Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program Celebrates 30 Years With Building Bridges Symposium: Connecting The Pathways

August 29, 2023

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Equity Arc announce the Building Bridges Symposium: Connecting the Pathways to be held on November 16–18, 2023 at Woodruff Arts Center. This event is in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the ASO’s Talent Development Program (TDP) and is the third installment of the Building Bridges Symposium.

Each year, the TDP provides 25 Black and Latinx pre-college musicians with high-quality musical training, mentorship, and financial support. This support has led over 100 TDP alumni to attend top music schools and conservatories, with a robust alumni network of orchestral leaders. In January 2023, ASO expanded support for traditionally underrepresented musicians by launching a professional fellowship program to offer orchestral training for post-collegiate instrumentalists.

“As a proud alumni of the ASO Talent Development Program, I am appreciative of the resources and opportunities this program provides to so many talented youth musicians of color in the metropolitan Atlanta area. I look forward to welcoming Equity Arc members and partners to participate in the Symposium and leaving inspired by the accomplishments of the Program.”

Stanford Thompson

Equity Arc Executive Director

The Building Bridges Symposium opens up a national conversation on the success of pre-college Pathways programs, the potential of orchestral training programs, and strategies to bridge these training opportunities across the arc of the musical journey. With a balanced focus on ASO’s equitable training programs and Equity Arc’s national collectives, attendees will take away insights, ideas, and initiatives to create impact across the nation.

“We are excited to host our third Building Bridges Symposium, this time expanded and co-presented with Equity Arc, leveraging a large and diverse national network. The success of the ASO’s Talent Development Program makes Atlanta a unique place to see the change we want to catalyze on stages across the country. The symposium will inspire students, musicians, administrators, audiences and funders across the country to envision what is possible and to unite together in the common cause of making musical opportunities available to all.”

Jennifer Barlament

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Executive Director

Symposium Highlights Include:

  • Insights from TDP program managers, faculty, students, and alumni
  • Keynote address from Michelle Cann
  • Roundtable discussions on the future of Pathways and orchestral fellowship programs
  • Culminating performance by TDP Alumni

Interested attendees can view full details and register here.

About Equity Arc

Equity Arc (formerly known as the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network), is a national coalition of musical organizations and advocates who collaborate to provide classical musicians of color with advancement and mentoring opportunities to further their musical careers. The collective work follows two paths: Building a comprehensive arc of support and mentorship for instrumentalists to navigate the journey from student to professional and assisting in breaking down barriers to achieving success in the field. Equity Arc also provides forums, resources, and training for member organizations to dismantle the structural inequities, biases, and systemic racism ingrained in their policies and practices that inhibit the creation of equitable opportunities and environments for classical musicians of color.

In 2023, Equity Arc launched the National Collective for Musical Pathways, a collaborative initiative that provides a nucleus for Pathways programs across the United States. Pathways programs offer subsidized, musical training and mentorship that prepares pre-college musicians of color to enter prestigious collegiate music institutions. The National Pathways Festival is an annual opportunity for select fellows in the Collective to convene annually for a multi-day musical intensive, working alongside professional musicians and performing in our country’s preeminent concert halls. The Equity Arc Annual Convening brings together partners from across the field for focused discussion and action to level the playing field in classical music.

About Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Under the leadership of Music Director Nathalie Stutzmann, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) offers live performances, media initiatives, and learning programs that unite, educate, and enrich our community through the engaging and transformative power of orchestral music experiences. The ASO engages the diverse international community of our city, bringing people together in harmony—including our youngest citizens, with extensive opportunities for youth and families to fall in love with music. Two hallmark education programs celebrate anniversaries this season: the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra celebrates 50 years, and the Talent Development Program turns 30.

The Orchestra’s range and depth are featured in more than 150 concerts each year, including the flagship Delta Classical Series, Movies in Concert, Family Concerts, Coca-Cola Holiday series and many community and education concerts. In addition, the ASO presents many vibrant, wide-ranging events and artists through its Delta Atlanta Symphony Hall Live presentations. The ASO also performs with the ASO Chorus, originally founded by Robert Shaw, and currently under the direction of Norman Mackenzie. The Chorus is featured on nine of the ASO’s 27 Grammy® Award-winning recordings.

Contact for more information and media inquiries.