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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Free concert at Symphony Hall to celebrate 20 years of Talent Development

It's hard to think of a better way to ring in the new year than with a free concert at Symphony Hall. And even better, the concert isn't just to celebrate 2014, but it marks the 20th anniversary of a fantastic program that helps minority youth achieve their dreams.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Talent Development Program (TDP), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the 2013-14 season, will host an Alumni Legacy Concert on Saturday, January 4, at 7 p.m. in Atlanta Symphony Hall in the Woodruff Arts Center. Tickets are free but should be reserved online or by calling the Woodruff Box Office at 404-733-5000.

The Talent Development Program was created to identify musically-gifted and motivated African American and Latino instrumentalists in the greater metropolitan Atlanta area and to prepare them for acceptance into top music programs in preparation for careers as professional musicians.

The free Alumni Legacy concert this Saturday will showcase some of the most accomplished musicians who have participated in the program over the years and gone on to study at such venerable institutions as Juilliard, Berklee, Oberlin and the Curtis Institute of Music. The concert will be hosted by former WSB-TV news anchor Monica Pearson.

Alumni performers will include:
 Ismail Akbar, cello (Oberlin Conservatory)
 Jessie Ahuama-Jonas, viola (University of Miami)
 Tara Byrdsong, flute (Converse College)
 Xavier Foley, bass (Curtis Institute of Music)
 Drew Forde, viola (Mercer University)
 Angelica Hairston, harp (Royal Academy of Music in Toronto)
 Jermaine Jackson, clarinet (Cleveland Institute of Music)
 Stephen Lawrence, violin (Loyola University)
 Mason Morton, harp (University of Michigan)
 Chris Mosley, violin (Georgia State University)
 Malcolm Parson, cello (Berklee School of Music)
 Chelsea Sharpe, violin (Rice University)
 Shaquille Southwell, clarinet (The Juilliard School)

It should be a pretty amazing evening honoring the accomplishments of the program's gifted participants and those who helped make it all possible. To learn more about the ASO's Talent Development Program, visit the program's website.


It's also worth noting that January 4 is Fulton Free Saturday at the High Museum. Residents of Fulton County who enter the museum before 1 p.m. get free admission (Sorry, Cobb. You may get the stadium, but this one's for us). It could make for an awesome, arts-filled first weekend of the New Year: a visit to the museum in the afternoon followed by a concert at Symphony Hall in the evening, all without spending a penny.

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