Women Pioneers Among On-Stage Musicians

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Recently, I read an essay by Nancy Fako that recounted her experiences as one of the early women to win a position in the Boys Club brass sections of 1960 era large budget orchestras. It’s a great essay (something I hope will be published here soon) but it made me wonder about similar women musicians who earned positions during that era and braved the gauntlet of sexism and discrimination. I posted …

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More On Women Composers And 2018/19 Programming

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Back in February of this year, we examined the issue of 2018/19 programming and its inauspicious lack of women composers at several large and mid-size budget orchestras. At that time, Alex Ross’ tweeted a blurb about the lack of women composers and since then, the topic has drawn attention from a wide range or stakeholders. One of the latest entries is an excellent commentary piece from Peter Dobrin in the 8/23/2018 …

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#TBT Diversity Boomerang

Reflection or Projection

In response to yesterday’s post about the Canadian Opera Company (COC) and Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) losing city funding due to a lack of diversity, I noticed some intriguing conversations across social media. One of the overriding themes was a sense that orchestras are genuinely trying as hard as they can to address diversity and that stated commitment should count for something. These points made me think about a post here …

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In Toronto, There’s No More Snooze Bar On The Diversity Alarm

There’s a wonderful article in the 5/25/2018 edition of Ludwig-van.com that serves as a sort of cautionary tale about the disconnect between what an organization says is important and its quantifiable actions on the matter. The article, by Michael Vincent, reports the Canadian Opera Company (COC) and Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will see $100,000 CAD and $50,000 CAD respectfully cut from their Toronto city government funding. The decision to reduce their …

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Is There Anything More Inspiring Than Compliance Deadlines?

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The 4/14/18 edition of US News and World Reports published an article by Rachael Pacella that examines some a new program at the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) designed to being moving more minority music students toward careers as professional orchestra musicians. The ASO’s Annapolis Symphony Academy intends to fill half of the available openings with African-American or Hispanic-Latino students. This is a great step in the right direction. Having said that, …

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