Post-Ferguson, St. Louis Symphony and area arts groups broaden community efforts

Posted on: August 5, 2019

“For classical music organizations in St. Louis, Ferguson was a call to intensify their efforts to reach out to underserved communities in the region,” writes Sarah Bryan Miller in Saturday’s (8/3) St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO). “Marie-Hélène Bernard, president and CEO of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, didn’t arrive in town until almost a year after the death of Michael Brown, but she was well aware of the polite protest that took place during the SLSO’s performance of Johannes Brahms’ ‘Ein deutsches Requiem’ … on Oct. 4, 2014…. Ferguson ‘was a catalyst for this region to assess where we are, to truly improve, to be even more intentional about bridging the divide,’ Bernard says.… The SLSO, she points out, ‘has been embedded in its community … since the 1980s,’ with the creation of the In Unison Chorus to perform African American music at popular annual concerts and with other community programs.… The SLSO has added a program with the University of Missouri-St. Louis to provide scholarships and internship possibilities for local students… Two of those graduates are now on the SLSO’s staff.” Similar efforts at other St. Louis performing arts organizations are also profiled in the article.

Posted August 5, 2019

In photo: The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s In UNISON Chorus at Powell Hall. Photo courtesy of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra