Arman Sangalang

Arman Sangalang, photo by Harvey Tillis

Arman Sangalang, who just earned his MFA in Jazz Studies from the NIU School of Music is serving a two-year fellowship with the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Sangalang, a saxophonist and composer, received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University earned the Jazz Links Fellowship, which afforded him the opportunity to receive 75 hours of mentorship with educators and Chicago musicians.

The fellowship is offered annually to two “of the city’s up-and-coming musicians.” The program offers opportunities to learn on the job with Jazz Institute of Chicago mentors and “performance opportunities across the city in communities underserved by the arts.”

Over the course of his two years in the fellowship Arman, and his co-award winner Alexis Lombre, will receive 70 hours of mentorship including 25 hours with a mentor of his choice, 25 hours with a veteran jazz educator and 10 hours of mentorship in music business and finances.

“So far, the best part of it has been the mentorship,” Sangalang said. “I’ve worked with a bassist, Matt Ulery, and we’ve been working on composition and just overall, he’s been just guiding me in terms of how to book gigs in Chicago, things to be aware of in the city. Has been very, very fruitful in that aspect. And then we worked with a Chicago educator, Phillip Castleberry, who taught for over 20 years in Chicago, leading one of the jazz bands at Lincoln Park High School. His knowledge of Chicago and just education in general has been really inspiring to see and listen to.”