MIAMI BEACH, FL (May 14, 2020) — New World Symphony Fellows Corbin Castro and Christopher Robinson today announced the launch of VIA, a virtual summer music academy supported by the New World Symphony (NWS) as part of its NWS BLUEprogram of Fellow-led initiatives. VIA, which stands for Virtual Inclusion Artists, seeks to engage young musicians from communities underrepresented in classical music through Zoom-based individual lessons and group classes offered over the course of a week-long, summer music intensive. VIA sessions are tailored to string, woodwind, and brass instrumentalists (grades 7–12), and are led by NWS Fellows, alumni, and guest speakers, including performance specialist Noa Kageyama (

Intensives are offered June 20–25, 2020 and June 27–July 2, 2020 and are open to a limited number of participants, who may enroll for one of the two weeks. Internet access and a web camera are required. Deadline to apply is May 29, 2020. Applicants will be notified no later than June 5, 2020 of their admission results.

VIA Co-Founders and NWS Fellows Corbin Castro (horn) and Christopher Robinson (violin) said:

We have come to believe that for many, the arts represent a pinnacle in human achievement and that access to a quality music education should be a basic right for everyone. Yet, we realize that many students around the country lack such access, and that these limitations are only exacerbated by the coronavirus shutdowns. VIA was created to empower students from remote and underrepresented communities to have access to a classical music education program that is both comprehensive and unique in its vision and scope—one that provides a path for students to realize their ambitions under the mentorship of professionals in the field.

NWS President and CEO Howard Herring said:

At the New World Symphony, a key part of our curriculum is empowering Fellows to be innovators and musical activists themselves. To that end we support numerous Fellow-led initiatives every year financially, logistically, and in terms of providing expertise and guidance. I am proud of NWS Fellows Corbin Castro and Chris Robinson, who conceived this project based on their fellowship experience and in response to a real need for greater access to music education, especially in these isolated times. I expect this pilot project to foreshadow a more inclusive, equitable distribution of high-level music education.

VIA’s curriculum is tailored to each student through one-on-one discussions about goals and aspirations with VIA’s Teaching Artists. Participants also enjoy classes designed for developing the whole musician, including how to find the right college, how to prepare for college, a glimpse of student life, and how to secure financial support.


  • Goal-focused mentoring sessions, instrument lessons, and creative master class settings with Teaching Artists from the New World Symphony
  • Group classes ranging from Performance Anxiety and Optimal Performance Training, to Body Mapping and Stage Presence taught by Guest Artists
  • Virtual ensemble recording, led by our Teaching Artists

Sample Day: 

All days begin at 11:00 AM EDT and end at 4:00 PM EDT with lunch at 1:00 PM EDT

11:00 AM – Warm Up Session with Teaching Artist
12:00 PM – Body Mapping Session with Guest Artist
1:00 PM – Partnered Lunch Activity with Students
2:00 PM – College Pathways Discussion with Guest Artist
3:00 PM – Sectional Masterclass with Teaching Artist

VIA is generously supported by Dorothy Terrell as part of a gift to create the New World Symphony College Track Mentorship Program.