Here in Chicago it’s Midwest Clinic week. If you aren’t already familiar with Midwest, it’s the international mega conference for bands and orchestras of all stipe that routinely draws just under 20k attendees.
Among the numerous sessions, a trio of offerings devoted to the topic of gender equity jumped out at me.
Unfortunately, I am up to my eyeballs in deadline work and am unable to attend. But thanks to the largesse of friends and colleagues, I will be kept in the loop as to what transpires during those sessions.
I’m especially curious to see how conversations unfold since similar efforts at other conferences over the last year have been very hit and miss. One effort at a conference that shall not be named, became infamous in that there was one particular attendee who felt compelled to mansplain to the women members why gender equality wasn’t a problem.
On the other end of that spectrum are sessions that produced meaningful changes in attitudes and perspectives.
I’m hoping the trio of sessions at Midwest will all fall into the latter group and given some of the panelists in those sessions, I have high hopes.
I’m particularly happy to see my friend, colleague, and speaker of unspoken truths, Alex Shapiro as part of the Bridging the Gender Gap: Developing Strategies for Creating Equity in Ensemble Programming session.
Jennifer Higdon is one of several standouts in the Opening the Door Wider: Panel on Women Composers of Wind Music session, and the Directors for Diversity: Grade 1-4 Band Works by Women session looks like a fabulous offering focused on instituting change at the earliest stages of large ensemble music education.
If you’re at Midwest and attending any of these sessions, I would be all kinds of grateful to hear your feedback so take a moment to leave a comment, send a direct note, or leave a message on my Facebook wall.