Today in the United States we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day. In remembrance of King’s dream for racial equality, I want to draw your attention to a few resources relevant to this topic. Last year I posted a ChoralNet blog previewing a 2016 Choral Journal article “On Our Way: Programming a Martin Luther King Jr. Concert for Youth Choir” by Anthony Trecek-King. You can read that post here.
An excerpt: “A substantial amount of music from many eras, genres, and sources has been written relating to civil rights and social justice, much of which would make an excellent choice to include in a concert celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. However, youth and children choral conductors face considerable complications with respect to researching and selecting music. While the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for freedom is bursting with music, discovering literature that has been composed or arranged for chorus and, more specifically, for the requirements of a youth choir, remains elusive. Youth choirs are distinct ensembles, and programming for their specific needs should always be considered.”
The November 2017 issue of Choral Journal was an entire focus issue devoted to Diversity Initiatives, edited and compiled by ACDA’s standing committee for Diversity Initiatives. That issue included the following articles:
Is All Music for Everyone? by Penelope Cruz
Toward Socially Inclusive Music Organizations: Promoting Socioeconomic Diversity in Choral Ensembles by Julia T. Shaw
An American Choral Tapestry by Angela Broeker and Jason Harris
The November 2017 issue also included a few diversity resources: Stephen Sieck’s new book Teaching with Respect and sevenlastwords.org–a website highlighting Joel Thompson’s critically acclaimed composition, The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, and the performance of this piece by the Michigan men’s Glee Club under the direction of Eugene Rogers. That website shares additional educational resources for high schools, universities, and professional organizations.
I hope some of these may be helpful to you as you consider future performances.