NJSO Colton Fellowship

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announces its NJSO Colton Fellowship designed to support musicians from underrepresented communities. This initiative continues the NJSO’s commitment to being a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion in the orchestra field. 

The NJSO will launch the multiyear program with a 2019–20 pilot for up to two string players (violin, viola, cello, double bass). As contracted, non-tenure-track members of the Orchestra, the NJSO Colton Fellows will experience the full breadth of the NJSO musician experience of statewide service to people of all ages—performing in all mainstage concerts, education programs and chamber music performances across the state. NJSO Colton Fellows will participate in a series of professional development activities, tailored to their individual career goals.

The NJSO Colton Fellowship is an excellence-based program open to early career musicians under the age of 30, bachelor’s degree preferred, who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and who represent populations that have historically been underrepresented in symphonic orchestras including: musicians of African-American, Latin American, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander descent and/or musicians representing New Jersey communities that are underrepresented in the NJSO. Candidates who have held a full-season contract position with any ICSOM orchestra are not eligible to apply. The selection process will follow NJSO audition protocols and will be led by musicians of the NJSO and Music Director Xian Zhang. 

The NJSO Colton Fellowship grew out of the NJSO’s continuing commitment to transforming all aspects of the organization to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves.

This fellowship is made possible by a generous founding gift from Judith and Stewart Colton.


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Read the press release


“I am very much looking forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the NJSO next season. This fellowship continues and strengthens our commitment to showcasing diverse voices on stage here in New Jersey.”

NJSO Music Director Xian Zhang

“The musicians of the Orchestra are looking forward to the launch of the NJSO Colton Fellowship . . . . We are grateful for the generous gift that made this fellowship possible and hope this is just the beginning of what we believe will ultimately be a successful and meaningful program for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.”

NJSO Assistant Concertmaster and Orchestra Committee Chair David Southorn