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Past Fellows

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.


  • 2014-2016 – Josh Jones, percussion
  • 2012-2014 – Garrett McQueen, bassoon – Knoxville Symphony
  • 2009-2012 – Geoffrey Johnson, oboe/english horn – Acting DSO 2nd oboe 2014-2017
  • 2007-2009 – Michael Robinson, trombone
  • 2005-2006 – Michael Boateng, bassoon
  • 2003-2005 – Caen Thomason-Redus, flute – Community Catalyst with DSO
  • 2001-2003 – Shawn Jones, bassoon – Former bassoonist in Colorado Symphony, member of Quinteto Latino, freelancing in San Francisco Bay Area
  • 1999-2001 – Alexander Laing, clarinet – Principal Clarinetist Phoenix Symphony Orchestra
  • 1997-1999 – Derek Reeves, violin – Switched to viola and is Principal Violist of the Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1994-1996
    • Romona Merritt, viola – Alabama Symphony
    • Douglas Cardwell, percussion – Principal Timpanist New Mexico Symphony Orchestra
  • 1992-1994
    • Ken Thompkins, trombone – Principal Trombone of Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    • Regina Calloway, viola
  • 1990-1992
    • Stephen Millen, clarinet
    • John Madison, viola – Principal Violist Michigan Opera Theatre

As part of Musician Assistance Fund from the New York Philharmonic

  • 1886 – Jackie Pickett, double bass
  • 1983-1986 – Velda Kelly, violin – Michigan Opera Theater
  • 1982 – David Thomas, double bass