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Taylor Rambo (left) will succeed Susan Stensland (right) as executive director of the Georgia Symphony.

News briefs: Georgia Symphony, Emory fellowship, Spelman archives and more

Taylor Rambo named to lead Georgia Symphony

The Georgia Symphony has named Taylor Rambo as its new executive director, succeeding Susan Stensland, who’s retiring 15 years but will stay on the board of directors.

Rambo is a Marietta native. He has worked with the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C., the American Pops Orchestra, the Washington Ballet and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. For the past few months, he has been the Georgia Symphony’s development consultant.

He has a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Miami, in addition to a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University.


Emory seeks artists for Arts and Social Justice Fellowship program

Emory University is accepting applications for its Arts and Social Justice Fellowship program through June 4.

Fahamu Pecou

The program, launched last fall, explores how creative thinking and artistic expression can inspire change. Each artist will be paired with an Emory faculty member to embed creative projects that explore social inequities into existing courses.

The inaugural fellows included visual artists Shanequa Gay and Fahamu Pecou, musician Okorie “OKCello” Johnson, actor–playwrights Garrett Turner and Olivia Johnson, and arts activist–strategist Ash Nash. They used their fellowships to explore topics such as feminist activism, environmental racism, civil-rights cold cases in Georgia and the effects of trauma on our genetic makeup.

The program is a partnership between the Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts, and the Ethic and the Arts program of the Emory University Center for Ethics.

Interested artists should be local and demonstrate an interest in advancing racial and social justice through their work. Details, application HERE.


Spelman will house the African Voices magazine archives

The Spelman College Archives will be the repository for African Voices, a literary magazine devoted to publishing emerging writers and visual artists of color from the diaspora.

Past editions of the magazine, along with organizational records, videos and digitized photographs that span three decades will be preserved alongside a historical archive of the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series, the first Academy Awards-qualifying film festival dedicated to opportunities for women of color.

The archives will have access to a 5,000 films produced, directed or written by women of color since 1997.

“I am elated for the donation of the African Voices collection,” Spelman archivist Holly A. Smith said in a press release. “This partnership will amplify the work of the African Voices staff, the artistry of the contributors, and the depth and breadth of the Black diasporic cultural experience overall.”

The partnership will be funded by a grant fro the New York Community Trust. 


Carnegie Hall selects four area musicians for National Youth Orchestra

Four Atlanta-area musicians have chosen for the Carnegie Hall national youth ensembles: the National Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra Jazz.

Juliyan Martinez
Juliyan Martinez

They’ll join more than 200 musicians from across the nation in July at Purchase College, SUNY, for private lessons, master classes, workshops and performances. For many, it will be the first time they’ve played in a major ensemble since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The Atlanta musicians are:

— Atlanta trombonist Darien Baldwin, 17,from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a part of the GMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble.

— Atlanta cellist Jonathan Fuller, 17, who studied at Grady High School and plays with the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra

— Johns Creek flutist Ivy Lee, 17, who attended the Greater Atlanta Christian School, and plays with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra.

— Powder Springs clarinetist Juliyan Martinez, 18, who attends The Juilliard School, and plays with the Juilliard Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.


Sarai Hillman one of 4 winners in “HerVoice” competition

Sarai Hillman
Sarai Hillman

Riverdale’s Sarai Hillman is one of four winners of Chicago a cappella’s “HerVoice” competition for emerging women composers. 

The competition was conceived by John William Trotter, the group’s artistic director, to promote the work of promising women composers and provide mentorships in choral composition.

Chicago a cappella has partnered with the Kansas City Chorale for the competition, and the work of each winner will be performed by one of the two vocal groups.

Winners also receive a $500 cash prize.

Hillman, a 2021 graduate of Georgia State University, won for her composition Psalm 59:16 C. Safety & Refuge.

The piece will be performed by Chicago a cappella, and she will receive mentorship from composer Zanaida Robles.