I want to compliment Marcos Carreras of the Children’s Chorus of Springfield. He put together an event on Saturday called Celebration in Song, where children’s choirs spent a day singing together, then performing on the steps of city hall in Springfield, MA. Marcos is great for a lot of reasons, including his passionate commitment to use singing as a tool to empower kids to see themselves as educated citizens.
But, to focus on a particular thing that he did that no one else has ever done, I want to compliment Marcos on the panel of conductor/clinicians he brought in. I was one of them, so I was happy about that. But, in addition to me, there was Wendy Moy of Connecticut College and Carolina Flores of Manchester Community College. Not only were there three women conductors, but one was Hispanic and one was Asian! Marcos himself, a Hispanic man, conducted, too. So did Jamie Spillane of UConn and Julius Williams of Berklee. Three men, but only one white dude!
The Special Guest Star was Charles Bruffy, which does add to the count of White Dudes in attendance, but with seven of us all together, that’s still an extraordinary balance! Usually it’s me and four White Dudes. Never have I been among such a diverse group of conductors, and it was a profound pleasure.
I also want to observe the most thorough media coverage of the event, here: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/05/springfield_hosts_the_2015_cel.html
28 photographs, mostly of kids singing, a few candids of people talking or listening, and fewer of groups posing. Of the photographs of conductors conducting, we have one of Laurie Ellington in front of her own choir, two of Marcos in front of his, and three of the highly charming and photogenic Four-Time Grammy Winning Maestro Bruffy. None of Dr. Moy, the only Asian conductor. None of Dr. Williams, the only black conductor.
Marcos went to all that effort to put together a group of conductors who represented widely varying races and genders, and the media coverage doesn’t come close to showing it. And that’s a bummer, because it was an important feature of the day for the kids who came to sing.
p.s. Next time you need me to wear a shirt that shade of neon green, let me know in advance so I can bleach my hair blonde to minimize its complexion-sapping quality. Regardless, even in my current auburn-ish state, I will proudly wear it all summer!