At the end of last month, the Nashville Symphony and Community Partners announced the Accelerando initiative, a landmark music education program designed to prepare gifted young musicians of diverse backgrounds to pursue music at the collegiate level and beyond. These students will become the next generation of orchestral musicians.
Symphony president Alan D. Valentine and music director Giancarlo Guerrero were joined by representatives from Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Conexión Américas and Choral Arts Link to announce the initiative during a press conference at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
“American orchestras today do not typically reflect the rich diversity of their communities,” said Valentine. “The ultimate goal of the Accelerando program is to build a pipeline of talented musicians who will form the next generation of American orchestra musicians. With support and leadership from our community partners, the Nashville Symphony will expand opportunities for students from communities currently underrepresented in our orchestras and will help them reach their full potential.
“We are beyond thrilled that we will be able to provide students from underrepresented communities in Middle Tennessee with access to high-level, intensive training.”
This is only the second program of its kind in the country. Accelerando will provide intensive music instruction and training to promising music students in grades 5-12. Nashville Symphony conductors, musicians and staff will offer these students instruction, mentorship, performance experience and assistance with applications to music schools.
The initiative will kick off in early 2016, with informational meetings for prospective students and their families. Auditions will be held in March and April for students in grades 4-8, and provisional acceptances will be announced in May. Once fully implemented, Accelerando will serve students in grades 5-12. Next summer, trial lessons for provisionally accepted students will begin before the inaugural Accelerando class starts in September.
Accelerando participants will receive year round instruction from Nashville Symphony musicians and/or qualified local instructors and will have annual solo recital and ensemble performance opportunities. The program will provide summer music activities, such as workshops and camps, and students and their families will also receive guidance and counseling on every aspect of preparing for a career as a professional musician. Additionally, participants and their families will be eligible for complimentary tickets to Nashville Symphony Classical Series performances.
For more information, visit the official website at NashvilleSymphony.org/accelerando