FranklinIs Connected

Nashville Symphony Welcomes Six Local Students to Accelerando Music Education Initiative

Nashville Symphony Welcomes Six Local Students to Accelerando Music Education Initiative

Nashville, Tenn. (August 9, 2019) – Six music students from the area have been selected for Accelerando, the Nashville Symphony’s groundbreaking music education initiative designed to facilitate the studies of gifted young musicians from diverse backgrounds and to prepare them for careers in music.

The six students were introduced during an event at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Thursday, August 8, that was attended by current Accelerando students and their families, as well as Nashville Symphony staff members. Now in its fourth year, Accelerando serves 21 students in total. The program’s impact is beginning to be felt beyond Middle Tennessee, as one member of the inaugural Accelerando class, Aalia Hanif, has graduated and is now attending conservatory at Northwestern University.

All from Davidson and Williamson counties, the fourth class of Accelerando students are:

  • Yassin Adams, clarinet: Grade 10, Stewarts Creek High School
  • Rebecca Guirguis, viola: Grade 8, Lipscomb Academy
  • Orlandis Maise, trombone: Grade 9, Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet
  • Eshani Mehta, violin: Grade 11, Ravenwood High School
  • Edward Owens, bass: Grade 9, Hillsboro High School
  • Joshua Young, clarinet: Grade 7, West End Middle School

 “Accelerando was created to help ensure that musicians of diverse backgrounds and life experiences play an active role in shaping the future of orchestral music,” said Kimberly McLemore, Accelerando program manager. “The opportunity to work with the young musicians in this program has made a significant impact on the way Nashville Symphony musicians, conductors and staff understand their own roles in the community we serve. The dedication of these remarkable students continues to be an inspiration for all of us, and I look forward to working with our new Accelerando class as we continue to learn and grow together.”

Earlier this year, the Symphony held auditions for Accelerando, which were adjudicated by Nashville Symphony musicians and staff. The six participants were chosen during the summer and will begin private lessons this September. As part of the program’s intensive curriculum, each student will also participate in youth orchestra, will get to participate in master classes and will be provided complimentary tickets to the Nashville Symphony’s Classical Series.

Launched in 2016, in partnership with Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Conexión Américas and Choral Arts Link, Accelerando engages individual students over a multi-year period with extensive instruction, performance and learning opportunities and also offers students assistance with applying for collegiate music programs. The acclaimed program places has established the Nashville Symphony as a leader in a national movement to create opportunities for young musicians from ethnic communities currently underrepresented in American orchestras. All services are provided free of charge. More information on Accelerando can be found here.

Photos from the August 8 Accelerando event are available for download on Dropbox. All photos should be credited to LeXander Bryant/Nashville Symphony.

For more information or to request interviews, please contact Dave Felipe at 615.687.6565 or



The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released more than 30 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.