Katina Pantazopoulos, a conducting student for Valissima Institute / Valissima Institute

The Montclair Orchestra has announced a partnership with Valissima Institute for its pilot summer program. The two-week intensive program is designed for aspiring young female conductors and will feature renowned conductors including former New York Philharmonic Music director Alan Gilbert and Karina Canellakis.

“Female conductors have historically received fewer opportunities to lead orchestras, though progress has been made in recent years,” Montclair Orchestra president Andre Weker wrote in an announcement of the program. “The future for orchestras includes a diverse range of musicians on stage, including on the podium. The Montclair Orchestra is proud to be part of an initiative that leads the way for women to take on that role more prevalently, and demonstrating that previous norms will no longer be a barrier for musicians of all ages.”

The program provides an opportunity for elite pre-college female instrumentalists performing at the highest levels to experience conducting an orchestra under the mentorship of industry professionals.

A final free public concert will take place at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in South Orange, New Jersey on Aug. 8.