Dedicated to creating a more inclusive and equitable work environment for musicians of color, the Black Orchestral Network (BON) launched in May by founding members Jennifer Arnold (Oregon Symphony, former), Alexander Liang (Phoenix Symphony), David A. Norville (Sound Garden Wind Quintet), Shea Scruggs (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, all former), Weston Sprott (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Joy Payton-Stevens (Seattle Symphony, former), and Titus Underwood (Nashville Symphony).
With the publication of this Open Letter, BON’s first campaign focuses on advancing equity in American Orchestras. The letter calls for orchestras to hire Black musicians and for the AFM, and our orchestral conferences ROPA & ICSOM, to stand in solidarity with Black members by honoring the values of fair workplaces and addressing barriers to equitable audition and tenure practices. Bringing awareness to racial injustice and taking action against it are the first steps in supporting opportunities for Black artists.
We support the goals of the Black Orchestral Network and reiterate their call by linking directly to the Open Letter here.
Editor’s Note: The print version of this article includes the Open Letter in its entirety. For the online version, we have decided to link directly to the website of the Black Orchestral Network above.