Albany Symphony’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access task force gets to work

Posted on: April 5, 2022

The Albany Symphony … has an impeccable reputation … but what it has never had is a Black musician as an official member…. ‘It’s not acceptable,’ said [Music Director] David Alan Miller,” writes Shaniece Holmes-Brown in Saturday’s (4/2) Times Union (Albany, NY). “The symphony has been working to improve the diversity in the orchestra [with] IDEA, or Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access, Task Force…. The task force is composed of symphony board members, community members, symphony staff, a musician from the orchestra, Miller and Chairman Jahkeen Hoke, the CEO of the Business for Good…. In September of last year, members of Albany’s orchestra took a tour of historic areas to learn about the history of African-Americans in Albany and Black art. The tour culminated with the launch of Convergence, a three-year collaborative initiative between the symphony and community members exploring three art forms with Black artists…. ‘We’ve built all sorts of wonderful connections, but at the core, if the people on the stage are mainly white, then something is missing,’ said Miller.” The article also reports on orchestral auditions and the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), which aims to increase diversity in American orchestras. NAAS is a partnership made up of the Sphinx Organization (lead program administrator), New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras.