Featured , Negotiations

Dallas Symphony Inaugurates the DSO Diversity Fellowship

July 25, 2023

The Dallas Symphony Association, acting on the recommendations of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (established in the most recently negotiated CBA), has proposed the establishment of a Diversity Fellowship Program to offer pre-professional musicians from populations that have historically been underrepresented in symphony orchestras an education, training, and performance opportunity with the goal of preparing them for a career in a major professional symphony orchestra

Beginning in the 2023-24 Season, up to three musicians will be chosen through a blind audition process to rehearse and perform with the DSO for 25 weeks of the year. During those weeks, the fellows will be paid the orchestra’s base scale as bargained in the orchestra’s collective bargaining agreement. Also included in the training curriculum are mock auditions, masterclasses, private lessons, Young Strings teaching, and chamber music. Each fellow will also be assigned a DSO player as a mentor who will assist, guide, and empower them as they navigate audition preparation and career training.

Earlier in the spring Local 72-147 negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement with the DSO to address those areas where Musicians of the Orchestra may be impacted by the implementation of the Fellowship Program. Audition procedures, policies for the non-displacement of musicians and rates for DSO musicians special services in connection with the program were developed. Much thanks goes to David Sywak, George Nickson, Emily Levin, Barry Hearn and Russell Campbell for serving on the Negotiation Committee and to the musicians serving on the DSO’ s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee: Yousef Assi, Jenna Barghouti and Daphne Volle.

Local 72-147 fully supports the establishment of the Fellowship Program with its objective to further deepen the DSO’s existing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives, and to build an inclusive symphony orchestra which more directly reflects the ideas and culture of its surrounding communities.

More information can be found about the DSO Diversity Fellowship at dallassyphony.org.