Walter Bitner

Home » Nashville Symphony Programs » Accelerando » Announcing the Accelerando Inaugural Class

Announcing the Accelerando Inaugural Class

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from my Instagram feed: the first class of Accelerando poses with Nashville Symphony music director Giancarlo Guerrero, August 20, 2016

from my Instagram feed: the first class of Accelerando poses with Nashville Symphony music director Giancarlo Guerrero, August 20, 2016

This month saw the end of a long and thorough audition process that began on March 12 and led to the selection of our first ever class of students who are beginning the Accelerando program this fall. Speaking on my own behalf and that of the Nashville Symphony and our community partners: we are thrilled!

Our first class of Accelerando students represents the dynamic diversity of Middle Tennessee well: each of the six students in grades 7 -10 attends a different school, two in Rutherford County and the other four at Metro Nashville Public Schools. Our inaugural class of student instrumentalists collectively play violin, viola, flute, bassoon, and trombone, and will begin weekly lessons with Nashville Symphony musicians in September, as part of a comprehensive scholarship program of activities to prepare them for music school at the college level.

All from Middle Tennessee, the students are:

IMG_3475Bernard Ekwuazi, trombone
Grade 9
Blackman High School,
Rutherford County Schools







IMG_3481Isabel Evernham,
Grade 9,
Overton High School,








Aalia Hanif,
Grade 10
Central Magnet School,
Rutherford County Schools










Emily Martinez-Perez,
Grade 9
Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School,






IMG_3505Cedric Quinn,
Grade 10
McGavock High School,








IMG_3464Antonio Thai,
Grade 7
Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet






This pioneering class represents everything that we envisioned when we announced Accelerando more than a year ago: talented and dedicated youngsters from different corners of our community who have the potential to shape the future of American orchestras. I am thrilled to welcome these gifted young musicians into the Nashville Symphony family, and I know everyone in our organization is excited to follow their development and progress in the coming years.




  1. […] Announcing the Accelerando Inaugural Class […]

  2. […] on Off The Podium: from our very first press conference announcing the program in September 2015 to the announcement of our Inaugural Class of six students in August 2016. Click here to access all of these articles detailing the program and its impact on […]

  3. […] Announcing the Accelerando Inaugural Class […]

  4. […] We announced our inaugural class in August 2016, and these students began participation in the program immediately. Accelerando is a comprehensive program designed to prepare students from ethnicities underrepresented in American orchestras for careers as professional orchestra musicians. Key elements in the program include: […]

  5. […] For last year’s Announcing the Accelerando Inaugural Class, click here. […]

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