July 19, 2022
Sphinx Organization Announces 2023 Sphinx Medals of Excellence Honorees
L-r: Thomas Mesa, Aundi Marie Moore, and Joel Thompson
L-r: Thomas Mesa, Aundi Marie Moore, and Joel Thompson

Cellist Thomas Mesa, soprano Aundi Marie Moore, and composer Joel Thompson each to receive the award and a $50,000 career grant

DETROIT, MICHIGAN (JULY 19, 2022) — The Sphinx Organization has announced the 2023 Medal of Excellence honorees: cellist Thomas Mesa, soprano Aundi Marie Moore, and composer Joel Thompson. The Sphinx Medal of Excellence is the organization’s highest honor recognizing extraordinary classical Black and Latinx artists who early in their career demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities. The medal comes with a $50,000 career grant.

This year Sphinx—the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts—celebrates its 25th anniversary. All three of the 2023 medal honorees are part of the anniversary concert events: Thomas Mesa is principal cellist of the Sphinx Virtuosi, the professional self-conducted chamber ensemble and Sphinx’s flagship performing entity, and will be the soloist during the ensemble’s fall tour in the newly commissioned work, Divided, by Jessie Montgomery (Sphinx Medal of Excellence 2020) including at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, October 13; Aundi Marie Moore will join the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble as a guest soloist on two 25th anniversary concert performances at UMS Ann Arbor (Sunday, January 29) and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. (Tuesday, January 31); and Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, a widely acclaimed multi-movement choral work that memorializes the last words spoken by seven African-American men killed by police or other authority figures, will be performed at the two anniversary concerts by the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble with members of The Washington Chorus joining them at the Kennedy Center. Thompson is also a founding member of Sphinx’s EXIGENCE ensemble.

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