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Pictured, left to right: Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05); Denielle Wilson, cello; Vincent Tapia IV, trombone.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program (TDP) has named Vincent Tapia IV, trombone, and Denielle Wilson, cello, the winners of the first annual TDP Spark Award.

The TDP Spark award recognizes accomplished alumni who serve as examples of excellence and musicianship both professionally and in the community. The awards were presented Nov. 19 at the TDP Musicale recital by special guest Congresswoman Nikema Williams.

Vincent Tapia IV, TDP class of 2019, currently studies trombone performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2018, Vincent appeared with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra and attended the Aspen Music Festival. He placed first in the Ira B. Martin Solo Competition, Brass and Winds Division and received the Anthony P. Hopkins Memorial Prize for Trombone for the 2020-2021 school year.

Denielle Wilson, ASO cellist and TDP class of 2013, studied music performance at Northwestern University and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She has performed with the Charlotte Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and the Grant Park Music Festival. Denielle completed her first year as an acting section cellist for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra before winning a position with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for the 2022-2023 season.

“We are excited to present the inaugural Spark Awards to Vincent and Denielle, celebrating the impact they have made since graduating from the Talent Development Program and embarking on professional music careers,” said Ryan Walks, ASO Talent Development Program Manager. “They are perfect examples of the purpose and mission of the TDP, and a testament to the progress toward increasing diversity in American classical music.”

The TDP is one of the longest-running musical education and diversity initiatives in the United States. In 2023, the TDP will celebrate its 30th year of providing Black and Latinx student musicians with the highest quality musical training, including private instruction with ASO players, mentorship and performance opportunities, and access to the resources of a major American orchestra. More than 100 TDP graduates have attended top music schools and conservatories across America.

“A career in classical music blossoms today from seeds planted long ago,” said ASO Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Brandi Hoyos. “The ASO Talent Development Program nurtures that growth and has done so for nearly 30 years. We are so proud of Vincent and Denielle.”

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