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March 17, 2016

Almost Half of BSO's Viola Section CIM Alums Thanks to Recent Appointments


Almost Half of BSO's Viola Section CIM Alums Thanks to Recent Appointments

CIM alums Leah Ferguson and Rebekah Edewards, both violists, have won jobs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) starting in its 2016-17 season.  Ferguson and Edewards will join fellow CIM alums Wesley Collins (BM '07, Vernon) and Rebecca Gitter (BM '01 Vernon) in BSO’s viola section making almost half of the section CIM graduates.

While at CIM, Edewards studied primarily with CIM faculty member Mark Jackobs, violist with The Cleveland Orchestra. She graduated in 2008 and is currently a section violist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. But moving from one “BSO” to another has been a dream come true.  “I dreamed of winning a job in the 'Big Five.'  I can't believe I can say that I got my dream job!” she says.

Working with so many CIM alums, Edewards says she couldn’t have asked for a better situation. “We will be joining Wes Collins and Daniel Getz who both won their jobs not too long ago. It will be a young section and a very CIM-full section!” says Edewards. “I've noticed a definite difference when playing next to other CIM-trained musicians. There's a sense of Cleveland Orchestra pride that never dies. We all feel it and strive for that high standard. I'm excited to work with so many others who share my dream and my passion for this great profession.”

A student of both CIM faculty member Robert Vernon, principal violist of The Cleveland Orchestra, and Jackobs, Ferguson graduated in 2015 and went on to attend the Juilliard School. But Juilliard didn’t keep her from the audition circuit. Ferguson landed Assistant Principal Viola with the Rochester Philharmonic and Associate Principal Viola with the Montreal Symphony in addition to a section position with BSO. “I'm honored to be joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” says Ferguson. “It's special to share a common background with many members of the viola section, having been so inspired by fantastic teachers at CIM and The Cleveland Orchestra. I look forward to joining the BSO this fall.”

Vernon says the abundance of CIM graduates getting orchestra positions is no accident. “At CIM we provide an inordinate number of violists of the highest caliber in the very best orchestras in the country. And we’ve been doing it a long time,” he says. “CIM is a school that provides practical training for musicians. Our students are getting jobs once we finish with them.”

Congratulations to our alums on these new and exciting appointments!