Atlanta Symphony Program Boosts Minority Music Students

High school Junior Mekhi Gladden (right) is part of the Atlanta Symphony's Talent Development Program
Credit Stephen Houseworth
Audio version of this story here.

High school junior Mekhi Gladden started playing oboe by mistake.

“When I heard the word ‘oboe,’ I thought my band instructor meant bassoon,” he said. “But I tried it out, and it was a really nice instrument. I’ve always loved the sound of it.”

Initially self-taught, Gladden is now part of the Atlanta Symphony’s Talent Development Program. The program helps African-American and Latino classical music students have a competitive edge in the college audition process.

“Our mission is to make sure that students have choices and options.” said Adrienne Thompson, the program manager for TDP.

The students in TDP perform recitals Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17 at 4 p.m. at Symphony Hall