Since 2018, The Orchestra Now has graduated more than 70 musicians who have fulfilled requirements for the three-year Master of Music degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies or the two-year Advanced Certificate in Orchestral Studies. TŌN alumni/ae are making a difference in orchestras, ensembles, and educational institutions in the United States and around the world. Recent graduates have earned positions with the Alabama, Albany, Atlanta, Hawaii, Huntsville, Oregon, and Pacific symphonies; Las Vegas Philharmonic; the Hallé (Manchester, U.K.); Guiyang Symphony Orchestra (China); Hong Kong Philharmonic; and the ADDA-Alicante (Alicante, Spain), among others. Several graduates play regularly with the New York Philharmonic; the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota Orchestras; and the North Carolina, Greenville, and Baltimore symphonies. Still others hold administrative positions at institutions such as the Gifted Music School, Decoda, ENCORE Chamber Music, and the Bach Akademie Charlotte.

Photo by Jito Lee

Alumni Cover Photo

TŌN Alumni Spotlight: Elias Rodriguez TŌN '18

“The Orchestra Now played a pivotal role in my growth and development as a musician.”

Mexican-American clarinetist Elias Rodriguez TŌN ’18 was among the first class to graduate with Bard’s Master of Music degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies. A passionate musician and educator, he has performed internationally throughout the Americas and Europe. This season, he joins the acclaimed WindSync, a vibrant chamber ensemble performing wind quintet masterworks, adapting beloved music to their instrumentation, and championing new works by today’s composers, based out of his home state of Texas.

During his final year in TŌN, Elias won the prestigious 2018 Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship, which granted him a three year artist residency at La Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, where he performed as a clarinet soloist for the U.S. Embassy France, served as a guest artist with Ensemble Calliopée, and studied with Patrick Messina and Jean-Marc Volta of the Orchestre National de France.

A native of Dallas, Elias worked in the area as a public school band director before embarking on his performing career. His training includes a degree in Music Education from Baylor University School of Music and graduate-level study in clarinet performance at University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris – Alfred Cortot.

“The Orchestra Now played a pivotal role in my growth and development as a musician. As a former Jr. High band director with big dreams, TŌN permitted me to perform with and sit alongside graduates of the most distinguished music schools in the country, several of whom won positions in major professional ensembles.. I learned just as much from my colleagues as I did from the incredible Bard faculty, guest artists, and staff. 

“The three years I spent on the Bard College campus represent some of the most inspiring and beautiful years of my life. The opportunities are endless to those who seek them. I am eternally grateful to President Botstein and the Bard faculty, administration, and staff for their personal investment and dedication to The Orchestra Now and its musicians. This program changed my life.”

Keep up with Elias:

Elias Rodriguez

Photo by Jake Luttinger

Visit this page often for profiles, class notes, and other news on TŌN alumni/ae!

TŌN Alumni/ae: Stay in touch! If you would like to submit class notes, please contact Nicole de Jesús at [email protected].