The inaugural class of the Nashville Symphony's Accelerando program, with their teachers
Accelerando student Bernard Ekwuazi performs at year-end recital

The Nashville Symphony's Accelerando initiative is designed to prepare gifted young students of diverse ethnic backgrounds to pursue music at the collegiate level and beyond.

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Applications for the 2018/19 class are now closed

Applications for 2019/20 will be available in the fall of 2019.

Questions? Email us.

About the Program

The Accelerando Program is designed for serious music students who have a high musical aptitude and the motivation to pursue a professional music career on a standard orchestral instrument.

  • Students in grades 4-9 may audition in spring 2018
  • When fully implemented, Accelerando will serve students in grades 5-12
  • Participants receive year-round instruction from a Nashville Symphony musician or highly qualified local instructor
  • Students and families receive complimentary tickets for Nashville Symphony Classical Series concerts
  • Solo recital and chamber performance opportunities
  • Students are required to participate in school band or orchestra and/or local youth orchestras
  • Technical and performance juries each year
  • Summer activities including workshops, camps, lessons and/or classes
  • Supplementary music instruction at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music in music theory and music history
  • College and career counseling provided to students and families
  • Financial and logistical assistance applying for music school (transportation and room costs, scheduling, etc.)

Eligible instruments include:


Viola Cello








Percussion Harp  

This program is open only to orchestral instrumentalists. Applications for piano, saxophone, guitar and voice will not be accepted.

The application deadline has passed. Questions? Click the links below, or email

Eligibility Requirements  Instrument Requirements

Brochure   Frequently Asked Questions


Read thoughts about the program from members of the 2016/17 inaugural class.

Learn more about the 2017/18 class of Accelerando students.


Community Partners

The Nashville Symphony is honored to partner with the following organizations in making the Accelerando program available to the Middle Tennessee community.


Advisory Board

Jessica Blackwell*
Margaret Campbelle-Holman*
Kelly Corcoran
Giancarlo Guerrero
Nola Jones*
Mitchell Korn
Alex Macias*
Ron Meers
Darryl Nettles

Van Pinnock
Jonah Rabinowitz
Laurie Schell
Pam Schneller*
Renata Soto
Maya Stone
Adrienne Thompson
Donna Yurdin

*Accelerando Steering Committee

For more information, please contact the Nashville Symphony’s Education & Community Engagement Department at or 615.687.6587.