When It Comes To Diversity, Are We Just Churning Butter With A Toothpick?

I keep meaning to find time to write something on the topic of diversity and representation in response to an article on that subject by Anthony Tommasini in the 7/16/2020 edition of the New York Times. In a nutshell, Tommasini attempts to support the conclusion that diversity on-stage can be improved if orchestras abandon screened auditions. It fails to stick a landing thanks in large part because screened auditions don’t have …

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NEC Alumni Pressure School’s Leadership To Improve Diversity

More than 350 New England Conservatory (NEC) alumni have signed a letter addressed to the school’s president, Andrea Kalyn calling out the university for failing to acknowledge what they define as its role in “reproducing the social conditions it claims to abhor.” It is time for the Conservatory’s leadership to be courageous in addressing its history and sustained role in promoting the purported supremacy of Eurocentric musical traditions. This history has …

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Institute For Composer Diversity Begins Rolling Out 2019-2020 Season Report

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The Institute For Composer Diversity (ICD), which evolved from the Women Composers Database project, released their initial 2019-2020 season report. The report tracks the overall number and percentage of masterworks series works from women composers and composers of color. The online report provides concise datasets that illustrate each orchestra’s percentage and number of works in total season along with their League of American Orchestras group number. Since we’re neck-deep in 2019-2020 …

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Meaningful Diversity Is Closer Than We Think

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While I am all kinds of happy to see service organizations and foundations allocate increased resources to addressing meaning change on issues related to diversity, it still feels a bit like trying to catch up by going slower. All the planned efforts are excellent; providing mentoring, audition prep, financial support, and highlighting minority musicians to potential employers are necessary programs. At the same time, there are options capable of catapulting the …

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All I Want For Christmas Is Some Gender Equality And Diversity. Is That Too F*@!ing Much To Ask For?

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 …

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