The Pierians Incorporated

           Founded in 1958 . National Office Established in 1982

National Project Award Recipients

Talented Artists.....Heading Toward Greatness...

The National Project Award Program honors an aspiring artist by providing a monetary award to the recipient. Every other year, the Executive Council decides upon an individual who will be honored, at the next Pierian National Assembly, as the National Project Award winner. The Pierians, Incorporated has been privileged to contribute to the success of outstanding young artists as they pursue they career goals.

The National Project Award Program is now being administered by The Pierians Foundation, Inc. as The Emerging Artist Award.

Jonathan Woody (Vocalist)

2008 - 2010

Jonathan Woody is a 25 year old native of Prince George's County, Maryland.  He attended and graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School. Jonathan graduated Magna cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland receiving a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, with a GPA of 3.92.  While in high school, he was a member of the String Ensemble, the school band, and the all state chorus. He received numerous awards and certificates for participation in all of the above mentioned activities.


In 1997, Jonathan was the highest achieving student in the academically Talented Program in Math and Verbal Achievement at the John Hopkins University Summer Youth Program. In 1998, 1999, and 2000, Jonathan participated in county wide and state programs where he sang in the Senior All-State Chorus of Maryland's Music Educator's Association, the Prince George's County Festival and the Howard County for Black Educational and Cultural Achievement's campus visit to Washington University in St. Louis.  Jonathan is a classically trained vocalist, who has been studying music in some form since the age of four.  He studied Latin for five years, as well as French. He has spent time in Europe. He is a brilliant young man gifted with many talents.


Alicia Graf (Ballet Dancer)

2005 - 2008

Alicia Janelle Graf is originally from Columbia, Maryland and received her training at Ballet Royale Academy under Donna Harrington-Pidel.  Ms. Graf also attended the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre summer intensives.  In 1995, she won a finalist award at the Vaganova Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Russia.  At the age of seventeen, Alicia began her career with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and quickly moved up the ranks to become soloist.  The New York Times proclaimed her one of the top ten most influential dancers of the year in 1998.  During a four-year hiatus from the company, she graduated with honors in history from Columbia University and interned at J.P. Morgan, Chase, and Essence Magazine.  Alicia returned to the Dance Theatre of Harlem as a principal dancer in 2003 and enjoyed performing such ballets as Serenade, Four Temperaments, Prodigal Son, Agon, Apollo, Firebird, and Adagietto #5.  She is currently a member of the Complexions Contemporary Ballet and is a guest writer for Pointe and Dance Magazines.  Her guest appearances include Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, Balanche Celebration in Central Park, the Fashion Rocks Concert with Andre 3000 of Outcase.  Alicia has completed a tour of England and Scotland with Alvin Ailey.


The Constant Family Trio (String Trio)

2003 - 2005


The Constant Family Trio has a  illustrious career for such young performers.  The Trio, consisting of three members of the Constant Family of New York State, has performed at the Kennedy Center, Columbia University, Martha's Vineyard, Howard University, The Julliard School, New York Technical College and Carnegie Hall.


Pierre, the eldest, plays violin and viola and has performed as a soloist at Avery Fisher Hall and with his brother Daniel, has performed with the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra when it was on tour in the United States in 2002.  He was one of five finalists in the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition.  Nineteen year old Pierre graduated from The Julliard School Pre-College Program, holds an Associates Degree from New York City College of Technology where he received his Bachelor's Degree in December 2003.  Currently, he serves as concertmaster for the South Shore Philharmonic.  He has been accepted in the joint Master's Program at Columbia University and The Julliard School to pursue Master's Degrees in  music and engineering.


Daniel Constant, who is 18, plays violin and has performed with the Long Island Chamber Symphony and The Mannes College of Music Symphonia, where he graduated from the Pre-College program.  He has served as concertmaster at the Usdan Summer Music Camp and was awarded first place instrumental in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Talent Search.  His music studies have been intensified by work at the Meadowmount School for Strings, established by Ivan Galamian and in Music Studies Abroad in France.


Jessica Constant plays cello and has performed with the Long Island Chamber Orchestra.  As a child prodigy and scholar, she has been featured on the television program "Unsolved Mysteries."  She attends The Julliard Pre-College where she studies cello with Jerome Carrington.  At the Meadowmount School for Strings, she has studies cello with Hans Jorgen Jensen and with Music Stuis Abroad in France with Robert Dodson, Dean of the Oberlin Conservatory.  Jessica is studying at New York City College of Technology.


Javon Johnson (Actor, Playwright)

2001 - 2003

1999 - 2001

Javon Johnson was born in Anderson, South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from South Carolina State University and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. He is both an actor and a playwright. His acting roles range from Shakespeare to the works of many African-American writers. He is a founding member and current literary manager for the Congo Square Theatre Company of Chicago, Illinois. He is also a member of the Dramatist Guild, The Writers League of America, Screen Actors Guild, and Actors Equity Association. As the 1999 National Project Award winner, Javon is again honored as our award recipient for the outstanding work and recognition he has achieved as both an actor and playwright.


Among his many awards and honors, he was a year 2000 participant at the Sundance Theatre Laboratory, 1999 finalist for the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., 1999 Pittsburgh Playwright Award winner, and 1999 finalist for the National Play Award. In 1998 he won the Theodore Ward Playwright Award, the Yukon/Pacific New Play Award, and the Best One-Act Play Award in the American College Theatre Festival, Region II Competition for his play Papa's Blues. Also in 1998, he received a Kennedy Center Fellowship to attend the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.

In August 1998, Javon acted in An August Evening as part of the Prince William Sound Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. The 'August' of the title was August Wilson and the evening consisted of scenes from August Wilson's plays. Again, Javon's acting received high marks.


His play Hambone premiered in Atlanta, Georgia at the Horizon Theater, as well as at the Dunbar Repertory Theatre in Longbranch, New Jersey, in June of 2001. Some of his acting credits include Cinque in Amisted Voices for the Duncan Chernin Center for the Arts; Provost in Measure for Measure at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre; and Cory in Fences. Other featured roles include A Raisin in the Sun, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Macbeth, and Pericles. He has performance experience with theater greats Delroy Lindo, Ella Joyce, and August Wilson. He has had play readings at Lanford Wilson's 1998 Playwright's Retreat, the 1999 National Black Theatre Festival, and the Edward Albee Theatre Conference in Valdez, Arkansas, as well as in Los Angeles and South Africa. Productions of his work have occurred at the Kuntu Theatre in Pittsburgh, Victory Gardens in Chicago, and H.E.R.E. Theatre in New York.


Javon continues to write. He has completed three full length plays as well as several one-act plays. Some of these have been produced in various venues. He has received high commendations from such well-known writers and directors as August Wilson, Ed Bullins, Lanford Wilson, and Vernell Lillie.


The Pierians, Incorporated is privileged to have such a highly qualified, accomplished and talented individual as our National Project Award recipient. His potential as an actor and playwright is unlimited.

Anita Johnson (Soprano)

1997 - 1999

1995 - 1997

1993 - 1995

The special operatic talent of Anita Johnson, a young woman from Ypsilanti, Michigan, was recognized at The Pierians, Incorporated's Seventh National Assembly in Columbia, Maryland. Anita became the recipient of our National Project Award in 1993. 


It was the unanimous decision of the National Executive Council that The Pierianss, Incorporated continue support to Anita Johnson in her musical studies in New York, as the award recipient for 1995-1997 and 1997-1999.


We wish much success to this talented young woman as she pursues her dream.