Community Engagement

College Track Mentorship Program

College Track Mentorship Program 2022-23

The New World Symphony (NWS) College Track Mentorship Program (CTMP) will serve up to ten young classical instrumental musicians (grades 8-12) from backgrounds underrepresented and underserved in classical music. The goal is to provide each student in this program with the skills and resources necessary to apply and be admitted to the college/conservatory music program of their choice.  The students chosen for the College Track Mentorship Program are each matched with a Fellow who provides 20-25 lessons per season and assists the student in selecting and acquiring a new instrument and accessories as needed. NWS staff and Fellows work with each student on college preparedness and in their senior year, the college application process. The program helps each student apply for five available festival scholarships each summer, and the students will participate in an end-of-year recital at the New World Center to celebrate their accomplishments. 

For more information contact: 

Alan Valladares, Program Manager -  

Elyse Marrero, Director of Community and Equity Impact -




2022-23 Mentees & Mentors:


Shyam Narayanan (Bassoon)

Shyam Narayanan

I love meeting with and working weekly with my mentor Bee the best about the CTMP. They really help me understand how to be a better bassoonist and the lessons we have are particularly beneficial to my success in being a musician.

Eleni Katz (Bassoon)

Eleni Katz

 I strive to create a safe judgment free zone for exploration of the musical voice. I want to share my unique nonlinear musical path with my students and the teachings of my greatest mentors

Albert Acosta (Bassoon)

Albert Acosta

I am beyond grateful to have the privilege to be a part of the CTMP. This program has impacted my upbringing in the music industry in ways I could only dream of. Before I was a part of this amazing program, I had never been able to work with someone consistently on the Bassoon. Working with my awesome mentor Maggie, has helped fulfill myself as a musician. Her and this program have helped me accomplish things that I never knew I had the possibility of doing.

Maggie O’Leary (Bassoon)

Maggie O’Leary

I aspire to make learning music a fun and empowering experience, while demystifying the technical and musical elements of our field.

Isabella Molliner (Violin)

Isabella Molliner

The CTMP has opened my horizons to loving music more than I thought I could. With the help of my private lesson teacher, I have become a much more confident violinist. And I've learned a lot about music overall. Without CTMP I wouldn't have the same admiration and confidence for music that I have now.

Luis Salazar (Violin)

Luis Salazar

“I love to give my students all kinds of tools that can be used for not just music.”

Chelsea Roman (Percussion)

Chelsea Roman

I am beyond thankful for the New World Symphony’s College Track Mentorship Program. It has helped me accomplish things not even I knew I was able to fulfill.

Caleb Breidenbaugh (Percussion)

Caleb Breidenbaugh

In my teaching, I aim to be a supporter and a coach by sharing my own experiences, that they might aid the student reach their goals and save them time.

Guerwen Gue (Bass)

Guerwen Gue

As a senior, knowing where to go and what to do with my life after high school was really frightful at first. After meeting with the NWS CTMP, I was paired with a Bass Fellow who showed me her vast musical knowledge. Thank you, NWS, for giving me the opportunity and resources to better myself as a student and musician.

Josephine Kim (Bass)

Josephine Kim

“I want to be able to find solutions for students while using their skills and mindset to help them better themselves and become the player they want to be.”

Brandon Garcia (Bass)

Brandon Garcia

“I am thrilled to begin the CTMP. To work with and learn from a fellow is such a huge opportunity. The personalized support and resources I will have access to will be invaluable as I work to reach my goals and attend a top music school: the ability to attend concerts, summer programs, and visit colleges. I know that this program will allow me to grow into my potential as a musician and act as a kickstart to my career, providing new connections and relationships, as well as skills that will be useful throughout my career.”

Eric Windmeier (Bass)

Eric Windmeier

“I am finding it very artistically rewarding working with the curious, hardworking, and ambitious students of the CTMP”.

Leonardo Rincon (Violin)

Leonardo Rincon

“I will always feel grateful to the New World Symphony College Track Mentorship Program for everything they have done for me as a musician. I have only been in the college track program for a couple months, and it has been such a great opportunity that has helped me in many positive aspects, that I was not yet aware of the importance. Being able to have the support of the New world Symphony, if it’s having weekly lessons with the fellows, or being able to record with top of the line resources. Everything that the new world symphony college track mentorship program offers has been an important learning opportunity for the beginning of my musical career.”

Christina Choi (Violin)

Christina Choi

“I aim to set my student up for whatever future musical endeavors he/she/they may envision for themselves to the best of my ability.”

Nate Jones (Cello)

Nate Jones

“I believe that the New World Symphony Mentorship Program is a tremendous opportunity for gifted musicians, and a wonderful chance of guidance for those preparing for higher studies.”

Kamila Dotta (Cello)

Kamila Dotta

“I aim to create an open space where people feel free to express themselves and improve their skills with no shame.”

Tyrell Varnado (Trombone)

Tyrell Varnado

“After every lesson I have had with my private trombone mentor, my intonation and tone quality had improved. From masterclasses to new world symphony concerts, the CTMP had given me endless amounts of resources, which was a great experience”.

Chase Waterbury (Trombone)

Chase Waterbury

“I aim to empower students to learn how to be the best musician they can be through musical ideals and fundamental proficiency.”


Why is this important for the students?

  • Customized Plan for College or Conservatory Admission: Working with NWS Community Engagement staff, each student will develop an individualized Bridge Plan.
  • Lessons: NWS would offer lessons to those students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to work with a private music teacher. Students chosen for this program are each matched with a Fellow who will provide 20-25 lessons per season. (NWS seasons are from September to May.)
  • Summer Festivals: The program will help each student apply for five available festival scholarships each summer.
  • Instrument/Supply Purchase: Students learn crowdsourcing, networking and fundraising skills to help raise money to purchase a high-quality instrument. This process will help the students understand the fundraising process.
  • Master Classes: Students will be able to take part in instrument-specific master classes with NWS Fellows and NWS visiting faculty members and artists. Students may also potentially perform for NWS Artistic Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas.
  • Conservatory/University Research and Audition Tour Support: As each student enters their junior and senior years of high school, NWS will provide logistical and monetary support to facilitate the college/music school application and audition process.
  • Performance Opportunities: Students perform multiple times a year through a series of juries created to foster a learning environment and celebrate their accomplishments at an end-of-the-year recital.

College Track Mentorship Program - Recital


Why is this important for the Fellows?

  • Experience teaching and mentoring advanced middle- and high-school students
  • Learn to be an effective advocate for young musicians of color
  • Gain increased awareness of the road to conservatory and university for students from underrepresented backgrounds
  • Work with professionals that expand their pedagogical knowledge

College Track Mentorship Program - Fellows Orientation 2022

College Track Mentorship Program - Fellows Orientation 2022

Why is this important for NWS?

Community Engagement is integral to the New World Symphony fellowship experience and a core part of our curriculum. Through training and application of skills in practice, Fellows develop engagement techniques to interact with community members of all ages from diverse backgrounds. The College Track Mentorship Program is committed to providing students tools for a lifetime of success by providing an inclusive range of services.

CTMP Alumni 

Patrick Johnson (bass)

CTMP Alum: Patrick Johnson

“My time at New World Symphony has been a great learning experience. They taught me how to play upright bass with the bow and also gave me an understanding of orchestral music. The College Track Mentorship Program has helped my playing in many ways! I highly appreciate them for the opportunity.”

Gabriel Johnson (trumpet)

CTMP Alum: Gabriel Johnson

 “Thanks to the New World Symphony College Track Mentorship Program and all of my private teachers that I had throughout the years of being in this program, I am able to play better and sound confident from before I was with the CTMP. The CTMP has given me so many opportunities to go and see the New World Symphony concerts and rehearsals and it was an amazing experience. New World has helped me obtain new trumpets that would help me throughout my musical career and even help me with college auditions. Thanks to the CTMP I am very serious about music and would love to continue it as my career choice.”

Kebra-Seyoun Charles (Bass):

CTMP Alum: Kebra-Seyoun Charles

 “New World Symphony more than prepared me for a career in music. Learning from those who do (and do it well) illustrated the dedication and care I needed to imbue in each note.”

Isaac Sepulveda (Horn)

CTMP Alum: Isaac Sepulveda

 “My experience with the College Track Mentorship Program allowed me to flourish musically by getting more in touch with the nuances involved in effectively conveying an artistic message. My perspective on orchestral music as a whole has always been full of excitement, and with the assistance provided by the College Track Mentorship Program I can now move forward in a more refined and practical manner.”

Brianna Garcon (Horn)

CTMP Alum: Brianna Garcon

 “Being a part of the college track mentorship program, has provided me with the tools necessary to succeed at Eastman and I am so thankful for all of their support.”




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