
  • From the Top is awarded a grant from The Wallace Foundation to support Turn It Up!, an education program for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in Boston Public Schools


  • Broadcast of From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall debuts on PBS in April
  • Third annual Gala raises over $350,000 setting a new record
  • Tajah Coleman-Jones and Emily Mayer named new Roving Reporters
  • Launch of From the Top’s e-newsletter publications: eNews From the Top and The Roving Report – From the Top’s Teen eNewsletter
  • Launch of the From the Top Soirée series, which introduces new audiences to From the Top through intimate performances in homes across the nation
  • From the Top is taped live in Aspen, CO, presented by the Aspen Music Festival and School. In Aspen, From the Top hosts the first ever Alumni Gathering, bringing together more than 40 performers from previous shows


  • Emmy Award-winning director Gary Halvorson joins Don Mischer Productions to direct the second season, renamed From the Top at Carnegie Hall
  • The first TV season entitled From the Top: Live from Carnegie earns three Daytime Emmy nominations
  • Fourth From the Top Gala is held at WGBH Studios and raises more than $375,000 in charitable support.
  • Through “Iowa Makes Music” From the Top collaborates with Orchestra Iowa to bring the power, joy, and excitement of classical music to Iowa youth and families through a mulit-year residency funded by the United States Department of Education
  • From the Top teams up with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops to present a weekend of live concerts, radio broadcast and CD recording


  • Three episodes of From the Top at Carnegie Hall are offered on PBS National Primetime following Great Performances
  • From the Top at Carnegie Hall receives five Daytime Emmy nominations
  • From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award more than $1 Million in scholarships to musicians with financial need
  • From the Top creates a “Teacher Kit” of multimedia products and learning activities based on the radio and television broadcasts to enliven classroom learning
  • 200th radio broadcast taped at Heifeitz International Music Institute in Wolfeboro, NH
  • Telarc releases From the Top at the Pops CD featuring From the Top performers with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops
  • From the Top at Carnegie Hall receives two Daytime Emmys


  • In partnership with Hawaii Public Radio, From the Top brings the radio show and education programs to Hawaii Island and reaches more than 2000 community members, made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education
  • In honor of its 10th Anniversary, From the Top profiles ten outstanding alumni on the radio show and in an online video series
  • Fifth From the Top Gala is held at Boston’s Symphony Hall and includes a live taping of the radio show with the Boston Pops. The gala raised $385,000
  • From the Top awards the first Margaret Stewart Lindsay Arts Leadership Awards to support high school and college students implement music-based community projects in the Boston area


  • From the Top in partnership with Carnegie Hall hosts “Big Break,” its first online competition for young classical musicians culminating in a concert at Carnegie Hall and radio taping at WQXR in New York
  • From the Top launches the Center for Development of Arts Leaders (CDAL) and begins a year-long Boston pilot program for 20 arts leaders, 4 mentors, and 5 community partner sites
  • The third and final year of Iowa Makes Music residency is completed with Orchestra Iowa
  • For the first time, From the Top “broadcasts” an entire radio episode on YouTube, taped at the EG Conference in Monterey, California
  • Guest artists include Sir James Galway, Michael Feinstein, and Jake Shimabukuro


  • In collaboration with Boston Children’s Chorus, From the Top produces its second special dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Completes the first year of the CDAL Boston pilot: 20 teens, 4 mentors, and 5 partners all working to improve the lives of hundreds of Boston residents through music
  • From the Top goes INTERNATIONAL, taping a radio episode in Bogota, Colombia, bringing incredible energy and passion of Colombia’s youth to American audiences
  • From the Top salutes military families at the Military Child Education Coalition in Grapevine, Texas and receives a special serenade from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey
  • From the Top goes to Beijing, China, taping two episodes with the Great Wall Academy and the Central Conservatory and exploring the explosion of classical music in Chinese culture
  • Guest artist cellist Matt Haimovitz joins From the Top for an all-cello show at Troy Music Hall in Troy, New York
  • From the Top’s Beatboxing Bach video – featuring alumni Kadar Qian (piano) and Kevin Olusola (beatbox) reinventing a movement from Goldberg Variations – becomes a YouTube hit and a model for future From the Top videos


  • From the Top collaborates with two great American orchestras – the Colorado Symphony and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • From the Top graduates a second class of 23 teenage musicians from its Center for the Development of Arts Leaders Boston – the arts leaders donated more than 2,000 hours increasing access to high-quality music for school children, seniors, and patients facing cancer treatment at five community partner sites
  • Ninth annual gala is held at Back Bay Events Center in Boston and sets record, raising $415,000 in charitable support
  • From the Top returns to Aspen Music Festival and School for a weekend residency, including a radio taping, arts leadership orientation workshop and outreach, performer auditions, alumni picnic, and donor receptions
  • From the Top musicians perform at conference events for Sterling Partners, Greylock Partners, and the Kellogg Innovation Network at Northwestern University
  • Co-founder Gerald Slavet speaks at Google Zeitgeist and presents a series of performances by From the Top musicians
  • A quartet of From the Top musicians record a cover from Sting’s new album for the CDZA/Interscope Records’ Impromptu series on YouTube
  • From the Top pilots an all-day assembly at the three campuses of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, bringing the power of music to 1,000 K-8 students in Dorchester, Massachusetts


  • From the Top travels to the Eastman School of Music for a recording with the legendary Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway.
  • From the Top alum Yuki Beppu is invited to appear and play on Good Morning America after a video featuring Yuki playing a Lady Gaga/classical mashup goes viral.
  • From the Top helps the Starling Chamber Orchestra celebrate it’s 25th Anniversary with a recording featuring the Orchestra and From the Top alumni Charles Yang, Tessa Lark, and Jonathan Miron.
  • From the Top receives significant grants from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, and the Free for All Concert Fund, to support expanded outreach programming in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Boston, Massachusetts; Morehead, Kentucky; Miami Beach, Florida; Tacoma, Washington; and Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Tenth annual gala is held at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and sets a new fundraising record, raising more than $420,000 to support From the Top’s programming.
  • From the Top celebrates the special milestone of $2 million in scholarships awarded since the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award Program’s launch in 2005.
  • From the Top musicians perform at The Milken Institute Global Conference, the YouTube Global Summit, and The Aspen Ideas Festival.
  • From the Top and the National Youth Orchestra of the USA collaborate to kick off the NYOUSA’s 2014-15 season
  • From the Top launches new mobile-friendly, responsive website


  • From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation celebrated 10 years of partnership at a special “all-scholarship” recording at GW’s Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC, followed by educational outreach at River Bend Middle School.
  • NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley records its 300th show at NEC’s Jordan Hall in Boston.
  • From the Top musicians collaborate with a Boston rapper to record cover of “See You Again”, which becomes third most viewed video on From the Top’s YouTube channel
  • Guest artists Matt Haimovitz, Lisa Delan, and Danny Elfman appear on NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley
  • The eleventh annual gala is held at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and sets a new fundraising record, raising more than $450,000 to support From the Top’s programming.
  • From the Top records its first ever celebration of Jewish music and composers at Temple Beth Eloihim in Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • From the Top commissions alum and composer/bassist Michael Thurber to create “The Three Musketeers: A Play for Instruments” featuring Charles Yang, Mark Dover, Kris Bowers, and Thurber on bass. The piece premieres at Interlochen Arts Academy, with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, led by Dr. Carolyn Watson.
  • Four From the Top alumni travel to Hazard, Kentucky, for the first-ever alumni arts leadership residency, spending a week working with local students in an exploration of how music can create positive change in a local community.
  • The Center for the Development of Arts Leaders kicks celebrates its 5th season with a record-breaking 50+ Boston-based musicians joining the leadership program.
  • From the Top receives a 2-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program.
  • From the Top piano alum George Li (who placed 2nd at the International Tchaikovsky Competition), appears as a special guest at a recording of NPR’s From the Top, collaborating with NEC’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declare October 4, 2015 to be From the Top/Young Musicians Day.
  • From the Top records its first “house concert” radio program at a private residence in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.
  • From the Top produces a Star Wars-themed piano trio video that is shared more than 44,000 times and seen by more than 2 million viewers.


  • From the Top launches “See the Music”, a weekly online video series. A collaboration with classical trio Time For Three results in more than 4 million video views.
  • 15-year-old pianist Amir Siraj, a member of CDAL Boston, produces a benefit concert for Music for Food, raising more than $5,000 to support the Brookline Food Pantry.
  • From the Top collaborates with the Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on a recording of NPR’s From the Top, featuring alumni of the Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition.
  • From the Top travels to Miami, Florida for the organization’s second alumni residency, culminating in a public concert, Sounds and Stories, featuring more than 250 young musicians from five Miami area schools.
  • From the Top forms a pilot partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, providing audio, video, and live performances to the Hospital’s Seacrest Studios.
  • NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley records a special show with the Rochester Philarmonic, featuring the broadcast premiere of 16-year-old composer Benjamin Wenzelberg’s first orchestra piece,”Maelström”.
  • CDAL Boston welcomes its largest class in history, more than 60 young musicians. CDAL musicians conduct teaching residencies at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Dorchester and musiConnects at Lena Park Community Center. Others participate in the Community Performance Series, engaging audiences at the Boston Children’s Museum, The Women’s Lunch Place in Boston, Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline Village, and Center Communities of Brookline.
  • From the Top collaborates with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society to features the latter’s Young Women’s Chamber Choir on a recording of NPR’s From the Top. 
  • More than 26 young Boston-area musicians and creatives collaborate on the See the Music video project “Express Yourself: Say Yes”, a cover of alum Jon Batiste’s popular song, produced in partnership with Artists for Humanity.
  • NPR’s From the Top travels to Hawai’i for two recordings and an extended arts leadership residency, in partnership with Hawai’i Public Radio and Hawaii Youth Symphony.
  • The #Note4Note program, From the Top’s first crowd-funding effort, raises funds to commission a new piece of music from former Music Director Tom Vignieri.


  • In collaboration with the Buffalo Philharmonic, NPR’s From the Top is presented exclusively for an audience of music students. Later recordings in Danville, Kentucky and Miami, Florida follow a similar model.
  • The From the Top first Arts Leadership Grant is launched. Designed to provide cash grants to From the Top alumni engaged in arts leadership projects, the Grant, supported by the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, provides funding to four alumni: Ariel Horowitz, who’s “Heartbeat Project” is working with K-12 Dine students in New Mexico; Angelica Hairston, producing #ChallengetheStats in Atlana, a concert and website to raise awareness of diversity issues in classical music; Karen Cueva, working with incarcerated youth in Boston, and 16-year-old Avik Sarkar, who will compose an original work and host a benefit concert sharing the stories of refugees in Boston.
  • From the Top collaborates with Project Trio and Pink Martini to produce See the Music videos.
  • Radio host Christopher O’Riley arranges a special version of “This Land is Your Land”, written for six From the Top alumni of immigrant families, which is filmed as a See the Music video in New York City and launched via nprmusic.com.
  • Co-Founders Jennifer Hurley-Wales and Gerald Slavet announce their plan to bring their 20-year tenure as co-CEOs to a close in the near future. The search firm of Isaacson, Miller is engaged to conduct a nationwide search for new leadership.
  • The From the Top gala, honoring the co-founders, and chaired by Beth and Seth Klarman and Hillary and Jeffrey Rayport, raises a record $450,000 to support From the Top’s programs.
  • In partnership with Carnegie Hall, From the Top records with both the National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA), under the baton of Marin Alsop, and NYO-China, with conductor Ludovic Morlot, before the orchestras departed on international tours.


  • Founders Jennifer Hurley-Wales and Gerald Slavet step aside to make way for new executive leadership
  • Gretchen Nielsen is hired as the organizations first Executive Director
  • From the Top partners with guest artist Black Violin and Time for Three for radio recordings at the Texas Music Educators Conference and Jordan Hall in Boston.
  • At the GroundUp Music Festival in Miami, From the Top musicians join Snarky Puppy bandleader Michael Teague for a See the Music video
  • The second round of Alumni Leadership Grants are awarded to three alumni: Ariel Horowitz, for continuation of her Heartbeat Project, teaching music and math at a Navajo reservation; Corinne Auger, for expansion of her MusicLens camp for elementary students in Boston and Cleveland; and Thomas West, for his Collaborative Arts Ensemble (CAE), a group of performance artists dedicated to fostering dialogue in the American South.
  • Alumni Kaia Selden, Noah Lee, Javier Morales-Martinez, and Derek Wang travel to Washington DC for From the Top’s first appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series.
  • Long-time host Christopher O’Riley makes his last recording of From the Top on June 5. Plans to welcome guest hosts and co-hosts from the classical music and From the Top alumni community are announced.