Memphis Symphony’s push for diversity gets $50,000 boost

Posted on: February 4, 2016

“A $50,000 grant from the prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help the Memphis Symphony Orchestra develop a program that coordinators say is intended to attract young musicians from Latin, African-American and other underrepresented communities to the orchestra,” writes John Beifuss in Wednesday’s (2/3) Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN). “The grant will enable the symphony to plan a ‘musician diversity fellowship’ program, to recruit emerging professional musicians from conservatories and music schools to spend a year or two with the orchestra here, to participate in full performances and, community events and so on.… Rhonda Causie, a longtime MSO supporter and administrator … is leading the fellowship’s planning team, with the assistance of Belinda Anderson, whose job title—Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion—testifies to the organization’s determination to attract musicians of all types…. The hope is to develop, establish and sustain a Memphis Symphony Orchestra diversity fellowship program that is ‘unique and substantial’ enough to become a known commodity in the symphony world, according to MSO board chair Gayle S. Rose…. Once established, the diversity fellowship would require ongoing financial support, which could come from Mellon or other agencies.”

Posted February 4, 2016