Working as a conductor in a male-dominated field, I explore some ideas on how we can move forward to increase gender diversity in Classical Music. A summary of where the industry currently is and where we are already making improvements, as well as personal reflections on what is left to achieve.
At the heart of social justice is the restoration of dignity to those who have been oppressed. There are times when this need is very personal, and the person under the yoke of oppression will seek out relief, from the most unlikely people. This was the case for Vickie when a male prison inmate passed her a roughly scribbled note and implored her not to read it till she got home.
Although the narrative of “Tunning up the tone” is derived from a testing moment of my youth, it’s a reminiscence of the prime definitions of tone: the strengthening that was derived from the tribulations, the harmony of making new friends, albeit acquaintances, the musicality of learning a new language. It encompasses all that makes us ‘same same, but different’. The forte of tone.
A 35 year old Indian woman shares her story of how she grew to love her dark skin in a world that told her that only fair was beautiful. It emphasizes the importance of looking beyond a person’s outward appearance and encourages people to see the beauty that is evident in every skin tone.
A mixed-race doctor navigates the struggles and joys of his own identity as a mixed-race individual. It emphasises the need of wholistic education and exposure and the hope for the generations to come, one where colour isn’t used as a tool to put people in boxes but a crowning jewel in our identity as humans.
Why should a white woman care about racism? Why make myself uncomfortable? A reflection on learning to acknowledge privilege, and choosing to listen to others’ lived experience. Taking the first step in growing and understanding by choosing to become an ally for change.
‘Amazing grace’ is a song that everyone knew. Nobody spoke of the songwriter, his slavery past or his transformation. Nobody told us that the tune was likely from the dirges of the enslaved. We just sung, eyes closed, disengaged, deaf to the call to action embedded in the song.