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Former child prodigy gets to ‘stretch his boundaries’ with the Charlotte Symphony

Jan 12, 2022

By Vanessa Infanzon, The Charlotte Observer-- 

Alan Black, principal cellist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, has known musician Drew Dansby a long time. "I'd taught Drew from the age of 7," Black said. "I've watched him grow up over the years into a gifted cellist." So when an opening arose for the orchestra to make a one-year appointment in the cellist section, Black's thoughts turned to Dansby, now 21.

"In the process of thinking who we could hire," Black said, "it became clear to me that this would be a great opportunity to give Drew the chance to see what it's like to play in a professional orchestra." Dansby, a Charlotte native, accepted Black's offer to be a full member of the symphony as an acting section cellist for one season. He's taken a year off from pursuing degrees in biochemistry and cello performance at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Black felt comfortable recommending Dansby because of their long history as teacher and student, but Black also wanted to give him the chance he never had as a young musician.

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