The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will launch the Annapolis Symphony Academy this fall, providing music instruction and ensemble training for middle and high school students. With a goal that half of enrolled students come from Hispanic and African-American backgrounds, this new initiative will help promote and increase diversity in American orchestras. For half of all enrolled students, all program costs will be funded by scholarships based on financial need.
The orchestra hopes that in the long term, increased access to musical instruction for minority groups will lead to increased diversity on professional orchestra stages and in orchestra audiences. The academy program also meets a local need for more intensive individual instruction in Anne Arundel County, as well as a need to keep students engaged in music throughout their middle and high school years. A generous grant from Jane Campbell-Chambliss and Peter Chambliss will cover the majority of expenses for the first six years.
Aside from individual lessons, students will attend small ensemble coaching, guest artist workshops, ASO concerts, and more. The program will be led by ASO concertmaster Netanel Draiblate of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD) and Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL). The majority of instructors will be ASO musicians. Students are auditioning for 20 string spots in the first year; ASO expects to expand the program each subsequent year.