Hometown: Macon, Ga.
Undergrad: Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.
Graduate: Northwestern University, master's degree in conducting, 2011.
Previous job: Alabama Symphony, assistant conductor.
Activities: "You all love lake culture and the outdoors. In Georgia, you are outside 12 months of the year, so it's not as special. Next summer I'm thinking I might give paddleboarding a try. Maybe."
On European hegemony in classical music: "I would like to change that. As one of the very few African-American conductors in the world, unlike some of my colleagues, I have to think about how to inspire young African-American musicians."
On the work of Michigan-based Sphinx, which coaches young black string players: "Now we have to figure out the hurdle of getting those players in orchestras, or as soloists. Connect them with managers, agents, orchestras to breach that gap."
On patrons who donate expensive instruments to musicians: "That's really great, but couldn't that money buy dozens of violins for kids? I'm pretty sure Joshua Bell will still play great no matter what violin he uses."