Sometimes it is hard to know what we can do to help heal the pain, rage, and unrest that systemic racism has fueled in our world. As performers, we have a unique opportunity to give voice to some of those who have been silenced.
My wife, Bernadette, over the last few days has done a lot of research and put together this document containing information about Black composers and performers and organizations that support them. If you are a musician, I encourage you, in your chamber groups and orchestras and anywhere you perform, live or recorded, to take the time to find works by Black composers and include them in your programs. Forward this note to your artistic directors and executives, and encourage them as well. Post this document on your blog. Support organizations such as Bravo Youth Orchestras, which serve largely Black and brown youth, and nourish the future of classical music in general.
If you are not a performer, feel free to forward the document to the organizations that you patronize. Let them know there is interest from their audience for them to show more diversity in their programming.
A few years ago, the Portland Baroque Orchestra introduced us to Joseph Boulogne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the “Black Mozart”. This coming season the Oregon Symphony has programmed an African-American Requiem. What will you and your ensemble do?