New on the scene: Nashville African American Wind Symphony

Posted on: November 30, 2021

The Nashville African American Wind Symphony in rehearsal at Tennessee State University.

“The Nashville African American Wind Symphony [is] a new group made up of 52 Black classical musicians—some are doctors, others lawyers, educators, engineers and politicians,” reports Paige Pfleger in Monday’s (11/29) WPLN radio (Nashville, TN). “Many of them studied music in college, but set down their instruments years ago…. The group is a dream turned reality for euphonium player and founder Bruce Ayers…. A few years ago, he was teaching music at a public high school…. His students, who were mostly Black, [had never] been to the symphony before…. ‘I wanted them to see people that look like them doing this type of music because it’s important,’ he says…. So he started assembling a team. The first person he thought of was Ashley Crawford—a TSU music professor and a performer who goes by the stage name, Flutebae…. Crawford says she wishes something like this symphony was around when she was younger…. Being the only Black woman in a room full of mostly white people, … ‘The moment you mess up you feel like you failed—not only yourself, but the representation of the entire community,’ she says…. ‘I just want to make music,’ Crawford says.”