Introducing The Rivers School Conservatory Innovation Fund

RSC Conservatory News

The Rivers School Conservatory is pleased to announce the creation of a new fund, designed to invest in the development of innovative practices and programs. Established with a gift from Sarah and Bob Bua, parents of Cecily and Griffin (The Rivers School Classes of ’21 and ’19), the Innovation Fund will increase access to the high-quality music education that RSC provides and enhance the school’s reputation as a premier music conservatory. Sarah Bua, who also lends her leadership as a member of the Rivers Music Executive Committee, says, “Music has been an essential part of my life, from when I was a child all the way to the present moment. Musical training and performance teach essential skills that prepare youth for a lifetime of impact and connection. We are excited to support RSC as it innovates towards that envisioned future.” Already, the Innovation Fund has been instrumental in helping RSC navigate teaching and learning in a hybrid model during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supported and inspired by the Buas’ investment, RSC has pursued SoundJack technology as a tool for the remote continuation of ensembles. With this valuable software, chamber groups and jazz combos can play together in real time from different locations without any lag in sound. Students and faculty participating in these programs have received equipment packages that include the microphone, audio interface, and headphones needed to use SoundJack. In this way, the fund has facilitated musical collaboration in a manner that was not previously thought possible and made it possible to include students who would not otherwise be able to enroll for health and safety reasons.

The fund has also supported the creation of tutorial videos designed to instruct the community on the use of SoundJack, accompanying equipment, and other pedagogical software. Jazz faculty member Clayton DeWalt says of the project, “I’m hopeful that the work we’re doing now will continue to serve us well for the rest of the year and into the future, as the landscape of music education evolves.” RSC Director Gabriella Sanna echoes DeWalt: “I am endlessly grateful to Sarah and Bob Bua for their dedication to RSC, and I am excited about the ways in which this fund will continue to support faculty, programs, and students in pursuit of Musical Excellence.”

To learn more, or to contribute to the Innovation Fund, please contact RSC Associate Director of Advancement Jan Hicinbothem ( or RSC Director Gabriella Sanna (