RCS Students Collaborate with Nashville Symphony


Rutherford County Schools

Three Stewarts Creek High School students – Xayvion Davidson, Xavion Patterson and Mario Shaw – were selected for the 2018–19 class of the Nashville Symphony Accelerando Initiative.

They will join Central Magnet senior Aalia Hanif, who is a member of Accelerando’s first graduating class.

The Accelerando Initiative is designed to prepare gifted young students of diverse ethnic backgrounds to pursue music at the collegiate level and beyond.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be a member of the Nashville Symphony Accelerando program,” said percussionist Mario Shaw. “They are helping me to develop and refine my musicianship”

Members of the Accelerando Initiative were accepted by means of a competitive audition process and will receive many benefits this school year, including year-round instruction from a member of the NSO, complimentary tickets for NSO concerts, college and career counseling to prepare for college music auditions, and financial and logistical assistance applying for music schools and summer programs.

“Being selected for Accelerando is truly a blessing,” said bassoonist Xavion Patterson. “I’m so thankful to everyone who has helped me get here. It’s exciting to be in an environment with so many dedicated young musicians.”

Students can also receive supplementary music instruction at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Bassoonist Xayvion Davidson has already made use of his Blair School of Music classes.

According to Davidson, “The Accelerando program has allowed me to meet composer John Williams and participate in music theory classes.”

Aalia Hanif has been studying flute in Accelerando since the program began three years ago and now is preparing to study music at the collegiate level.

“Before Accelerando, aspiring to be a professional musician was a mere fantasy,” she remarked, at the announcement of the new Accelerando class. “I knew I wanted to go into music, but I had absolutely no idea where to start or how I could ever achieve that goal.”

With the help of her Accelerando team, Hanif spent six weeks at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center this summer, studying with a professor from one of the top music conservatories on her list. This fall, Accelerando will pay for Hanif to visit and take guest lessons with professors at her top schools.

“These students are among Tennessee’s finest young musicians,” said RCS Fine Arts Coordinator Lindsay Halford, “and I look forward to celebrating their successes as they prepare for a lifetime of music-making.”

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