August 23, 2016
Nashville, Tenn. (August 23, 2016) – The Nashville Symphony has announced the inaugural class of participants for its Accelerando initiative, a groundbreaking new music education program designed to facilitate the studies of gifted young musicians from diverse backgrounds and prepare them for careers in music.
All from Middle Tennessee, the students are:
Bernard Ekwuazi, trombone: Grade 9, Blackman High School, Rutherford County Schools
Isabel Evernham, flute: Grade 9, Overton High School, MNPS
Aalia Hanif, flute: Grade 10, Central Magnet School, Rutherford County Schools
Emily Martinez, viola: Grade 9, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School, MNPS
Cedric Quinn, bassoon: Grade 10, McGavock High School, MNPS
Antonio Thai, violin: Grade 7, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet, MNPS
The students visited Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Saturday, August 20, for an introductory meet-and-greet with members of the Nashville Symphony staff, including music director Giancarlo Guerrero, president and CEO Alan D. Valentine and education and community engagement director Walter Bitner.
“This pioneering class represents everything that we envisioned when we announced Accelerando more than a year ago: talented and dedicated youngsters from different corners of our community who have the potential to shape the future of American orchestras,” said Bitner. “I am thrilled to welcome these gifted young musicians into the Nashville Symphony family, and I know everyone in our organization is excited to follow their development and progress in the coming years.”
In March, nearly three dozen students took part in the opening round of auditions for Accelerando, which were adjudicated by Nashville Symphony musicians and reviewed by the Symphony’s education and community engagement team and representatives from partner organizations, including Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Conexión Américas and Choral Arts Link. The six participants were chosen earlier this month.
Each student will begin private lessons this September in conjunction with mandatory participation in local youth orchestras, and will also be provided complimentary tickets to the Nashville Symphony’s 2016/17 Aegis Science Classical Series as part of the program’s intensive curriculum.
Photos from the August 20 Accelerando event are available for download on Dropbox here