Planning Phase

Last Updated: February 22, 2020

In the fall of 2018, Walter Bitner invited organizations and individuals interested in forming a network dedicated to the advancement of youth classical musicians of color. As the Director of Education for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra at the time, Mr. Bitner was instrumental in launching the orchestra’s Accelerando program with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Building upon Walter’s idea to create a network, Stanford Thompson proposed building a national association of organizations and individuals that would align resources and collaborate on strategies along the pathway musicians of color travel from their early years through formal training at the collegiate level to a career as a professional classical musician.

Once established, the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network (working title) would represent over a year of planning, meetings, and an in-person convening in order to create a formal mechanism that could create added value to the trajectory of classical musicians of color throughout the United States by everyone working together to achieve shared goals.

This page will be updated each quarter with additional information pertaining to the planning and development of NIMAN. Questions or comments can be directed to the volunteers helping to launch this initiative:

Briefing Documents
Case for Founding / Briefing Paper (PDF)
Getting Started Developing a Formal Network (PDF)
Bridge Plan Genesis and Overview (PDF)
Bridge Plan Concept (PDF)
Bridge Plan Matrix (PDF)

Minutes of Exploratory Meetings
February 3, 2018 Undergraduate Admissions DEI Conversation (PDF)
December 6, 2018 NIMAN Meeting (PDF)
January 10, 2019 NIMAN Meeting (PDF)
January 31, 2019 NIMAN Meeting (PDF)
Atlanta Symphony Building Bridges Symposium Report / Appendix (PDFs)

Minutes of Fall 2019 Working Group Meetings
By-Laws Working Group Meeting – September 30, 2019 (PDF)
Implementation Group Meeting – October 7, 2019 (PDF)
Implementation Group Meeting – October 11, 2019 (PDF)
Program Group Meeting – September 30, 2019 (PDF)
Program Group Meeting – October 9, 2019 (PDF)
Ratification Group Meeting – October 21, 2019 (PDF)
Ratification Group Meeting – November 4, 2019 (PDF)

2019 NIMAN Convening Information and Report
Convening Packet / Packet Addendum (PDFs)
Convening Report – November 15-16, 2019 (PDF)
Post-Convening Informational Webinar Minutes (PDF)

Minutes and Actions of the Leadership Group
Leadership Group Meetings – November 6 & 13, 2019 (PDF)
Leadership Group Meeting – January 21, 2020 (PDF)
Leadership Group Meeting – March 20, 2020 (PDF)

Process and Timeline for Planning and Implementation
Networks of this nature are typically developed in stages. Below is given an outline of the planning process and timeline we are undertaking to launch the association.

Summer 2019: Working Groups were established to develop accomplish key tasks needed before the association is created. 24 people signed up to volunteer in at least one working group and committed to approximately 6-10 hours of volunteer work between September 2019 – February 2020.
– Development of Guiding Principles: Definitions for membership, mission and governance
– Development of By-Laws: Definitions for board membership, committees, responsibilities, etc.
– Development of the Initial Operating Plan: Staffing plan and budget, goals for network launch, growth, operations, and member services.
– Development of Initial Programmatic Activities: Design of a comprehensive musician’s database and college visit program.
– Provide leadership in a steering committee to guide the overall process and help make key decisions as needed.

Fall 2019: Working Groups meet to draft guiding documents to be used for the creation and launch of the national association:

– Leadership Group (Stanford Thompson, leader): Serving as a steering committee, this group will guide the overall process and help make key decisions as needed.
> Lucinda Ali-Landing – Hyde Park Suzuki Institute
> Abra Bush – The Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University
> Jonathan Martin – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
> Richard Scerbo – National Orchestral Institute
> Adrienne Thompson – Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative
> Hilary Dow Ward – Sewanee Summer Music Festival
> Charles Grode – Merit School of Music
> Toni Paz – Independent Fundraising Professional
> Carol Dunevant – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

– The Program Group (Hilary Dow Ward, leader) – Building upon ideas vetted in previous meetings, this group will identify and budget 2-3 initiatives that can be pursued in the pilot year(s).
> Kimberly McLemore – Nashville Symphony, Accelerando
> Angelica Durrell – INTEMPO
> James Hall – Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative
> Ahmad Mayes – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
> Jerrod Price – Cleveland Institute of Music

– The By-Laws Group (Charles Grode, leader) – Draft mission, vision and values statements and by-laws for the new association.
> Carol Dunevant – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
> Jazmin Morales – Colburn School
> Weston Sprott – The Juilliard School

– The Ratification Group (Toni Paz, leader) – Draft definitions of membership, membership dues structure, profile of an Executive Director, and also processes by which members would vote to ratify the by-laws, elect board members and board composition.
> Garrett Lefkowitz – Detroit Symphony Orchestra
> Hilary Dow Ward – Sewanee Summer Music Festival
> Quanice Floyd – Arts Education in Maryland Schools

– The Implementation Group (Carol Dunevant, leader) – Draft how the new association would get itself open, hire staff, raise money, and begin to serve our members.
> Andrew Lee – DC Strings Workshop
> Ciyadh Wells – Margins Guitar Collective
> Richard Scerbo – National Orchestral Institute
> Maria Mathieson – Peabody Preparatory, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University

National Convening Participants in Partnership with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (November 15-16, 2019)

Photo by Mark Lyons
Lucinda Ali-LandingExecutive Director Hyde Park Suzuki Institute
Jamie AllenDirector of EducationDallas Symphony Orchestra
Emily Wren BaxterVolunteerNIMAN
Naimah BilalDirector of Board RelationsUniversity of Cincinnati Foundation
Pam BlaineChief of Education and Community EngagementHouston Symphony
Rebecca BogersDean and DirectorNew England Conservatory Preparatory School
Abra Bush Senior Associate Dean of Institute StudiesThe Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University
Ann Cushing-ReidInterim Director Preparatory and Community Engagement DivisionUniversity of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Hilary Dow WardManaging Director Sewanee Summer Music Festival
Carol DunevantInstructional Programs ManagerCincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Angelica DurrellFounder and Executive DirectorINTEMPO
Cassidy FitzpatrickVice President for Musician AdvancementNew World Symphony
Joyce GriggsExecutive Vice President and ProvostManhattan School of Music
Charlie GrodePresident & Executive DirectorMerit School of Music
Emily HeckelManager, NSO and Music EducationNational Symphony Orchestra
Marshall HughesManager Boston BEAMBoston BEAM
Jacqueline JoveDirector of EducationSphinx
Joan Katz NapoliSenior Director of Education and Community ManagementCleveland Orchestra
Emily LairEducation Project ManagerLos Angeles Philharmonic
Andrew LeeArtistic DirectorDC Strings Workshop
James Lee IIIComposer/Associate Professor of TheoryMorgan State University
Katherine Drago LuellenExecutive Dean of EnrollmentInterlochen Center for the Arts
Jonathan MartinPresidentCincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Ahmad MayesDirector of Education and Community EngagementCincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Robert McGrathVice President and General ManagerCincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Kimberly McLemoreDirector of Education and Community EngagementNashville Symphony
Christopher J MosseyVP for Institutional AdvancementCurtis Institute of Music
Toni S. PazCertified Fund Raising Executive
Suzanne PerrinoSenior Vice President of Learning & Community EngagementPittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Chaz SalazarArtist Diploma StudentUniversity of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, NIMAN Panelist
Christina SalgadoEquity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Program ManagerThe Juilliard School
Ian SaundersCSO/CCM Diversity FellowNIMAN Panelist
Richard ScerboDirectorNational Orchestral Institute
Elizabeth SchurginExecutive DirectorDC Youth Orchestra Program
Geoffrey ScottDirector of Music AdmissionsRice University – Shepherd School
Steven SlaffManaging DirectorChautauqua Symphony Orchestra
Edgar Smith, Jr.Chairman and CEOWorld Pac Paper, LLC
Weston SprottDean of Preparatory DivisionThe Juilliard School
Johnnia StigallManager of Pre-College & Pathways ProgramsCleveland Institute of Music
Caen Thomason-RedusCommunity Catalyst, Senior Director of Community & LearningDetroit Symphony Orchestra
Adrienne ThompsonProject Director: Chicago Musical Pathways InititativeChicago Musical Pathways Initiative
Stanford ThompsonFounder and Executive DirectorPlay On Philly
Angelica TranCoordinator, Artist Training ProgramsCarnegie Hall
Henry ValorisDean of Performance and Production OperationsManhattan School of Music
Denielle WilsonCSO/CCM Diversity FellowNIMAN Panelist
Najib WongManagerPhiladelphia Music Alliance for Youth Artists Initiative
Karen YairVice President, Knowledge, Learning and LeadershipLeague of American Orchestras