This month the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) Association officially joined the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), a national initiative to increased diversity in American Orchestras. The QCSO joins more than 100 partner orchestras representing every size community and virtually every region throughout the US in supporting this vital work.

Founded by The Sphinx Organization, The New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras, NAAS offers Black and Latinx musicians support through mentorships, audition preparation, financial support, and audition previews. The Alliance is advised by an Artist’s Council of Black and Latinx professional musicians, orchestra administrators, and representatives from higher education. Since launching in April 2018, NAAS has awarded more than 300 grants to musicians totaling over $300,000 in awards and hosted six Audition Intensives that have reached 110 participants.

“I am proud that the QCSO is now a NAAS partner orchestra,” said QCSO Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith. “NAAS’ efforts to increase the diversity of American orchestras aligns with our vision to be where access meets inspiration for the Quad Cities community.”

“The work of NAAS is vital to the future of orchestras and to the QCSO as we work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said QCSO Executive Director Brian Baxter. “We are proud to partner with orchestras from across the country in this effort to be more reflective of our communities.”

NAAS is supported by grant funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and contributions from orchestras across the United States.  Additional information about The Alliance is available at


Funding for the QCSO website provided by the Scott County Regional Authority