Saturday, April 21, 2018

League of American Orchestras' Futures Fund Highlights Programs at Smaller and Youth Orchestras [Including Diversity]

Seventeen Orchestras Each Awarded $30,000 Grants, 
Made Possible by the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation 
Additional Five Orchestras Each Receive $6,000 Seed Grants to Support Creative Invention

New York, NY (April 19, 2018) – Highlighting the groundswell of innovation occurring at smaller-budget orchestras and youth orchestras across the country, seventeen orchestras have received $30,000 American Orchestras' Futures Fund grants from the League of American Orchestras, made possible with the generous support of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation. An additional five orchestras were selected to receive seed grants of $6,000 each. 

"These orchestras are in the forefront of experimentation and visionary problem-solving, and the League is proud to support this work for the benefit of the orchestra field," commented League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. "I'm grateful to the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation for enabling orchestras to incubate innovative practice, and look forward to the knowledge and research developed around these exciting initiatives."  

"We're energized and encouraged by the momentum of our continued partnership with the League through the American Orchestras' Futures Fund," added Lisa Delan, Director of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation. "The initiatives by smaller-budget and youth orchestras in this round of grants represent the range of innovation, impact, and collaboration we envisioned when we approached the League. And I am personally gratified to witness the commitment by these grantees to reach diverse populations within their communities." 

The Futures Fund grantees from across the country are seizing opportunities in the current environment. These include giving life to contemporary repertoire by American composers, developing imaginative concert experiences and cross-cultural artistic programming, increasing diversity and access to music education, connecting with new immigrants and underserved populations, extending reach via digital streaming initiatives, investing in valuable audience development research, and working with multiple populations in rural and urban regions. Descriptions of the initiatives supported through the American Orchestras' Futures Fund can be found here.

The $4.5 million American Orchestras' Future Fund program included a first round of grants for larger-budget orchestras, announced in 2017.
For this second round, smaller-budget and youth orchestras that are based in the U.S. and that are members of the League of American Orchestras were eligible to apply. An independent review panel selected the orchestras based on criteria including significant investments in organizational learning, meaningful partnerships with community organizations, and an ability to assess and adapt practices for continuous innovation.
In addition to recommending seventeen orchestras for the full two-year grant, the panel recognized the creative promise that several orchestras demonstrated and designated an additional award in the form of a seed grant for five orchestras to support their continued organizational work towards the goals outlined.
This round's Futures Fund recipients ($30,000 grants) include:
The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (VA) – expansion of the Music Buddies mentoring program to underserved areas, where school music provision is limited or non-existent.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (MA) – The Boston Modern Orchestra Project's mission is to give life to orchestral classics of the 20th and 21st centuries, largely by American composers, that are often overlooked in the standard repertoire. 
California Symphony – launch of a pilot adult education program called Fresh Look: The Symphony Exposed, marketed in English and Spanish, with on-site live Spanish interpretation.
Central Ohio Symphony – support for a program with students at Delaware Hayes High School to include increasing student concert attendance and assessing the relevance of the symphony's programming.
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (IL) – support for the orchestras' Inclusion Audit to ensure that the organization is optimally inclusive and representative of Chicago's diverse community.
Contemporary Youth Orchestra (OH) – support for building cross-sector partnerships using programs in dance, theater, and photography to address socioeconomic barriers to children's equal access to music education.
El Paso Symphony Orchestra (TX) – support for the Tocando After School Music Project's Feeder School Initiative providing high-quality music education, cultural awareness, and performance opportunities to elementary and middle school students.
Empire State Youth Orchestra (NY) – launch of ACCESS ESYO, an online "pay what you can" ticketing program to meet the needs of an increasingly economically diverse membership.
Evansville Philharmonic (IN) – support for audience development research: qualitative research sessions and repeating a 2017 survey to understand change resulting from newly-instituted promotions and programming.
Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra (WI) – support for the In Harmony program for youths and adults with special needs, presenting a music-therapy informed performance at special needs classrooms and adult day centers.
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (NC) – expansion of the OrKIDStra program, a music education series featuring tailored curriculum and site-visits by GSO musicians, to four rural counties, reaching an estimated 2,000 Head Start students.
Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (CA) – support for the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, assisting persons from historically underrepresented communities to succeed in auditions with U.S. orchestras
Lima Symphony (OH) – support for an initiative bringing a series of ensemble performances and discussions with a mental health facilitator to a center for at-risk youth, a mental health treatment facility, and a housing complex for people struggling with addiction.
Lubbock Symphony (TX) – development of a new concert series designed to attract new audiences; LSO will experiment with venues, lighting, staging, electronic amplification, video, narration, and attire to create an engaging atmosphere.
New Bedford Symphony (MA) – support for an assessment of the orchestra's educational programming which will measure the impact of a concept-based arts integrated program and explore issues that arise when assessing education programs.
Project 440 (PA) – support for a creative youth development curriculum that utilizes music as a tool to teach social entrepreneurship, leadership, and service to high school musicians, and provides them with the career and life skills necessary for success, on and off the stage.
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (TX) – support for the Rising Star Fellows program, offering comprehensive support and resources to promising young African American, Hispanic, and Native American musicians from around San Antonio communities.
Seed Grant Recipients ($6,000):
Akron Symphony (OH) – support for work with the city's immigrant population —refugees from Nepal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, both adult musicians and high school students in the North High School immigrant orchestra.
InterSchool Orchestras of New York – support for a collaboration with the youth division of Ballet Hispanico to create a diverse, cross-cultural, orchestral and dance work for presentation at a major venue in New York City in spring 2019.
Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra – support for Lab Group, a collaborative composing ensemble; high-school student musicians work with staff facilitators to create new work, an entry point into group music-making.
The Lexington Philharmonic (KY) – support for creating a series of collaborative music programs in non-traditional venues, increasing participation and engagement in music by more diverse communities.
Tulsa Symphony Orchestra (OK) – support for an organization-wide review and analysis of the orchestra's strategic plan; TSO is reviewing and analyzing their innovative model of orchestral governance. 
Read the full press release here. 

John Malveaux: Howard University Concert Choir Spring Concert - April 29th at 5 pm - St. Joseph's on Capitol Hill

Dr. Eric O. Poole

John Malveaux of 

MusicUNTOLD received the following concert announcement from Dr. Valerie Eichelberger 

"The Howard University Concert Choir will perform its Spring Concert at historic Saint Joseph’s on Capitol Hill on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 5:00 pm. The Conductor, Dr. Eric O. Poole, has programmed a broad variety of choral literature which includes works by Palestrina, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mark Fax, Rosephanye Powell, as well as Negro Spiritual arrangements by Moses Hogan and others. Dr. Mickey Thomas Terry, Director of Music at St. Joseph's, will accompany the choir on various selections.
The church is located at the corner of 2nd and C Streets, NE, across from the Hart Senate Office Building (Two blocks from Union Station). Parking is available in the U.S. Senate Parking Lot across the street from the church. The performance is free and open to the public."

Kehembe V. Eichelberger,
Music Business Coordinator
Howard University
Department of Music

Midori Samson will perform World Premiere of Godwin Sadoh's "Ola Ilu for Bassoon Solo" at Chicago Symphony Center June 5, 7 PM

Godwin Sadoh

Midori Samson

Ola Ilu for Bassoon Solo
Godwin Sadoh

Godwin Sadoh writes:

Midori Samson will be performing the World Premiere of my Ola Ilu for Bassoon Solo (A work commissioned by her and specially composed for her) at Buntrock Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60604, on June 5, 2018, at 7:00 PM.

Godwin Sadoh.
Professor of Music/LEADS Scholar
National Universities Commission
Abuja, Nigeria.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sinfo-Nia Youth Orchestra's 28th Annual Spring Concert, Sunday, April 29, 4 PM, First Congregational Church, Atlanta, GA

Join us for our 28th Annual Spring Concert, hosted by the gracious and beautiful Courtney Buchanan, Miss Black Georgia 2017-18, featuring our Cambridge Academy dancers! Sinfo-Nia will perform posthumous tributes to the Honorable Winnie Mandela and Dennis Edwards of sensational singing group, The Temptations. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students/seniors and can be purchased online at​concert-tickets/. Group discounts are available. For more information:,

Please Donate -
Register for Sinfo-Nia's 2018 Summer Orchestra Academy
Early Bird & Family Tuition Discounts available!

John Malveaux: KUSC Radio offers free Rachmaninov download from McGill / McHale Trio's Cedille CD "Portraits"

McGill / McHale Trio
Demarre McGill, flute
Anthony McGill, clarinet
Michael McHale, piano
Cedille CDR 90000 172

John Malveaux of 

KUSC Free Download

ANTHONY McGILL clarinet, and his brother DEMARRE flute, team up with pianist MICHAEL McHALE for an album called "Portraits."
Download or stream Rachmaninoff's Vocalise.

Sergio Mims: Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Isata Kanneh-Mason performing at the Lucerne Summer Music Festival

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sergio A. Mims forwards this release from the Lucerne Summer Music Festival in Switzerland:

Lucerne Festival

Luigi Boccherini (1743–1805)
Sonata for cello and piano in A major, G. 4
Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)
Sonata for cello and piano, Op. 143
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Sonata for cello and piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 99

A string quartet that for the most part comprises siblings – that happens more often than one might think, as with the Hagen and Schumann Quartets. But the British family Kanneh-Mason may well be entirely unique, for all seven children are musicians and perform together. The most successful of them is the third oldest, who was born in 1999: the cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award in 2016, the first musician of color in 38 years. His career has skyrocketed, leading to performances with the BBC Proms, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. “Technically superb and eloquent in his expressivity, Kanneh-Mason held the public spellbound,” wrote The Guardian, while The Times has praised his powerful, thrilling playing and his exquisite phrasing. In Lucerne, this rising star will introduce himself, along with his sister Isata at the piano (his senior by three years), in a program of works by Boccherini, Poulenc, and Brahms.

"From The Diary of Sally Hemings," Friday, April 20th, 8 pm Michigan State University's Cook Recital Hall

From the Diary of Sally Hemings

Sandra Seaton writes:

Friday night, April 20th  at 8 pm at Cook Recital Hall, MSU's Colllege of Music will present the solo opera "From The Diary of Sally Hemings,"  my collaboration with composer William Bolcom as a part of the national conference 20th-21st Century Song Cycles. The performance by soprano Joelle Lamarre with pianist Sheryl Lott will be preceded by a pre-conference talk by Music Theory prof. Michael Callahan.

The work recreates the thoughts and feelings of Sally Hemings throughout her long relationship with Thomas Jefferson by means of fictional diary entries. 

For those who can't attend, the performance is also being livestreamed on the the Livestream website at 8 pm:

Visit the event page for updates.

Unfortunately, the livestream will not be archived.

The entire conference, the first of its kind, will run from Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 22  and is free of charge to the public. .

Here are the links:

NOTE: A select group of additional presentations will also be available to view online through Livestream. 

Hope you can either attend or view the livestream

Warm best wishes,

Thursday, April 19, 2018 Hunterdon Symphony to Perform William Grant Still's "Afro-American Symphony" 7:30 PM April 28, Flemington, NJ

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

Hunterdon County Democrat

New Jersey

By Community Bulletin

Music by American composers, including the first symphony by an African-American to be performed by a leading orchestra, will be presented at a concert by the Hunterdon Symphony and the Hunterdon Choral Union on Saturday evening, April 28.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Flemington at Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Route 31. The program will include Symphony No. 1, "Afro-American" by William Grant Still, John Adams: The Voice Heard 'Round the World by Anthony DiLorenzo, with Kyle Tinnes as narrator, Howard Hanson's Song of Democracy, and an arrangement of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

The "Afro-American Symphony," the first of William Grant Still's five symphonies, is the best-known of his works. His compositions combine the elements of traditional African-American music with the tonal harmonies and structures of traditional classical music, and the first theme in this symphony's opening movement uses classic blues harmonies and melodic progressions.

Sergio Mims: Chineke! Orchestra with Wayne Marshall and Stewart Goodyear at Queen Elizabeth Hall July 21

Wayne Marshall Conducts Chineke! Orchestra
(Southbank Centre)

Sergio A. Mims writes:

The Chineke! Orchestra announced today that they will be returning to Queen Elizabeth Hall on Saturday July 21 after their acclaimed concert in the newly renovated hall this month. The July concert will be a featured part of the Southbank Centre's Africa Utopia, its annual festival celebrating the arts and culture of one of the world's most dynamic and fast-changing continents.

Conductor Wayne Marshall will be returning to conduct Orchestra in works by Copland, Gershwin, Ibert, Julian Joseph, and Kurt Weill, featuring pianist Stewart Goodyear
The program will include Copland’s  Music for the Theater, Gershwin’s virtuoso jazz version of Rhapsody in Blue, Goodyear in his QEH debut, and Ibert’s Divertissement. as well as music by Kurt Weill
Jazz pianist and composer Julian Joseph, will also present the world premiere of ‘Carry That Sound’ at this concert.

Sergio Mims: Michael Tilson Thomas Makes MET Orchestra Debut with Soprano Pretty Yende Singing Mozart and Mahler on June 5

Pretty Yende
(Sony Classics)

Sergio A. Mims writes:

The MET Orchestra returns to Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage for a series of three concerts, led by three dynamic conductors this May and June. For the orchestra’s final concert of the series, Tuesday June 5 at 8 PM conductor Michael Tilson Thomas makes his MET Orchestra debut with soprano Pretty Yende singing Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major. The program opens with Carl Ruggles’s Evocations.

With her magnetic charm, critically- and popularly-acclaimed operatic and solo performances worldwide and a successful debut album, South African soprano Pretty Yende has quickly become one of the brightest stars of the classical music world. Since making her professional operatic debut at the Latvian National Theatre in Riga as Micaela in Carmen, she has sung at nearly all of the major theaters of the world, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Opernhaus Zürich, and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

In January of 2013, Yende made her critically and popularly acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut, stepping in as the Countess Adele in Le Comte Ory on short notice, opposite Juan Diego Florez. Immediately afterwards, she made her Vienna debut at the Theater an der Wien in the same opera.

A 2011 graduate of the Young Artists Accademia of the Teatro alla Scala, she made her debut with the company in 2010 as Berenice in Rossini’s L’Occasione fa il Ladro. In 2010, she became the first artist in the history of the Belvedere competition to win first prize in every category and went on to win First Prize in Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition in 2011. Yende sings the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met from April 25 and next season will be seen in Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles and Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment.

Initial Casting Announced For Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway Premiere of "Choir Boy" with Jeremy Pope

Jeremy Pope

Chuck Cooper

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Manhattan Theatre Club

Written by Academy Award Winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)

Directed by Trip Cullman
Following Its American Premiere at MTC

Cast to Feature
Jeremy Pope, Chuck Cooper, and Austin Pendleton

Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) are pleased to announce initial casting for the Broadway premiere of Choir Boy, by Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight, The Brother/Sister Plays) and directed by Drama Desk Award nominee Trip Cullman (Lobby Hero, Significant Other, Murder Ballad).

Original MTC cast members Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, and Jeremy Pope will lead Choir Boy on Broadway. Additional casting, creative team, and other listings information will be announced at a later date.

Choir Boy will begin previews Thursday, December 27, 2018 ahead of a Tuesday, January 22, 2019 opening at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

Choir Boy will mark Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Broadway debut as well as the second production that transfers to Broadway following an American premiere at MTC’s The Studio at Stage II – Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series, where it debuted in the summer of 2013 to rave reviews and sold-out audiences, extending twice during its run.

For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key? On its American debut at MTC’s Studio Stage II, The New York Times called the play “vivid, magnetic and moving,” and The New York Post hailed it as “bracing and provocative.” Now, we’re thrilled to bring this soaring music-filled work to Broadway. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is an Oscar®-winning screenwriter of Moonlight and a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Grant. Directing is Drama Desk Award nominee Trip Cullman (Lobby Hero, Significant Other, Murder Ballad).

Choir Boy was commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club with support from Time Warner Inc.

As previously announced, MTC’s 2018-2019 season will also include the American premiere of The Nap, written by Olivier Award nominee Richard Bean and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan; the world premiere of India Pale Ale, the new play by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by Lortel Award nominee Will Davis, at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I; and the world premiere of Continuity, by Bess Wohl and directed by Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin, at The Studio at Stage II – The Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series.

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including 7 Pulitzer Prizes and 23 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes; August Wilson’s Jitney and The Piano Lesson; Heisenberg by Simon Stephens; The Father by Florian Zeller with translation by Christopher Hampton; Fool For Love by Sam Shepard; Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour; Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein; Outside Mullingar and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley; The Commons of Pensacola by Amanda Peet; Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash; The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg; Wit by Margaret Edson; Venus in Fur by David Ives; Good People and Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez; Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies; Ruined by Lynn Nottage; Proof by David Auburn; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife by Charles Busch; Love! Valour! Compassion! by Terrence McNally; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson; Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; and Ain’t Misbehavin, the Fats Waller musical. For more information on MTC, please visit

Joining MTC’s season of plays is easy! Just call the MTC Clubline at 212-399-3050. Single ticket information for Choir Boy will be announced at a later date.

For more information and to sign up for MTC’s “30 Under 30” program for theatregoers age 30 and under visit


JEREMY POPE (Pharus). An established recording artist and photographer, Pope was nominated for the prestigious Drama League Award for his lead role as "Pharus" in Choir Boy, written by Oscar-winning playwright/screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Trip Cullman at the Manhattan Theater Club in 2013. Pope also recreated the role in both Atlanta and Los Angeles. He has also performed in the original musicals Invisible Thread; The View Upstairs; and the Broadway-bound Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, whose inaugural production was at Berkley Rep. He has a lead in the film, The Ranger, directed by Jenn Wexler. The film premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. His most recent single 'New Love' can be heard in the Netflix film Step Sisters and is also available on iTunes & Spotify.

CHUCK COOPER (Headmaster Marrow) won the Tony Award for his performance in Cy Coleman’s The Life. He has been featured in 15 Broadway shows in every theatrical genre from Shakespeare to musical comedy. His most recent guest-starring TV appearances include "The Good Wife," “House of Cards,” “Madam Secretary,” “Gossip Girl,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.” His other awards include the Lucille Lortel Award for The Piano Lesson; the San Diego Critics’ Circle Award for Two Trains Running; the Audelco Award for Caroline or Change; two Drama Desk nominations for Choir Boy and The Life. His favorite role is Eddie, Alex and Lilli’s father. He is gratefully married to playwright Deborah Brevoort.

TARELL ALVIN McCRANEY (Playwright) is best known for his acclaimed trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays which include The Brothers Size, In The Red And Brown Water, and Marcus; Or The Secret Of Sweet. Other plays include Head Of Passes, Choir Boy, and Wig Out!. Tarell’s script In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue is the basis for the Oscar-winning film Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins, for which McCraney and Jenkins also won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Among its many other honors, the film has won a Golden Globe for Best Drama, Gotham Award for Best Feature, NAACP Image Award for Best Independent Film, WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay, the Human Rights Campaign’s Visionary Arts Award, and 6 Independent Spirit Awards including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Tarell is currently working on an original scripted TV series for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, produced by Michael B Jordan and Page Fright Productions, as well as an original movie musical for Disney and David Oyelowo. He has also previously worked with Playtone, HBO and others. Tarell is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant, the Whiting Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, the Evening Standard Award, The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Windham Campbell Award, and a Doris Duke Artist Award. He was the International Writer-in-Residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-2010, and a former resident playwright at New Dramatists. He is an ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a member of Teo Castellanos/D-Projects in Miami. Tarell is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, the Theatre School at DePaul University, and the Yale School of Drama, and has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick. As Professor of Theatre and Civic Engagement at University of Miami, he created a three-year program in partnership with UM, Miami-Dade County and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. He was recently named the new Chairman of the Playwriting Department at the Yale School of Drama, as well as Playwright in Residence at Yale Repertory Theater.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

League of American Orchestras: Three National Organizations Join Forces to Increase Diversity in American Orchestras

The Sphinx Organization,
New World Symphony and
League of American Orchestras
Form the
National Alliance for Audition Support
(NAAS) with a Grant from 
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Unprecedented Approach Will Offer
a Customized Combination of Mentoring,
Audition Preparation, Financial Support,
and Audition Preview Showcases for
Black and Latinx Musicians

New York, NY (April 18, 2018) – Three national organizations – The Sphinx Organization, New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras – have partnered to create the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), a field-wide initiative with the long-term goal of increasing diversity in American orchestras.
Supported by a four-year, $1.8 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, along with additional financial and programmatic contributions from America's orchestras, the Alliance will offer a holistic and personalized array of support to Black and Latinx musicians to develop their audition skills, increase their participation in auditions, and ultimately, increase their representation in orchestras.
"This is a critical time for all of us to act with renewed commitment and drive to help our orchestras to be more reflective of their communities and to represent perspectives and talents from Black and Latinx musicians," said Sphinx President and Artistic Director Afa S. Dworkin. "We are honored to join forces with key industry leaders, humbled to receive and incorporate extensive insight directly from artists, and incredibly grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for prioritizing this vital work." 

"New World Symphony envisions a strong and secure future for classical music," said NWS President Howard Herring. "We believe that is possible only if the orchestras of this country are representative of their communities. New World is committed to diversifying its Fellowship with the support of our alumni, who have won positions in orchestras and ensembles around the world. We are honored now to partner with Sphinx and the League in forming this new Alliance dedicated to making equity and inclusion part of the future for American orchestras."
 "This unprecedented collective action on the part of America's orchestras addresses some of the main barriers to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in orchestras," said Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras. "The unique and coordinated network of support is informed by research and extensive discussions with many Black and Latinx musicians as well as many other individuals in orchestras and higher education.  We are especially grateful to the American Federation of Musicians, the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, and the Regional Orchestra Players Association for their participation and support."
"I'm grateful that Sphinx, New World Symphony, and the League are collaborating to offer this special initiative," said Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet, New York Philharmonic and a member of the League's Board of Directors. "We need a national, comprehensive approach to overcoming the barriers that face Black and Latinx orchestral musicians. I know that these are the kinds of resources that can make a real difference." 
The customized array of support to be offered through the NAAS will include:
Mentoring: the Alliance will match participants with appropriate mentors in the orchestral field.

Audition preparation through initiatives such as a three-day audition preparation intensive offered by the New World Symphony.

Financial support in the form of stipends for audition travel and other professional development expenses. 

Audition previews through showcases offered by The Sphinx Organization, enabling orchestras to familiarize themselves with the talent pool.
The Sphinx Organization, heralded for its role in transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, is the lead program administrator and exercises fiscal oversight for the NAAS. The New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy, will provide expertise and access to its renowned workshops, artist development resources, and online assets, as well as help recruit musicians for the program. The League of American Orchestras will convene and mobilize its 700 member orchestras, which will provide funding, mentoring, and guidance for the musicians. The League will also serve as the communications lead for the project, and collect and disseminate research and data. 
The Alliance will be advised by an Artists' Council of Black and Latinx orchestral musicians, orchestra administrators, and representatives from higher education. NAAS musicians participating in the audition training programs or receiving financial support for audition activities will be selected through an open competitive process. The first NAAS Audition Intensive takes place June 6-8, 2018, hosted by the New World Symphony in Miami. The Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions (SOPA) take place in Detroit during the annual Sphinx Connect conference in February 2019. The mentoring program is in development.

The National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS) is an unprecedented national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras. It will do so by offering Black and Latinx musicians a customized combination of mentoring, audition preparation, financial support, and audition previews. The NAAS is made up of The Sphinx Organization, the lead program and fiscal administrator for the Alliance; the New World Symphony,  America's Orchestral Academy; and the League of American Orchestras, representing 700 orchestras. A group of Black and Latinx professional musicians will be thought leaders, guides, and advisors for the Alliance. The NAAS is supported by a four-year grant of $1.8M from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as well as contributions from orchestras across the U.S. Learn more at
The Sphinx Organization is a Detroit-based, national organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Sphinx programs reach more than 100,000 students, as well as live and broadcast audiences of more than two million annually. Sphinx works to create positive change in the arts field and in communities across the country through a variety of programs organized into four main principles: Education and Access, Artist Development, Performing Artists and Arts Leadership. Read more about Sphinx's programs at
The New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy (NWS), prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 30 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,000 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS' extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony. Learn more about the New World Symphony at
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America's orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit