The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra mourns the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dontre Hamilton, and so many others. The realities of inequity and racism are, once again, laid bare before us.
As Toni Morrison said, “[t]his is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”
That is why Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access are so important to our philosophy of change. If we genuinely want progress and justice to exist for all, we must start recognizing the differences in our everyday experiences in America. In the coming week and months, we have a duty to rebuild our neighborhoods and communities in a more just and equitable way. It is imperative that our citizens, organizations, policy makers and corporations recognize the importance of this opportunity. As a community, we must work together.
At MYSO, we reassert our legacy to connect young people, their families, and our community in ways that, seemingly, only music can. And we recommit to the process of music making via ensembles of young people of all colors, backgrounds, and neighborhoods. Creating healing bonds of friendships through ensemble music making, our young people learn there is no barrier to understanding one another through the healing power of music.
We further acknowledge our place in this community, both literally (to stand in partnership with our neighbors as residents of Milwaukee’s near north side) and figuratively (to use the restorative power of music to create connections, heal the spirit, and build community).
We will continue our work to connect our young people and our community, while we also speak out for basic human rights, for justice, and for peace. We hear you, recognizing your pain along with the pain we feel with you. We have more to learn from one another, and more to do together. We invite you to join us in our journey of understanding and healing.
Incoming Board Chair