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May 11, 2018

CIM Inducts Second Class of Musical Pathway Fellows


CIM's new class of fellows
CIM's new class of fellows [left to right]: Mariana Castañeda, Travis Phillips and Hannah Rowland-Seymour

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer described last summer: “The road to Carnegie Hall just got a little wider.”

Thanks to the visionary support of the Cleveland Foundation and George Gund Foundation, that road starts right here in Cleveland with the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Musical Pathway Fellowship (MPF) program for talented African American and Latinx youth. Launched in 2017 and designed for students of color primarily in middle school and high school who are interested in pursuing classical music, MPF is an unprecedented national model, providing young artists with high-level musical training fully integrated into the conservatory setting.

Today, in a planned expansion of the program formerly known as the Minority Artist Fellowship, CIM announced the new class of fellows who will join the program in the fall. Flutist Mariana Castañeda, bass player Travis Phillips and cellist Hannah Rowland-Seymour were selected based on their auditions this spring. From the inaugural class, Damian Goggans will continue to study guitar and cellist Evan Rowland-Seymour will receive additional instruction in double bass.

MPF fellows

“The inaugural year of the Fellowship was just incredible,” says CIM Talent Development Program Officer Lisa Whitfield, who manages the Fellowship program, “and we’re absolutely thrilled to add Mariana, Travis and Hannah to the program. Each of them has worked hard to win one of these coveted positions, and they all impressed the selection panel with their musicality and their poise.”

The fellows are immersed in the precollege curriculum of the CIM Preparatory Department, where they receive weekly one-on-one instruction from CIM Preparatory faculty members, as well as participate in ensembles, music theory and Eurhythmics classes. Over the course of the year, the fellows will present public performances, attend master classes and workshops, and, with their families, meet regularly with mentors and program leaders to set goals and share feedback. The fellows receive full scholarships covering all areas of study in the MPF program, and are partnered with CIM conservatory students as practice and academic partners.

“CIM’s unrelenting focus on issues of diversity is driven by the fundamental belief that it is time for the classical music field to reflect the diversity of our communities,” explained CIM President & CEO Paul W. Hogle. “The way to change the face of classical music is to create opportunities for talented young musicians of color to access high-quality training, without compromising the standard of excellence. I am personally inspired by these young fellows and their dreams – they are the future of classical music!”

Meet the fellows in the full release, found here.


Evan Rowland-Seymour photo by Robert Muller. All other photos by Roger Mastroianni.