Black Orchestral Network (BON) Sparks Industry Reform National Day of Solidarity and ‘Dear American Orchestras, Part II’

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BON’s Impactful Day of Action Marks the Inaugural Annual Call for Equity,  Addressing Barriers to Inclusion and Urging Change in Orchestral Spaces 

BON Launches Membership Drive—Join in Shaping the Future of  Classical Music 

The Black Orchestral Network (BON), a collective  dedicated to fostering inclusion and equity for Black orchestral musicians, is leading a  movement for change within the classical music sphere, launching its annual National Day of  Solidarity on Monday, January 29, 2024. This powerful day serves as a resounding appeal for  the equitable treatment and inclusion of Black orchestral musicians, resonating across the  industry and beyond.  

At the heart of this movement is the newly released, poignant “Dear American Orchestras,  Part II,” an open letter demanding transparency and equity in the tenure process. This rallying  cry addresses long-standing barriers to inclusion and champions fair practices for Black  musicians, emphasizing the urgent need for action in orchestral spaces. The letter outlines ten  actionable steps to reform the tenure process within American orchestras. View the open letter  in its entirety here “Dear American Orchestras, Part II.”  

“Our National Day of Solidarity represents a united front demanding equity and transparency  within orchestral ensembles. It’s a collective effort to bring about essential change and  recognition for Black orchestral musicians who have long been undervalued and excluded,”  says Weston Sprott, BON Co-Founder and Steering Committee member. “Dear American  Orchestras [I and II] not only offer a blueprint for progress but also stand as crucial historical  records, capturing the sentiments and collective experiences of Black musicians in orchestras— it’s a representation of generations past and present.”  

Additionally, BON introduces its membership drive, inviting individuals and organizations to  contribute to this important cause through membership or institutional support. Embracing 

individual members free of charge, with a suggested donation of $20, BON offers a platform for  active involvement in shaping the future of orchestral music. Membership unlocks access to  exclusive community conversations, professional development opportunities, and the chance to  amplify the voices of Black orchestral musicians.  

Institutional supporters, committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, stand to  gain visibility through job postings and event promotions while aligning with a movement  committed to reshaping classical music’s landscape.  

“By joining BON, you’re not just championing change; you’re amplifying stories and perspectives  that enrich the very fabric of orchestral music,” says Lexi Holloway, BON Steering Committee  member. 

The impact of BON’s previous Day of Solidarity and the release of the “Dear American  Orchestras” letter in May 2022 signified a critical turning point. Thousands joined the call, urging  American orchestras to honor moral and artistic commitments by fostering spaces where Black  musicians can thrive. This momentous event laid the foundation for BON’s ongoing mission,  actively shaping the narrative and instigating change within the classical music industry.  

Join BON’s Advocacy Initiatives

On January 29, supporters are encouraged to post the BON Day of Solidarity graphic to their  social media platforms, driving the urgent message of inclusion and equity within American  orchestras. 

Artists, audience members, educators, music lovers, culture bearers, and enthusiasts are  invited to co-sign the “Dear American Orchestras, Part II” open letter by adding their names to  the list of Black orchestral musicians and supporters calling on American orchestras for change.  Co-sign the letter here.  

Consider becoming a member and actively contributing to BON’s mission, and explore donation  opportunities to support the cause. 

About the Black Orchestral Network  

The Black Orchestral Network (BON) is a collective dedicated to creating an inclusive and  equitable environment for Black people in the orchestral field. BON is a necessary vehicle for  securing a future where Black classical artists are connected and form a rich, expressive, and  culturally affirming network.  

Connection within the Black orchestral community is vital to their sense of belonging and well being. The understanding and improvement of our experience is critical not only to our future  but also to the future of orchestral music as a practice and the music industry as a whole.

Connect with BON 

Instagram: @BlackOrchestralNetwork Twitter: @BlackOrchestral 

Facebook: @BlackOrchestralNetwork LinkedIn: @BlackOrchestralNetwork 

Website: www.blackorchestralnetwork.org Hashtag: #DearAmericanOrchestras 

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Cynthia Tate, ctate@saintessexpr.com  ###