Sphinx Orchestral Futurist Fellowship & Residency Program


Sphinx Orchestral Futurist Fellowship & Residency Program

The National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F) in partnership with the National Philharmonic and The Sphinx Organization offer a fellowship and residency program that combines arts administration, orchestral performance, music curation and community engagement.  

Building on NOI+F’s existing Orchestral Futurist Fellowship, the National Philharmonic offers each fellow the opportunity to expand their work into a second year through a professional residency with the National Philharmonic.   

Year 1 (Orchestral Futurist Fellowship):

The fellow will work with the Director of the NOI+F on the planning, recruitment and execution of the festival over a 13-month period to advance their careers as orchestral musicians and provide a creative platform for shaping the orchestra of the future. The fellow is accepted by application and chosen jointly by NOI+F, National Philharmonic and The Sphinx Organization.  

The Orchestral Futurist Fellow begins with a summer fellowship at the National Orchestral Institute + Festival. Following their first summer at the institute, they will begin a year-long artistic and administrative collaboration with the Director of NOI+F and staff of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in support of the Youth Mentorship Program and K-12 New Music project.

The fellow will work remotely with general responsibilities ranging from 10-12 hours per month, excluding participation in the festival and the two retreats. The fellowship provides a monthly stipend of $300.00, tuition remission from NOI+F, domestic travel and housing during the festival and retreats.

Fellowship Components

  • Orchestral: As musicians of exemplary talent, each fellow will receive orchestral leadership assignments during their two summers at NOI+F, performing as principal players in one or more concerts.

  • Arts Administration: The fellow will receive real-world arts administration experience as they work with the NOI+F and Clarice staff to provide creative input on shaping future seasons of the festival. Each fellow will be mentored by The Clarice’s management team to gain additional perspectives in the field of arts administration, including the areas of development, marketing, finance, community engagement, production and entrepreneurship. Fellows will provide strong administrative and creative support for the Youth Mentorship Program and K-12 New Music project.

Year 2 (Orchestral Futurist in Residence):

Following the conclusion of their first year with NOI+F, the fellow will be offered a professional residency with the National Philharmonic where they will be an important member of the NatPhil team. During the residency, the Orchestral Futurist in Residence (OFIR) will have the opportunity to continue their work in the communities the National Philharmonic supports. 

The OFIR’s one season tenure with NatPhil focuses on growing their artistic project into a sustainable effort through customized mentorship and training opportunities that align with their goals, while supporting the Youth Mentorship Program during the the NatPhil season. 

Residency Components


  • Performance: The OFIR will have orchestral or chamber ensemble performance opportunities that will be customized during the season to coincide with their administrative work.

  • Arts Leadership: The OFIR will work as an embedded member of the National Philharmonic administrative and artistic team, working to shape the education and community engagement programs throughout the season as well as contribute to a more equitable future in arts and culture. Mentorship and training will include arts entrepreneurship and leadership, fundraising/sustainability, marketing and community engagement.  

  • Community Engagement: The OFIR will have the opportunity to work within the Washington, DC region audiences and communities, increasing their impact and reach through NatPhil’s partner communities.     

The OFIR will work remotely with general responsibilities ranging from 10-12 hours per month in addition to onsite residency time during the season. The residency structure and timing will be customized to best fit OFIR’s specific projects. The OFIR will receive a monthly stipend of $600.00, performance fees when applicable, domestic travel and housing during their onsite residency periods.

Apply + Audition

Application Procedure and Audition Requirements

  • November 1, 2023: Sphinx Fellowship application opens

  • February 6, 2024: Sphinx Fellowship applications are due

  • March 15, 2024: Applicants will be notified of audition results

  • This fellowship is open to Black and Latinx classical musicians. 

  • Age: All who are 18 or older by May 29, 2024 may apply. The typical age range for NOI+F is 18 - 30. 

  • All NOI+F participants are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Applicants must complete and upload a video audition. Audition repertoire requirements can be found here.

  • As a part of your fellowship, you will provide administrative support to several NOI+F programs addressing the future of symphony orchestras. In 750 words or less, please describe one problem that you see facing the future of symphony orchestras. Then, propose a solution or new way forward. Some examples of areas applicants may focus on include innovation in K12 programming, commissioning of work by BIPOC composers, new marketing strategies, or unique partnerships or activities to broaden audience participation.


Sphinx Orchestral Futurist Fellowship & Residency General Outline


First Summer
at NOI+F
June 2024

First Year
July 2024-May 2025

Second Summer
at NOI+F
June 2025

Second Year
July 2025-May 2026

Attend NOI+F as an Orchestral Fellow performing with leadership assignments
in the orchestra.

Work closely with NOI+F staff to manage current programs. Work hands on during the festival to provide support for NOI+F programs and perform in the orchestra as an Orchestral Fellow. Work collaboratively with the National Philharmonic in support of their educational programs. Professional performance opportunities with NatPhil.