Pursuing diversity among orchestra musicians

Posted on: June 1, 2018

“Last week I received an email requesting support for a newly launched initiative within the orchestra industry, the National Alliance for Audition Support,” writes David Rogers, executive director of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, in Wednesday’s (5/30) Yakima Herald-Republic (Washington). “Symphony orchestras across the country have worked hard to dispel unfortunate stereotypes of elitism and exclusivity, and many (including our own here in Yakima) have begun to experience some success in drawing more diverse audiences … Greater diversity on the stage, however, is a somewhat thornier problem, boiling down to basic issues surrounding the opportunities and resources required to compete successfully in a highly competitive audition marketplace for orchestra musicians … The National Alliance for Audition Support seeks to make opportunities and resources more readily available to talented African-American and Hispanic musicians … Funded in part through a $1.8 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, it is led by … Detroit’s Sphinx Organization … Miami’s New World Symphony … and the League of American Orchestras … The program will match participants with mentors in the field; work to bring them into the audition pools for major orchestras across the country; and provide training, preparation and even some financial support through the audition process.”

Posted June 1, 2018