Friday, June 8, 2018

Miami New Times: National Alliance for Audition Support Helps to Diversify Orchestras

Musicians hone their skills at the inaugural National Alliance for Audition Support at New World Symphony.
Courtesy of New World Symphony

June 8, 2018

Celia Almeida

On a recent Wednesday morning at Miami Beach's Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, a group of 18 string musicians has gathered for a three-day intensive of lessons, mock auditions, and performance psychology seminars. After a welcome breakfast and staff introductions, JT Kane, New World Symphony's dean of visiting faculty and orchestra manager, leads participants on a brief tour of the building where they will sharpen their talents over the next few days. They'll sleep in dorm-style living quarters typically reserved for New World Symphony fellows during the program.

The participating musicians have earned a spot at the inaugural National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS) initiative, which aims to diversify American orchestras. A 2016 study showed that only 1.8 percent of the nation’s orchestra players are African-American and 2.5 percent are Latinx, making orchestras one of America’s least racially diverse institutions.

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