African American Orchestra Fellowship
The DSO inaugurated its African American Orchestra Fellowship in 1990 and is proud to be a leader in celebrating the contributions of African American composers, nurturing the talents of young African American classical musicians, and increasing access and opportunity for African Americans within classical music.
The African American Orchestra Fellowship is designed to enhance the career development of African American musicians. Fellows perform in the orchestra, work closely with coaches and mentors, participate in mock auditions, and represent the DSO in the community.
The African American Orchestra Fellowship is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2018, the DSO was pleased to announce the expansion of the program from one Fellow position to two positions, thanks to the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The African American Fellowship program is currently accepting applications. Audition information is posted here on the Auditions and Employment page. For previous audition information please view the 2019 Fellowship Poster.
Previous African American Orchestra Fellows include, but are not limited to:
Douglas Cardwell – Principal Timpani, New Mexico Philharmonic
Velda Kelly – Violin, Detroit Opera
Romona Merritt – Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Freelance Musician
Caen Thomason-Redus – Flute; VP of Inclusion and Learning, League of American Orchestras
Alexander Davis – Bassoon, Former Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; Freelance Musician
Alexander Laing – Principal Clarinet, Phoenix Symphony
Derek Reeves – Principal Viola, Fort Wayne Symphony
Kenneth Thompkins – Principal Trombone, DSO
Geoffrey Johnson – Oboe, Former Acting Second Oboe, DSO; Detroit Freelance Musician
John Madison – Principal Viola, Detroit Opera
Michael Robinson Jr. – Principal Trombone, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra
Joshua Jones – Principal Percussion, Kansas City Symphony
Garrett McQueen – Bassoon, Digital Content; Radio Producer
Adam Sadberry – Acting Principal Flute, Memphis Symphony Orchestra