SLSO Usher Dreams of Becoming a Conductor

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SLSO Usher Dreams of Becoming a ConductorTerrence Abernathy, 24, works as an usher for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, but his dream is to become a conductor.

"I love being around the music," Abernathy said. "My dream is to be called maestro one day."

In 2016, the SLSO created an IN UNISON Graduate Fellowship to help Abernathy achieve his dream. Through the fellowship, he attends rehearsals, studies music the orchestra performs, and meets one-on-one with conductors.

"It is very humbling," he said. "Why would they do all this for me?"

The answer is simple, according to SLSO Music Director David Robertson.

"You love something and to be able to share that love with others, and to see their love affair begin with it, is really the reason to do anything," Robertson said.

Abernathy's connections with the SLSO run deep.

He is a former IN UNISON Scholar, Youth Orchestra alum, and his mentor is horn player Thomas Jöstlein.

Abernathy said the fellowship is another step toward his dream.

"I am learning about conducting from the inside, and I am starting with, in my opinion, the best orchestra in the world," he said.

SLSO IN UNISON is supported by Monsanto Fund.

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1880 and now in its 137th season, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world's finest. Under the leadership of Music Director David Robertson, currently in his 12th season, the SLSO strives for artistic excellence, educational impact and community connection while meeting its mission statement: enriching people's lives through the power of music. The SLSO presents a full season of classical programs and Live at Powell Hall concerts and hundreds of free education and community programs each year. Media partners include St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 -KWMU, which broadcasts the SLSO's Saturday night subscription concerts live + The Nine Network, which regularly features SLSO performances on its Night at the Symphony program. In addition, the SLSO is known for its Grammy Award-winning recordings, Carnegie Hall appearances, national and international tours, innovative programming and extensive community engagement initiatives.

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