I subscribe to the choralnet daily updates, of course. And I got an e-mail about the adjudicators being named for the World Choir Games.
I was pleased, at first glace, to see a balance of men and women. But then I started reading bios and ack! There are some solid conducting credentials in there, but then there are many non-conductors, too.
Of course, you don’t have to be a conductor to be an adjudicator. Teachers, singers, and composers can give valuable feedback to choirs. Mostly, at festivals/competitions, the adjudicator’s job is to evaluate the choir’s performance, not tell the conductor in charge of them how to make improvements. So people with well-supported ideas and perspectives are all that’s necessary; actual conducting skills are superfluous, really. For a big event like the World Choir Games, variety makes a lot of sense, and–even better!–makes the list of possible adjudicators significantly more diverse in terms of race, sex, and age.
That said, their list is overwhelmingly white, male, and middle-aged.
I had been excited to see there was a list, then disappointed when the list was not populated with conductors. It only took a moment of thought for me to see the sense of that, and then another moment for the second wave of disappointment to hit: even the list of a wide variety of musical leaders from all over the world is still 60% men.