Info: (901) 746-9948 • Tix: (901) 751-7500 • 1801 Exeter Rd. Germantown, TN 38138

Iris Artist Fellows Program

Audition information for 2021/2022 season coming soon!




Iris Orchestra, under the baton of Michael Stern presents the Iris Artist Fellowship (IAF). IAF is a program for rising professional musicians with a passion for engaging music as a tool for social justice while growing in their own artistry. Designed to address the under-representation of Black and Latinx artists in classical music, the fellowship is directed toward musicians from those populations.

Iris Artist Fellows perform in all Iris Orchestra concerts and benefit from the opportunity to build their professional network within a community of skilled instrumentalists with nationwide connections. Between orchestra events, Fellows focus on chamber music, education, youth development, community-building projects, and collaborations.

The heart of the IAF program is education. Our goal is that after the program, candidates will feel prepared to embark on a professional career in music, whether that is in the performance hall, in the classroom, or beyond. The program is designed to provide experiential opportunities in many aspects of a professional music career: including, but not limited to performance. After the season, fellows will have a wide variety of experiences on which to draw to better help guide their path in music.


Program Description

The Iris Artist Fellowship Program is a ten-month, full-time position including professional training with instruction, in-the-field experience, and network-building. It is designed to assist rising musicians to develop a portfolio of skills with which to build successful careers in music.

The residency provides hands-on training and experience in teaching artistry, chamber music, and orchestral performance with coaching from Maestro Stern, resident and visiting artists, and education specialists. With a focus on impacting the Greater Memphis community, the Fellowship emphasizes youth development, community building projects, student performances, and community collaborations. Through a partnership with Memphis Music Initiative,Iris Artist Fellows bring positive change to schools and other organizations in underserved communities by participating in community engagement programs that focus on social and emotional learning through music, mentorship, inspiration, and social equity.

Fellows perform with Iris Orchestra during the concert season, receive mentorship from Iris musicians and renowned guest artists, and perform in the Greater Memphis area as the Iris Artist Fellows ensemble.

Click Here for full job description


Fellows Spend Their Time:
  • Teaching in area schools as part of the Memphis Music Initiative’s In-School Fellows Program (
  • Participating in community initiatives and outreach to bring musical experiences to the underserved and marginalized youth in Memphis
  • Performing with Iris Orchestra during the concert season
  • Performing and working as part of the Iris Artist Fellows Ensemble
  • Performing with select guest artists in chamber concerts
  • Collaborating with other area arts organizations
  • Training with Iris musicians and guest artists
You Are Eligible If You:
  • Believe in using music as a tool for social justice and positive change
  • Demonstrate a high caliber of musicianship on violin, viola, or cello
  • Will have completed your bachelor’s degree by the start of the fellowship
  • Have experience teaching or working in underserved communities
  • Identify as Black/African-American, Latinx (or both)
  • Are eligible to work in the US without sponsorship during the 2020/2021 season

Questions? Email us at or call the Iris Office at (901) 746-9948.

Iris Orchestra Mission Statement

To provide outstanding experiences in the concert hall, the classroom and throughout the Mid-South community through musical, educational, and mentoring endeavors


In partnership with