Walter Bitner

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Accelerando Begins Year Three

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Nashville Symphony Accelerando 2018-2019 ~ photo by Sally Bebawy (click photos to enlarge)


Earlier this month we held a reception for returning students and families in the Nashville Symphony Accelerando program to welcome seven new students and families who join Accelerando this fall. It was an exciting occasion at which we celebrated these talented, motivated young musicians, and officially marked the beginning of new year of working together.

The reception brought to a close the long and thorough audition process that began with initial auditions on March 3, through semifinal auditions in April and May, and finalist trial lessons over the summer. We are thrilled to welcome these fine students into the program!

photo by Sally Bebawy

Our third class of Accelerando students consists of seven students in grades 4 – 11, including students from four different Metro Nashville Public Schools, two students from Stewarts Creek High School in Rutherford County, and one home-schooled student. This year’s seven new students join our returning Accelerando students for a total of sixteen young instrumentalists enrolled in the program this year.

Our 2018 – 2019 Accelerando students collectively play violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, and percussion, 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.


Accelerando Manager Kimberly McLemore welcomes students and parents, August 2, 2018 ~ photo by Sally Bebawy


Learn more about Accelerando on the Nashville Symphony website here.


photo by Sally Bebawy

Icsis Church,
Grade 8
Bellevue Middle School





solo by Sally Bebawy

Treasure Eckles,
Grade 10
Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School





photo by Sally Bebawy

Angel Elbano,
Grade 4
Una Elementary School





photo by Sally Bebawy

Rose Majett
Grade 8
home-schooled student






photo by Sally Bebawy

Xavion Patterson,
Grade 10
Stewarts Creek High School
Rutherford County Schools





photo by Sally Bebawy

Mario Shaw,
Grade 11
Stewarts Creek High School
Rutherford County Schools








photo by Sally Bebawy

Alexander Vinson,
Grade 7
MLK Jr. Magnet Middle








Aalia Hanif, a member of Accelerando’s inaugural class who will also be our first graduate – this year! – addressed her peers as part of the reception’s ceremonies.

Aalia Hanif addresses fellow Accelerando students, August 2, 2018 ~ photo by Sally Bebawy

“As musicians from underrepresented cultures, it is both our duty and our community’s duty to expand the realm of classical music to meet people from all walks of life,” she said. “Accelerando has become a main part of my life, and I am eternally grateful that I am a part of this wonderful program.”

It is very exciting to welcome these gifted young musicians into the Nashville Symphony family!

For Kara McLeland’s excellent article on this event posted on the Nashville Public Radio website, click here.

For the Accelerando category archives on Off The Podium, click here.


photo by Sally Bebawy

1 Comment

  1. […] August – a month before the 2018-19 season began, we welcomed seven new students into the program, for a total of sixteen students this year. First year students ranged in age from 9 to 16 years of […]

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