From left, Pedro Mendez, Keeon Guzman, and Jaquain Sloan will participate in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s 2023-24 Diversity Fellowship Program.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has announced the first class of its new Diversity Fellowship Program: Keeon Guzman, cello; Pedro Mendez, viola; and Jaquain Sloan, bassoon. The program provides performance, education, and mentorship opportunities for up to three orchestral musicians from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Fellows will take part in a rigorous, well-rounded curriculum, and will be paid for a total of 25 weeks of orchestral performance and will participate in mock auditions, masterclasses, private lessons, teaching, and chamber music.  Each Fellow will also be assigned a personal mentor. They will begin with the DSO’s 2023-24 season. Keeon Guzman of Anchorage, Alaska, recently completed his master’s studies at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. Guzman obtained a bachelor’s degree and a performance diploma at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and has studied at the Pacific Music Festival, Music Master Course Japan Yokohama, Domaine Forget Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra. Pedro Mendez is a Venezuelan violist and violinist who studied in El Sistema. He obtained a minor degree in violin performance from the Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory in 2015 and concurrently studied at Academia Latinoamericana de Violín. In 2019, transition to full-time viola studies and received a scholarship at Roosevelt University, where he pursued an undergraduate degree in viola performance. In 2022, he was appointed assistant principal viola at the Illinois Philharmonic and co-principal viola at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Additionally, he holds the position of Project Inclusion Viola Fellow at the Chicago Sinfonietta. A native of Lenoir, North Carolina, Jaquain Sloan holds a Bachelor of Music in bassoon performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and a master of music and a performers certificate from the University of Southern California. He has worked with with the Sphinx Organization, Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, and most recently, he performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as an African-American Fellow.