What it takes to move from fellowships for African American musicians to a full-time orchestra job

Posted on: December 19, 2017

“On Sunday, Josh Jones cut short a fellowship with the Pittsburgh Symphony and … took a Greyhound bus back home to Illinois” for the funeral of his grandfather, writes Ruth Ann Dailey in Monday’s (12/18) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. On New Year’s Eve, “He begins his first big orchestra job … [as] principal percussionist with [Canada]’s Calgary Philharmonic…. It is a position he has been working toward for most of his 26 years…. Traveling to the auditions can be a real strain on the freelancer’s budget. Josh played 10 in the past year, including one here in March to win the [Pittsburgh Symphony’s] EQT Orchestra Training Program for African-American Musicians…. When he sets foot in Calgary two weeks from now, he figures he’ll be down to his last $100…. [At his] Pittsburgh audition … having no money for a hotel room, Josh left Chicago on a bus that arrived in Pittsburgh at 4:45 a.m. … Once Heinz Hall opened, he slept in the green room for 45 minutes before the day of auditions began. When he left that night on a 10:30 bus, he had won the fellowship. And before his two-year stint here started in September, he had already won the Calgary job.”

Posted December 19, 2017

Pictured: Percussionist Josh Jones is moving from the Pittsburgh Symphony’s EQT Orchestra Training Program for African-American Musicians to the principal percussion position at Canada’s Calgary Philharmonic.