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Current Fellow

The Fellowship Program is designed to enhance the career development of African-American orchestral musicians who are provided the opportunity to perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during the regular season. Alternate weeks not spent playing in the Orchestra are spent in a schedule of individual coaching,mentoring, and training in audition techniques. Since the 1980’s, we have had the pleasure of working with so many talented young players who have gone on to amazing careers.


Alexander Davis

Alexander Davis is a native of and freelance bassoonist based in the New York City area. He has worked and performed with orchestras and series such as Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, CityMusic Cleveland, New York Symp
honic Ensemble, The Songwriters Orchestra, Rob Kapilow’s “What Makes Music Great”, Bach and Beyond Festival, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and Western New York Opera. Beginning September 2016, Alexander joined the Detroit Symphony as the African American Orchestral Fellow, under the direction of Music Director Leonard Slatkin and Principal Bassoonist, Bob Williams.

As a frequent chamber musician, Alexander has performed with many influential chamber artists, such as Carol Wincenc, Frank Morelli, Stephan Taylor, William Purvis, Artis Quartet, WindScape, Boris Berman, and the Imani Winds. An advocate of cross-cultural influences in music, Alexander, alongside Ana García Caraballos, has formed Xelana Duo, which comprises bassoon and saxophone. They made their explosive debut at the National Opera Center in March 2016. Xelana Duo balances the refinement of classical music with zigzagging through hip-hop, blues, flamenco, bollywood, and rock n’ roll. The Duo surprises audiences with unexpected instrumentation filled with vibrant shades. While dazzling on their own, they are simply breathtaking when joined together. Daring the two instruments to converse, Xelana Duo commissions electrifying works that create ice-breaking innovation for this unusual collaboration.

Alexander won his first concerto competition at age 20, performing Weber’s Andante e Rondo Ungarese with the Fredonia Chamber Orchestra in 2012. That same year, he was chosen to play principal in a Scholarship Benefit concert featuring YoYo Ma playing the Dvorak Cello Concerto. Alexander has participated in summer festivals such as the Banff Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, and Imani Winds Chamber Music Institute.

Alexander holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and Performance from SUNY Fredonia, a Masters in Performance at Stony Brook University under the Turner Fellowship, and a Performer Certificate in Orchestral Performance at Manhattan School of Music. He has taught and coached music at Stony Brook University, NYSSSA: School for Orchestral Studies, SUNY Fredonia, and the Fredonia Summer Music Festival.

Alexander has studied with renowned bassoonists Abraham Weiss, Laura Koepke, Frank Morelli, and currently under the guidance of DSO’s very own Bob Williams.