Denielle Wilson is a cellist and educator from Lithonia, Georgia, who returns for her second year with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Before joining the ASO, she was an acting section cellist in the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Her undergraduate degree was done at Northwestern University in 2017, having majored in cello performance and music education. An alumna of the TDP, Wilson studied with ASO cellist Joel Dallow for five years.
Talent Development Program Alumni
Joshua Williams graduated from The Julliard School and then spent the summer as one of the few at the prestigious Academy of the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. Williams turned to the tuba because his school band had too many saxophone players, and eventually he began to study with Michael Moore, principal tuba with the ASO for 54 years. This fall, Williams starts a dream gig: playing tuba with the ASO. An ASO fellowship program will enable him to sit in for Moore for 25 paid weeks, in addition to studying with his mentor.
Winner of an Avery Fischer Career Grant in 2018, Xavier Foley premiered his own double bass concerto with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2022. Foley is known for his expressive playing and is developing a career as a composer and teacher. A native of Marietta, GA, Foley is an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, and earned his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Angelica Hairston’s "Challenge the Stats" concerts provide opportunities for professional African American and Latino musicians at the beginning of their careers to showcase their art in premiere performances. The first concert took place in Boston while Angelica was working on her master’s degree. She was recently awarded a grant that will allow her to hold a similar concert in Atlanta.
Chelsea Sharpe, a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, is now a violinist with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in Croatia and has held a position with the Louisville Symphony.
Shaquille Southwell, clarinet performing and teaching artist with the Atlanta Symphony and the Atlanta Music Project. Shaquille graduated from The Juilliard School of Music and recently won the Principal Clarinet position with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in 2023.
TED Fellow Stanford Thompson founded the innovative educational and social initiative "Play on, Philly!" in August 2010 to give students ages 6 to 13 opportunities for personal development through the study of music. The program provides unprecedented access to symphonic music and the opportunity for children to discover their passion for the arts.
Drew Forde established a major social media presence as “That Viola Kid,“ providing advice and insights to high school and college students on how to prepare for the top conservatories, as well as guidance on how to survive once accepted. By sharing his experiences, he empowers students to accomplish their dreams in the professional music field.