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While CMPI works with young musicians in the Chicago area, there are many similar organizations around the country doing equally amazing work in their cities. Uniting these many organizations and the students they serve is the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network (NIMAN), a group dedicated to supporting young classical musicians of color. NIMAN has several upcoming programs planned of interest to CMPI families, including the Common Application for Summer Study and the National Pathways Festival and Annual Convening.

niman logo

Common Application for Summer Study

First, NIMAN’s Common Application for Summer Study is available for the next few months for students applying to summer camps, festivals, and institutes. The program allows students of color to apply at no cost to 15 programs across the country, including some of the top orchestral training programs available. In addition to the common application process, the participating programs have agreed to offer at least one full scholarship to students applying via the NIMAN application.

Through the Acceptd platform, students can apply to any of the participating programs, with their information autofilled from application to application. Orchestral repertoire programs require students to submit two short contrasting works plus three excerpts, while other programs require just two contrasting works.

While the common application is continuously available through the application season, students must submit the application by each individual program’s deadline, and dates vary from December 31 to March 31.

National Pathways Festival and Annual Convening

From March 16-19, 2023, students, educators, and other partners will gather for the now annual National Pathways Festival and Annual Convening. After last year’s successful gathering in Chicago, this year’s event will be held in Cincinnati in conjunction with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The Festival Orchestra will be composed of fellows from various pathways programs around the country after a competitive audition process for the ensemble. They will be joined and mentored by members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and will participate in other events, including mock college auditions and networking. The festival will conclude with performances of Brian Raphael Nabors’ Pulse for Orchestra and Dvořák’s 9th Symphony, led by Maestro Kevin John Edusei.

This year, CMPI had seven fellows accepted into the festival orchestra, including Ella Saputra (violin), Javier Irizarry (violin), Dubravko Leo Rodriguez (viola), Mateo Estanislao (bass), Zachary Allen (oboe), Jonathan Martinez (bass trombone) and Wanye Williams (percussion).

While the fellows rehearse, educators and partners will hear a keynote address from flutist (and Chicago native) Demarre McGill, and then move on to panel presentations and small group discussions on topics related to advancing students of color in classical music. Those interested in attending can find out more and register to attend at

CMPI is thankful to NIMAN for its ongoing support of pathways fellows throughout the United States, and for offering these unique opportunities for CMPI Fellows.


Last year’s Festival Orchestra and NIMAN logo

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