Diversity in the Key of Opportunity

Stanford Thompson performing the Hummel Trumpet Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - Michael Morgan, conducting.

Since the age of twelve, I have known that I wanted to be a professional musician. The sound of brass playing really caught my ear; it was versatile - bold, articulate, sweet, and mournful - and the trombone in classical and jazz contexts possessed all of those qualities. Like all seven year olds, my arms weren't long enough to reach all seven positions and my father started me on trumpet instead. The plan was to switch to trombone when my arms were longer, but the years went by and the trumpet still fed my interests. I was different than … [Read more...]

Orchestra’s Coda to Diversity: Draggin’ a Bit…

TDP Alumni Orchestra

In 2007, the music critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin, wrote a sobering article about the lack of minorities on stage, throughout the audience, back in the administrative offices, and in the board room of America's top orchestras. He described a valiant effort the orchestra made over twenty years ago to tackle these issues, but it was not nearly enough to fill the gaps. When Peter posed the question "What has been standing between the orchestra and progress all these years?", the answers came from all over: they were … [Read more...]