CIM Inducts Second Class Of Musical Pathway Fellows
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer described last summer: "The road to Carnegie Hall just got a little wider."
Thanks to the visionary support of the Cleveland Foundation and George Gund Foundation, that road starts right here in Cleveland with the Cleveland Institute of Music's Musical Pathway Fellowship (MPF) program for talented African American and Latinx youth. Launched in 2017 and designed for students of color primarily in middle school and high school who are interested in pursuing classical music, MPF is an unprecedented national model, providing young artists with high-level musical training fully integrated into the conservatory setting.
Today, in a planned expansion of the program formerly known as the Minority Artist Fellowship, CIM announced the new class of Fellows who will join the program in the fall. Flutist Mariana Castañeda, bass player Travis Phillips and cellist Hannah Rowland-Seymour were selected based on their auditions this spring. From the inaugural class, cellist Evan Rowland-Seymour will receive additional instruction in double bass and Damian Goggans continues to study guitar.
"The inaugural year of the Fellowship was just incredible," says CIM Talent Development Program Officer Lisa Whitfield, who manages the Fellowship program, "and we're absolutely thrilled to add Mariana, Travis and Hannah to the program. Each of them has worked hard to win one of these coveted positions, and they all impressed the selection panel with their musicality and their poise."
The Fellows are immersed in the precollege curriculum of the CIM Preparatory Department, where they receive weekly one-on-one instruction from CIM Preparatory faculty members, as well as participate in ensembles, music theory and Eurhythmics classes. Over the course of the year, the Fellows will present public performances, attend master classes and workshops, and, with their families, meet regularly with mentors and program leaders to set goals and share feedback. The Fellows receive full scholarships covering all areas of study in the MPF program, and are partnered with CIM conservatory students as practice and academic partners.
"CIM's unrelenting focus on issues of diversity is driven by the fundamental belief that it is time for the classical music field to reflect the diversity of our communities," explained CIM President & CEO Paul W. Hogle. "The way to change the face of classical music is to create opportunities for talented young musicians of color to access high-quality training, without compromising the standard of excellence. I am personally inspired by these young Fellows and their dreams - they are the future of classical music!"
In 2017, CIM welcomed the most diverse class of conservatory students in its history, and is set to shatter that record in 2018. Next week, CIM will award an honorary doctorate to alumna harpist Ann Hobson Pilot, who is known as the first African American woman to hold a principal position in a major American orchestra. The Institute will again host the Sphinx Organization's Sphinx Performance Academy this summer, a string chamber music program for African American and Latinx youth.
MARIANA CASTAÑEDA, flute
Mariana Castañeda will be a sophomore at Cleveland School for the Arts in the fall. She has been playing flute for eight years, and in the fall of 2017, was selected to participate in a master class with CIM alumnus Greg Pattillo that was presented by the Cleveland Flute Society. She dreams of being a professional musician and teacher, and through the Fellowship, hopes to "gain more love and understanding of all types of music."
TRAVIS PHILLIPS, double bass
Travis Phillips will enter fifth grade at University School next year. He has been playing double bass since the age of 4. In 2017, he joined the Junior Orchestra at The Music Settlement, which he credits for improving his musicianship. He says he wants to "inspire kids who look like me to play a musical instrument. I hope that when kids see me play out in the community, they will be encouraged."
HANNAH ROWLAND-SEYMOUR, cello
Hannah Rowland-Seymour will start eighth grade at Hathaway Brown in the fall. She has been playing cello for nearly nine years. She says the Fellowship "will allow me to have more lessons and ensemble experiences so I can improve and grow as a musician. When I saw Sol Gabetta perform, I was excited to think that one day I might be able to play as beautifully and expressively as she did."
EVAN ROWLAND-SEYMOUR, bass
Evan Rowland-Seymour was accepted into the inaugural class in 2017 as a cello student. He also studies double bass, and was extended a Fellowship in that area beginning in 2018. Evan is currently in ninth grade at Montessori High School.
CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC
The Cleveland Institute of Music, founded in 1920 with composer Ernest Bloch as the founding director, is one of just seven independent conservatories of music in the United States, one of three devoted exclusively to classical music performance and the only one nestled in America's heartland. CIM's campus - in the world-class center of innovation in healthcare, education and arts & culture known as University Circle - offers an incomparable environment for learning, study and artistic development.
CIM's graduates command the most celebrated and revered stages in the world as soloists, chamber musicians and ensemble members; compose meaningful, award-winning new repertoire; and are highly sought-after teaching artists, administrators and thought leaders. More than half of the members of The Cleveland Orchestra are connected to CIM as members of the faculty, alumni or both. The Institute's diverse talent tapestry uniquely positions CIM as the future of classical music.
All CIM students benefit from access to world-renowned visiting artists and conductors, intensive study with CIM's stellar faculty and the rich curriculum offered by CIM's partner Case Western Reserve University. CIM's Center for Innovative Musicianship (known as CIM²) embraces the school's mission to empower the world's most talented classical music students to fulfill their dreams and potential by offering extensive experiential opportunities for students to foster the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition into a professional career.
CIM is an integral part of Cleveland's arts community, presenting nearly 600 free performances and master classes on campus each year, and hundreds more at locations throughout the region, including Severance Hall, which is widely regarded as one of the world's finest concert halls. Students and faculty engage with partners including The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art and other cultural, educational and community organizations to create classical music that is as vibrant and varied as the city of Cleveland.
Explore cim.edu to learn more.
Photo by Roger Mastroianni.