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Fellowship Of The Strings: Unique Program Promotes Diversity In Orchestras

Double Bass player Ian Saunders is a graduate of the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows program.

The odds of landing a coveted seat in one of the great American orchestras is slim and the competition is fierce. For minority musicians the stakes are even higher. Just four percent of players in U.S. orchestras are African American or Latino.

The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra have teamed up to change the odds with a Diversity Fellows program. Up to five musicians selected for the fellowship earn an Artistic Diploma from CCM, while they rehearse and perform with the CSO. Each fellow is paired with a mentor. Since its launch, orchestras from around the country have looked to CCM and the CSO to try and replicate the program.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the Diversity Fellows program are Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Instructional Programs Manager Carol Dunevant; Diversity Fellow and Double Bass Ian Saunders; and University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Dean Stanley Romanstein.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.