June 16, 2016
After a rigorous audition process, four young women—Alexandra Switala, Caitlin Edwards, Rita Andrade and Diana Flores Barquero—have been selected to spend their summer rehearsing and performing with Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra.
They are the newest fellows of Project Inclusion, a partnership with the Chicago Sinfonietta that guides young minority musicians in their career, with a goal of increasing diversity among orchestral ensembles. As part of the program, the fellows will be mentored by members of the Grant Park Orchestra and experience life as a professional musician.
During the ten-week program, the quartet will also engage with the Chicago community, performing in neighborhoods around the city as part of Mayor Rahm Emanual’s Night Out in the Parks, and leading workshops and demonstrations for Classical Campers, a music and arts immersion program that introduces young children to classical music.
"I am thrilled to be participating in the Project Inclusion program," Ms. Switala remarks. "I am especially looking forward to learning from the great musicians in the Grant Park Orchestra and interacting with the Chicago community."
Ms. Switala, who began her musical studies in Texas, is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and has been a featured artist on NPR’s Performance Today and Chicago’s WFMT’s Introductions. Ms. Edwards, a rising senior at the University of Louisville School of Music, holds the position of Principal Second Violin in the University Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Andrade is a member of the Chicago Civic Symphony and a Chicago Sinfonietta Project Inclusion Fellow, and recently earned her Master’s degree at DePaul University. Ms. Flores, who is finishing her Master’s degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, has performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Philharmonic Orchestras, and was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2012 and 2013.