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Life-changing Audition

The DSO African-American Orchestra Fellowship

“The DSO as an organization feels it is imperative to reflect our community and that is at the heart of this Fellowship. It’s the commitment we began in 1990; it’s the commitment we maintain today; and it has spread across all of our programs as a core value of the institution.”

-Caen Thomason-Redus, DSO Senior Director of Community and Learning, and African-American Fellow 2005-2007 

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 DSO’s current African-American Orchestra Fellow is Michael Gause, trumpet. Former Fellow Adam Sadberry, flute, recently earned a position with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

"When I found out that I had won a Fellowship, I was flabbergasted. The thought that I was going to go straight from completing my undergrad into a position with one of the top orchestras in the country was something that I could hardly believe!"

-Adam Sadberry, DSO African-American Fellow 2018-2019

Impact: Past DSO African-American Fellows Velda Kelly and John Madison Discuss Why You Should Apply

Applications are currently open for the 2020-2021 African-American Orchestra Fellowship. The application deadline is December 2, 2019.

Applicants will be notified of their audition invitation status by December 20, 2019.

In-person audition finals will take place in Detroit on March 9, 2020.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • The Fellowship Application Form
  • A current resume
  • Professional quality performance audio file(s) of audition excerpts and solo repertoire as listed in the Application Guidelines document below. Applicants should not state their names in their recordings.

Resumes and recordings should be submitted online during the completion of the Fellowship Application Form.

Please read the Application Guidelines for complete application details and repertoire for each instrument.