Black Orchestral Network Launches

The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Black Orchestral Network Launches


Last month saw the launch of the Black Orchestral Network (BON), a collective dedicated to creating an inclusive and equitable orchestral field for Black musicians across the U.S. On May 9, BON organized a Day of Solidarity for allies and champions of the movement, publishing an open letter to American orchestras that calls for orchestra leaders, unions, and funders to address the systemic underrepresentation of Black musicians in the field (fewer than 2% of all orchestral musicians). Their social media toolkit is still available online for organizations that wish to continue standing in solidarity with Black orchestral musicians.

BON’s work is supported by organizations like the National Instrumentalist Mentoring + Advancement Network (NIMAN), which hosted their annual Chicago Youth in Music Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in April. This included a first-ever National Pathways Summit, which brought together music educators and administrators to build strategies supporting talented young musicians from underrepresented backgrounds in U.S. orchestras. The next Pathways Festival and NIMAN convening will take place March 17–19, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.


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