The NIMAN National Pathways Festival and Annual Convening

March 16th – 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!

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.

The National Pathways Network

In Chicago this past April, Directors of pathways initiatives nationwide met for a multi-day Summit to explore the establishment of a Network that ensures the sustainability of these essential programs. Pathways initiatives provide unparalleled support for talented young musicians from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in classical music. Their work is essential to the meaningful diversification of our field. Pathways Directors engaged in conversations to strengthen the connection between initiatives, working in tandem to develop strategies that will fortify our shared goals. Our time in Chicago culminated in a report that lays the foundations for our next steps. The report can be access by clicking here.

If you are interested in becoming part of the Pathways Network, please contact our General Manager at magee@niman.org

Annual Convening

We are excited to produce NIMAN’s Annual Convening 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. Small group discussions, collegiate faculty engagement, networking, and the Fellows enrichment project will be Convening highlights and all guests will be part of the Festival Orchestra’s performance on March 19th. We hope that you will join us in Cincinnati to share your voice and to celebrate the remarkable Fellows in the Festival Orchestra.

Convening dates are March 18th-19th, 2023. Full schedule, hotel details, and registration information will be available soon.

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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