Harmony Fellowship for Underrepresented Musicians

About the Fellowship

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s Harmony Fellowship for Underrepresented Musicians is a two-year Fellowship program for promising, diverse violinists, violists, and cellists pursuing an orchestral career. The NHSO strongly encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds including but not limited to, diverse racial, ethnic, socio-economic and geographic backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in orchestras. Fellows will rehearse and perform with the orchestra and receive other career development benefits including mentoring and audition preparation, as well as Education/Community Engagement training with supervised experiences.

Fellowship Benefits:

  • Fellows will be offered 30 services to rehearse and play with the full Orchestra on their 8-concert Classics Series, as well as rehearse and perform on the 4-concert Young People’s Concerts.
  • Fellows will gain valuable Education and Community Engagement training by collaborating with the NHSO’s Education Director on two new Ed programs:
    • A string quartet (made up of two fellows and two rostered musicians) that visits upper elementary classrooms and teaches conflict management while making music.
    • A hip hop project (made up of one fellow and one rostered musician) in area high schools that focuses on building resiliency. The program will focus on merging Language Arts and Music by creating hip hop tracks with Classical music as the basis of the loop over which text is spoken.
  • Fellows will be paid the NHSO’s section rate per service ($110), as well as travel costs (up to $35/day).
  • Fellows will receive career development services throughout the program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Currently pursuing or possessing a Graduate degree in Music Performance
  • Interested in pursuing an orchestral career
  • Passionate about Education and Community Engagement
  • Flexible availability:
    • To be scheduled in tandem with the Project Manager:
      • Daytime rehearsals
      • School visits
    • NHSO regularly scheduled rehearsals/concerts:
      • 30 services will be offered, 15 must be accepted
      • Evening rehearsals/concerts (7:30 – 10pm)
      • Weekday and Weekend concerts

Meet the Fellows

James Keene, violin
Harmony Fellow Class of 2019

James Keene is a versatile soloist, chamber musician, orchestral violinist, and music pedagogue. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, he received his B.M. from Rutgers University, and later studied at San Francisco Conservatory. Starting in high school, he has played solo, chamber, and orchestral performances for audiences throughout China, Italy, Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the USA.

Currently, as founder of Classical Revolution NJ, he schedules chamber music performances throughout the central NJ area. He travels frequently between the east and west coast for performances in the Bay Area. Also, as a faculty member of Newark School of the Arts, he instructs the Carollo Scholarship violin students there. His principal teachers have been Todd Phillips, Carmit Zori, Lenuta Ciulei, and Wei-He.

Most recently, James placed 1st place Russel Johnson String Competition in Philadelphia and shared the Carnegie Hall main stage with Dionne Warwick.

Read James' interview on Acceptd

Gabrielle Skinner, viola
Harmony Fellow Class of 2019

Gabrielle Skinner is enrolled in the Master’s program at Rice University as a viola student of Ivo van der Werff. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Viola student of Kirsten Docter. Ms. Skinner has played with the Governor’s School for the Arts, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra, The Virginia Symphony, as
well as Hampton Roads Chamber player’s. Her debut performance was in the Spring of 2011, when she performed Paul Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher at the beautiful Sandler Center of the Arts. Ms. Skinner placed second in the regional Bland competition, and she placed first in
the John Marshall competition sponsored by Symphonicity. In the past, she has attended the Aspen Music Festival, Sphinx Performance Academy, the North American Viola Institute, and the Meadowmount School of Music. Gabrielle has also had the pleasure of performing at the International Viola Congress 2012. In 2017, she was fortunate to be an alumni attending the Sphinx Connect Conference, where she worked with other musicians of color advocating for diversity in todays music society.

Ms. Skinner has performed in Master classes for Heidi Castleman, Jeffrey Irvine, Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot, David Holland, Mark Jacobs, Sabina Thatcher and Roger Tapping. She has also performed in Chamber Master Classes for David Geber, Mark Steinberg, the Cavani
String Quartet, The Miami String Quartet, The Brooklyn Rider Quartet, The American String Quartet and The Jupiter Quartet. In 2016, Gabrielle became a founding member of the Kamila Quartet at the Shepherd School of Music. With them she attended the Robert Mann Institute in January 2017, and has a summer residency planned in Steamboat Springs, working with
members of prominent orchestras from around the country. Gabrielle plays a custom made, modern viola by Geoffrey Ovington.

Read Gabrielle's interview on Acceptd

Application Process

Audition Information

Auditions for the 2018-19 Fellowship have passed. Future audition information will be posted in Winter/Spring 2019.