The NIMAN National Pathways Festival and Annual Convening

March 18th – March 19th, 2023 in Cincinnati, OH
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 — 2022 Chicago Youth in Music Festival open rehearsal with Maestro Riccardo Muti © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2022

The Festival

We are thrilled to announce the NIMAN National Pathways Festival and Annual Convening in partnership with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, this March 2023! On March 16th, 2023, Pathways Fellows from across the country will arrive in Cincinnati for a unique, intensive musical experience, working alongside musicians from the CSO. This incredible program builds on last year’s Chicago Youth in Music Festival presented in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Merit School of Music, and Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative.

Selected through a competitive audition process, the Pathways Fellows will have opportunities to learn from musicians from one of the most highly-regarded orchestras in the country, perform for a panel of faculty from some of the most prestigious higher learning institutions, and take part in a project designed to explore those topics that they feel the field needs to hear most about. Peer networking is also emphasized – once a Fellow, always be a Fellow! Please note that to be eligible to audition, you must study at a pathways program that is part of the Network.

Picture courtesy of Todd Rosenberg.


The Festival and Convening culminates in a performance of Brian Raphael Nabors’ Pulse for Orchestra and Dvořák’s 9th Symphony, led by Maestro Kevin John Edusei on March 19th, 2023 at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Music Hall.

We are delighted to partner with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the production of the Festival and Convening.

Applications/auditions for the Festival Orchestra are hosted via Acceptd. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, all eligible students are able to apply for free.

Annual Convening

We are excited to welcome you to join us in Cincinnati for our Annual Convening that take place concurrently with the Festival. The Convening is designed to bring together our members and important partners from all stages of the musical bridge for conversations that will promote progress toward our goal to create a level playing field in classical music.

The Convening opens with a luncheon on Saturday, March 18th with a keynote address by Demarre McGill. The opening session will set the context for our conversations, building on foundations built in Chicago last April. The full report from Chicago can be found here.

The afternoon will include a panel presentation before we break into small groups for further discussion. Convening attendees are invited to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s concert that evening. Tickets will be included in the registration fee for those who register by January 20th!


Sunday morning opens with a panel by our pathways Fellow, providing insight into what the new generations of musicians have identified as the most critical in building equity in the field. Small group discussions will lead to a final culminating comprehensive session. Following dinner, the Festival Orchestra will perform side-by-side with musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by Kevin John Edusei. Maestro Edusei will also give closing keynote remarks. We hope that you will join us in Cincinnati to share your voice and to celebrate the remarkable Fellows in the Festival Orchestra!

NIMAN’s Convening is designed to promote cross-sector engagement and conversations that span the bridge of musical development. By curating targeted conversations with members and partners across the bridge, we aim to develop concrete next steps to build meaningful, lasting equity in the field.

If you plan to attend the NIMAN Annual Convening and National Pathways Festival and would like to reserve a room at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, book your stay using NIMAN’s reservation link below to receive a special rate. A limited number of rooms are available – we recommend booking your stay by January 20th, 2023.

We appreciate the generous support of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation for their sponsorship of the Festival and Convening.

2022 Chicago Youth in Music Festival open rehearsal with Maestro Riccardo Muti © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2022
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