Three national organizations—the Sphinx Organization, the New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras—have partnered to create the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), a field-wide initiative with the long-term goal of increasing diversity in American orchestras. The initiative began with a discussion at a Diversity Forum convened by the League of American Orchestras and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015. Supported by a four-year, $1.8 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, along with additional financial and programmatic contributions from America’s orchestras, the Alliance will offer a customized array of support to Black and Latinx musicians to enhance their audition skills, increase their participation in auditions, and increase their representation in orchestras. Black and Latinx musicians and orchestra administrators are advising the effort. The League of American Orchestras is mobilizing its 700 member orchestras for the first national collective action by orchestras to address diversity in the orchestra field. Participating orchestras will not only help provide funding for NAAS, but also provide mentoring and guidance for musicians of color. NAAS support will include mentoring, audition preparation, financial support, and audition previews; musicians will be selected through an open competitive process. The first Audition Intensive is set to take place June 6-8, 2018, hosted by the New World Symphony in Miami. The Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions, enabling orchestras to familiarize themselves with the talent pool, will take place in Detroit in February 2019. The mentoring program is in development. Learn more here.
Posted April 18, 2018