New Mexico Music Commission’s Student Musician Spotlight

Zea Rose, cellist

Featured Student

Zea Rose is a 17 year old senior at Albuquerque High School. She was nominated by her private cello teacher Anastasia Nellos, a professional musician and music educator. Zea is a member of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program and is one of two musicians selected as recipient of the coveted Castro Concerto Competition. She is also a member of the New Mexico Music Educators Association All-State Symphony. Learn more about Zea.

About the Student Musician Spotlight

The New Mexico Music Commission’s Student Musician Spotlight series was established in 2017 to honor the remarkable achievements of our state’s talented and dedicated student musicians. Featured students will be awarded a certificate signed by Governor Lujan Grisham and Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Garcia y Griego and will receive gift certificates from our generous sponsors. Selected students will also be inducted into the showcase section of our website and featured on our Facebook page.


Eligible students must be 18 years of age or younger, at time of recognition, and demonstrate the following qualities:

  • outstanding character
  • positive attitude
  • exceptional respect for their family, peers, mentors, teachers, and elders
  • extraordinary dedication to the study and performance of their musical instrument(s)/voice.

This recognition is open to student instrumentalists, singers, composers, arrangers, and singer-songwriters. All musical styles and genres are welcome. Character and integrity are equally important as talent, playing ability, and dedication to music.

An individual shall be ruled ineligible to be featured in the Music Commission’s Student Musician Spotlight series if they are related to a New Mexico Music Commissioner or an employee of New Mexico Arts.

Nomination Process

Nominations are accepted year-round on an ongoing basis. A new student will be featured approximately once a month, primarily during the traditional academic school year (September to May) and dependent on the number of eligible nominations received. The same student can only be featured once per academic school year. Students may not nominate themselves. The music commission is not obligated to feature a student every month during the school year.

We ask the nominator to communicate with the student’s parent or guardian your intention to nominate their child for this recognition. Inform them they will need to provide us with a head shot, bio, and performance video of their child performing should their child be recognized through the Student Spotlight series. The parent/guardian will also be required to sign and submit a release form granting the New Mexico Music Commission permission to publicly display these materials. We cannot feature a student without these items. See Acceptance section below for details.

To nominate a student musician, fill out a nomination form and provide all required documentation as specified in the guidelines section of the form. The nominator’s statement must be formatted for 8½ x 11 sized paper with portrait orientation.


The following materials are required with each nomination – incomplete nominations will not be considered:

  1. A completed nomination form.
  2. A nominator’s statement (approximately 250 words) that includes the nominator’s relationship to the student and why the student merits receiving this recognition. The statement must be formatted for 8 1/2 x 11 paper, portrait orientation.
  3. Parent | guardian agreement to publicly display their child’s image and to provide the requested materials outlined in the acceptance section, below.

All nomination materials will remain on permanent file in the Music Commission office and will not be returned.


The nominator and the student’s parent/guardian will be contacted in the event their nominee is accepted into the Student Spotlight Series. They will be asked to provide the following materials:

  • a print ready copy of the student’s recent head shot (.jpg format)
  • the student’s up-to-date bio (approximately 500 words)
  • a recent video clip of the student performing (approximately 3-5 minutes in length and posted on YouTube or Vimeo)
  • a signed release form granting permission to publicly display the above materials

We ask each nominator to facilitate the parent’s/guardian’s submission of these materials to us. Thank you!

These materials will be displayed on the New Mexico Music Commission’s web site, promoted on the commission’s Facebook page, and used in marketing materials for the Student Spotlight series. Materials will not be returned and will remain on permanent file in the Music Commission office.

Only nominations accepted into the student spotlight series will be contacted. Check the list of student honorees monthly for updates. Nominations not featured in the series may reapply the following year. The same student may be nominated no more than one time per calendar year and repeatedly until they turn 19. The commission is not obligated to feature a student every month.

Submit Nomination To

Select one of the following delivery options:

  • email
  • fax 505-827-6043
  • snail mail: Music Commission Student Spotlight, 407 Galisteo St. #270, Santa Fe, NM 87501


Ongoing Nominations sought year-round
Ongoing Nominations reviewed by New Mexico Music Commission administration
September-May No more than one student will be featured each month



The New Mexico Music Commission’s Student Musician Spotlight series is sponsored, in part, by:

The Candyman Strings & Things is New Mexico’s premier full-line music store and a welcoming music hub and education center serving people from all walks of life; from families to professional musicians, and everyone in between. Winning the prestigious NAMM’s Dealer of the Year Award (the best music store in 104 countries!), The Candyman also offers an instrument rental program as well as repair and commercial sound installation services. “It is our honor to help support the The New Mexico Music Commission’s Student Musician Spotlight and are thankful to the Commission for offering such a prestigious recognition for such deserving and talented young musicians.” Rand and Cindy Cook, owners

Robertson & Sons Violin Shop is one of the world’s leading experts in and largest dealers of rare and contemporary instruments and bows of the violin family.  At Robertson & Sons, they work diligently to ensure that your search for the ideal instrument or bow will be a positive, satisfying experience. As a full-service violin shop, they offer many services, including valuations and certificates of authenticity, a world-class repair and restoration department, an extensive sheet music library, and a nationwide instrument rental program. They welcome your inquiry and look forward to serving your every musical need!

More sponsors coming soon!

Please show your support to these organizations by shopping with them. Be sure to mention the Music Commission’s Student Spotlight series when you make your purchase. Thank you for supporting the New Mexico music industry and our state’s young talent!