Color and Classical Music In December

theatre-audience_3133209b-800x305Sometimes I look out into the audience when I perform music. I don’t mean to take an subconscious pole of the demographics of the audience, but it’s hard not to notice. The picture above isn’t what I usually see, in fact the picture below is more of the reality of I tend to notice. Often I am the only person of color in the room, and after 20 years of holiday performances I started to wonder about those numbers.

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I didn’t grow up going to classical music concerts, especially not during the holidays. So why and how I came to the place where I love classical music and am a performer of this music is a mystery to me. Either way this is the common ground under which the audience and I share community.

Faces At Concerts

I don’t often get to look into the audiences when I perform. When I play with an orchestra, I’m lucky if I get to see the faces of the orchestra and choir members I get to perform with. There are no surprises to me about the different kinds of people involved in making music, although I still find myself looking for people that look like me in the ensembles and in the audience.
When I see a person of color at a concert of classical music, I notice them. I wonder if they notice me too. Perhaps they came to this place for the same reason I did…I love this music and music is my truth.

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