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The Nashville Symphony's Accelerando initiative is designed to prepare gifted young students of diverse backgrounds to pursue music at the collegiate level and beyond. Accelerando seeks to create professional opportunities for musicians from ethnic communities underrepresented in today’s orchestras by providing them with instruction, mentorship, performance experience and assistance applying to music schools. With access to the resources of a major American orchestra, these students will be able to realize their full potential and will form the next generation of orchestra musicians.

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

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

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
    (applications for 2017 are now closed)
  • When fully implemented, program 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 vocals will not be accepted.

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

Eligibility Requirements  Instrument Requirements

Brochure   Frequently Asked Questions


Leadership Funding Provided By

Official Education Partner


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

Jason Parker
Van Pinnock
Jonah Rabinowitz
Laurie Schell
Pam Schneller*
Renata Soto
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.