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UNCSA and Winston-Salem Symphony Launch New Fellowship

The two-year, graduate-level fellowship is available for five outstanding string players

Open to international violinists, violists, cellists, and double bass players, the new Orchestral Fellowship, presented by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and the Winston-Salem Symphony will begin in the Fall of 2024.

With applications open until January 18, 2024, the two-year, graduate-level Strings Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for students to perform multiple weeks in concert with the professional orchestra, as well as to receive mentorship by Winston-Salem Symphony Music Director Michelle Merrill and symphony musicians. Fellows will also participate in the symphony’s P.L.A.Y. (Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth) Music program for underserved youth.

Each year, the program will enroll five string players with a demonstrated passion for community engagement. They will receive a full scholarship and stipend while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (M.M.) program at UNCSA. Along with performing, the fellows will have the opportunity for administrative internship roles with the symphony.

The application deadline is Jan. 18, 2024; visit uncsa.edu/wsso-fellowship for more information and to apply.

With a long history of collaboration and partnership between the university and the symphony, a number of current and former UNCSA faculty and staff members and alumni are also members of the Winston-Salem Symphony, including UNCSA School of Music Dean Saxton Rose, who serves as the orchestra’s principal bassoonist.

“This collaboration between the Winston-Salem Symphony and UNCSA marks a pivotal moment in realizing our vision of a community where live music connects people from all walks of life,” said Winston-Salem Symphony Music Director Merrill. “By welcoming a talented cohort of fellows, we are not just adding chairs to our ensemble; we are adding unique perspectives, fresh ideas, and a vibrant energy that will enrich our performances. This program has the power to enhance the caliber of our orchestra while training the next generation of professional musicians to become torchbearers of both artistic excellence and meaningful community engagement.”

“We are thrilled about this fellowship, and are deeply grateful to our donors and to our partners at the Winston-Salem Symphony for making it happen,” said UNCSA Chancellor Brian Cole. “The remarkable emerging artists at UNCSA will gain a great deal of firsthand experience about life in a professional symphony orchestra, which will be crucial after they leave campus and forge careers as working artists. This fellowship also provides an opportunity for two vibrant local arts organizations to actively work together to make this City of Arts and Innovation an even more beautiful and interesting place to live.”

Funded by an anonymous donor, the fellowship also reinforces vital components of “UNCSA Forward,” the university’s current strategic plan, which includes enhancing industry relevance and promoting institutional sustainability.

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