Five musicians join next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows

Posted on: July 21, 2021

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music have selected five string musicians for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. The incoming Fellows are: Luis Celis Avila (double bass), Tyler McKisson (viola), Luis Parra (cello), Samantha Powell (cello), and Mwakudua Kuo San “Dua” waNgure (violin). The fellowship program was launched in 2015 to provide graduate-level academic study, professional development, and performance opportunities while catalyzing a more inclusive environment for underrepresented musicians in orchestras. Each Fellow will join the two-year fellowship program in August 2021, bringing the number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to nine for the 2020-21 season. “If this past year has taught us anything, it is the need to work even more diligently to address the systemic imbalance and inequity that has been inherent in classical music,” said CSO President and CEO Jonathan Martin. “Our ultimate goals with the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship are twofold: to change the face of American orchestras to be more inclusive, and to be more reflective of our community so that we can more authentically serve the entirety of our community…. This opportunity immediately immerses the fellows [in] the life of a professional orchestral musician, which benefits their musical and professional development.”