by Anthony R. Green
Happy 2022, everyone! As my interest in Black composers of "classical music" increases, I find myself constantly scouring the internet, looking for organizations who promote such composers in myriad ways. In recent searches, I stumbled upon two really wonderful projects who are supporting Black and marginalized voices in major ways. This quick BIBA is to give a shout-out to them!
The first is the New Music Initiative for Black Voices. According to their website, they are a is a US "nationwide invitational that aims to celebrate and empower Black composers and their music". Black composers across the US apply to have a relatively new string quartet (composed in 2010 or after) workshopped, read, and recorded by professional string players. As of now, the website implies that this initiative took place in 2021, and there is currently a new cohort for 2022. The website also has the profiles of the string players, their board members (some really fantastic people), and - of course - selected composers (one of which was featured in Castle of our Skins's #BCMC 2.0!!). I hope this initiative continues, and perhaps even changes instrumentations from time to time (string trio, sax quartet, wind quintet, chamber voices, mixed sextet, etc ...). Keep up the good work!
The second is the Rising Tide Music Press. This publishing company focuses on publishing "print works by BBIA (Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian) musicians in their 10 years of professional-level work as composers and arrangers". Consequently, many young Black composers are featured and supported by this incredible project, and their scores are easily available to purchase (as this is a publishing company!). A great feature of their website is the attention they give to their featured composers. Each composer has their own individual page, and most composers have links to audio or video of the pieces that are available to purchase. In this way, one can hear quite a bit of the incredible music that this company supports, and one can also see watermarked score samples (if interested). Wonderful organization!!!!!
If you know any other organizations doing similar work, drop a line!
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