Minnesota Orchestra Names Wayne State Department of Music Alumnus Jason Tanksley to Serve as Rosemary and David Good Fellow

Tanksley is one of two named as Minnesota Orchestra’s first-ever Rosemary and David Good Fellow

Tuba player Jason Tanksley, a 2014 graduate of Wayne State University’s Department of Music, recently was named one of two Rosemary and David Good Fellows. Thirty musicians from across the country applied for the fellowship position, with eight applicants being invited to audition earlier this month. Myles Blakemore, a trombone player from Dallas, Texas, and Tanksley were selected for the position beginning in September and will reside fulltime in Minnesota during their fellowship.

“An orchestra fellow position is coveted by most young musicians aspiring to become members of a professional orchestra,” said Department of Music Chair Norah Duncan IV. “I was delighted to hear that Jason Tanksley, a WSU alumnus is the recipient of the Rosemary and David Good Fellowship. It is a testament to his unwavering commitment to artistry and the pursuit of his dream. This is an honor which is given only to the best and I am proud that Tanksley is the recipient.”

While at Wayne State, Tanksley studied with Dennis Nulty and performed with the University’s Symphony Orchestra, as well as its Wind Symphony. Jason has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Jacksonville Symphony, among other ensembles. As a soloist, he has appeared with the International Symphony Orchestra and the Birmingham Concert Band.

According to the Minnesota Orchestra, the debuting fellowship was implemented to encourage greater diversity in the orchestral field through career development of outstanding young musicians of African American, Latino American and Native American descent as they begin their professional orchestral careers.

Over the two-year period, the fellowship will give Tanksley the opportunity to observe and participate in Minnesota Orchestra rehearsals; perform within the Orchestra at selected concerts; study with Orchestra musicians; and train and prepare for auditions. Tanksley will also receive mentoring from Minnesota Orchestra musicians and provide mentorship to Minnesota students on a variety of initiatives through the Orchestra’s Education and Community Engagement department.

About the Department of Music

Wayne State University’s Department of Music will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018. Notable alumni include opera performer Dr. George Shirley and jazz great, Kenny Burrell. Dr. Shirley was the 2015, National Medal of Arts winner and 2016 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Opera Association. Kenny Burrell was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts and Jazz Educator of the Year in 2005. The Department of Music is also home to the future Gretchen Valade Jazz Center.

About the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

The College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University serves 2,500 students majoring in 17 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs through the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History, the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, the Department of Music and the Department of Communication. Wayne State University, located in the heart of Detroit’s Midtown Cultural Center, is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 27,000 students.

For more information, visit cfpca.wayne.edu or connect with us on social media @WayneStateCFPCA.

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By: Da'Stanza Murphy, CFPCA Information Officer II
Email: az2370@wayne.edu