Thursday, October 9, 2008

Going too far too fast? The story of my (recent) life

One of our most passionate supporters told me that he's holding back on recruiting for fear of the ensembles becoming all African-American. Wouldn't that be ironic? And, I suspect, a unique situation for an independent youth orchestra.

I told him that as far as I was concerned, what is important is giving ALL children an opportunity to play. Had there been a choice when Molly was in youth orchestra, I would have put her in MYO because of its diversity. I'm sure many feel the same way.

I say, bring them on. Bring us every single young musician who wants to play, regardless of color, regardless of instrument, even regardless of skill level. If we need to rewrite the music, we will. If we have to create more ensembles at different skill levels or playing other music genres, we will.

A rainbow of faces in our ensembles is my dream. But it means nothing if it is forced or arranged. Let the musical chips fall where they may and we'll hope that with time, the dream will come true.

We have our community meeting this Saturday at Cave9 from 6 pm to 8 pm. (If you haven't gotten an invitation, consider yourself invited now. It's open to all.) I am so pleased with the broad range of people attending. I hope we can have a frank discussion about some of these issues because I'd love to know--need to know--what others think.

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