Northwestern University music-school students push to diversify curriculum

Posted on: May 21, 2018

“Since she began playing the flute in fifth grade, Julia Clipper remembered only ever playing one piece composed by a woman,” writes Ally Mauch in Thursday’s (5/17) Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University’s student newspaper. In April, Clipper, a senior at the university’s Bienen School of Music, “performed what she called an ‘intersectional feminist recital.’ … Repertoire included contemporary African-American composer Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, 19th-century German composer Clara Schumann and contemporary Japanese composer Yuko Uebayashi. Clipper … handed out a list of more than 200 female composers…. In spring 2017, more than 300 students and alumni signed a petition asking administrators to diversify the curriculum…. Bienen senior Megan Rohrer … is [one of a group of students meeting] with … faculty this academic year to exchange ideas that could diversify the composers in Bienen’s curriculum. [Linda Jacobs, Bienen’s assistant dean for student affairs] said changes typically take about a year to implement because of an approval process that involves the program, department, a curriculum conference committee and select faculty members. [Drew Davies, director of graduate music studies at Bienen] said, ‘It is important to be open and consistent about talking about diversity and inclusion issues—and not do it on one day, but to do it every day.’ ”

Posted May 21, 2018