CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship

Two Diversity Fellows play onstage with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Funded by The Mellon Foundation, the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship is a prestigious performance fellowship program for exceptional string players.

The program provides an unparalleled two-year learning experience for graduate-level violin, viola, violoncello and double bass players coming from various and diverse populations.

Earn Your Graduate Degree

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship program will accept up to five qualifying Fellows per year, who will receive full tuition scholarship (instructional fees and non-resident surcharges) support while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (MM) Artist Diploma (AD) program at CCM.

Fellows will receive guidance from CCM’s illustrious faculty members and have access to arts entrepreneurial seminars and other performing and non-performing community engagement activities.

Scholarship support totals $27,500 per year. Each Fellow will also receive a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000.

Perform with a Professional Orchestra

Fellows will perform an equivalent of five weeks per season with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Fellows will participate in a progressive sequence of concerts based on program difficulty, with additional work focused on community engagement and educational activities.

Each Fellow will receive compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

Fellows will be paired with CSO coach/mentors throughout the entire two-year fellowship. Mentors will provide intensive guidance in preparation and performance for fellowship weeks with the CSO, as well as overall mentorship throughout the two-year experience.

Fellows will also have access to orchestral audition and professional development travel stipends.

Participate in Additional Opportunities

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows can also participate in additional opportunities, including the chance to perform with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and participate in professional development opportunities with the Chautauqua Institution during its summer season.

Program Eligibility

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship is open to exceptional string players coming from various and diverse populations, which might include:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents representing the first generation to attend college and graduate school, and/or
  • U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents who have followed non-traditional pathways to college due to exceptional talent and motivation in the face of adversity, such as societal, economic, or academic disadvantages, and/or
  • U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents with a demonstrated commitment to including and applying diverse backgrounds and perspectives to learning, scholarship, service, and civic leadership, and/ or
  • Students who have participated in strong music programs in institutions or through organizations who focus on diversity and inclusion in music, and/or
  • Applicants from American orchestras and professional music conservatories,

Applicants must meet the admissions and audition standards for CCM’s MM and AD programs in violin, viola, cello or double bass. Finalists will be brought back to Cincinnati for a second audition with CSO musicians, thanks to the grant funding.

Important Dates

CCM and the CSO are not currently accepting applications for the Diversity Fellowship program.

Repertoire For Finalist Auditions with the CSO

Information Request

To receive additional information about the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship, please fill out the following form:

A complete application includes an online application, transcript(s), letters of recommendation, 500-word personal statement and a live interview at CCM.

Pre-screening is required for certain instruments. Learn more about the CCM application process.