BSO Launches New Orchestra Fellows Program

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BSO Launches New Orchestra Fellows Program

In keeping with the broader vision of inclusivity and relevance within the community that has characterized the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) under Music Director Marin Alsop, the BSO announces a new pilot Orchestra Fellows Program. The BSO's Orchestra Fellows program is conducted in partnership with Sphinx, the non-profit organization that seeks to overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music and promote diversity in the arts. The Orchestra Fellowship is intended as a year-round mentorship program for talented young musicians of color. Tami Lee Hughes, a violinist and Baton Rouge, La. native, has been appointed the Orchestra Fellow for the program's inaugural 2012-13 season.

While in residence with the BSO, Ms. Hughes will perform with the BSO in concerts throughout the season, and also work with a number of key BSO education and community engagement initiatives, including OrchKids, the year-round, after-school music education program for youth in Baltimore City, BSO On the Go, and the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Ms. Hughes will be mentored by BSO Associate Principal Second Violin Ivan Stefanovic and Violinist Gregory Kuperstein, in preparation for the several orchestral auditions she plans to take this year. Further, Marin Alsop will mentor Ms. Hughes and provide insight about what is needed to be a well-rounded orchestral musician, given the shifting role of orchestras in the 21st century.

The initiative expands further the role of BSO musicians as mentors, an increasingly important part of the organization's exciting vision in such programs as Rusty Musicians, the BSO Academy and most recently the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras. In creating opportunities to engage musicians of color, the Fellowship intends to create a welcoming destination as one proactive step to address the lack of diversity nationally in today's major symphony orchestras.

"Tami is the full package," said BSO Vice President of Education Carol Bogash. "She is not only an exceptional musician, but her experience makes her an asset to our Orchkids and the BSO's other community initiatives. She has a bright future and this Fellowship is just one step on her path toward a promising career."

Tami Lee Hughes will be blogging about her experience throughout the season at BSOmusic.org/Fellow. Below is an excerpt from her first post, which described her experience performing with the BSO for the recent "Golden Age of Black and White" program:

On the night of our debut performance, I arrived at the hall a few hours early. There was a buzz backstage as orchestra musicians, singers, stage technicians, and other staff members prepared for the performance. Although I didn't feel nervous, I was very excited. I felt a swift rush of energy as Maestro Everly gave the opening downbeat. With the audience lights dimmed, the stage came to life. Lights, costumes, singers, and instrumentalists filled the stage with Maestro Everly at the center of it all waving his magic wand. By the time we played my favorite tune of the night, Mambo Italiano, we were in full swing! The energy was so contagious I wanted to get out of my seat and dance…

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