Promoting diversity in music

Today I received an email message from Rob Deemer, a good friend in high school. Now Rob is associate professor and head of composition in the School of Music at the State University of New York at Fredonia, and he was writing to all of his family and fiends to give an update about the project he’s been working on for the last couple of years. It started as a spreadsheet project listing a few hundred women composers for his students at Fredonia, and grew into the newly-formed Institute for Composer Diversity. Rob and his team have an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the institute.

Rob and I collaborated on a fun project in high school. I was editor of the New Pennis literary journal, and I asked him to contribute something musical. He offered an arrangement of the folk tune Scarborough Fair, and we included that as a page spread. Our issue won a national award. (I blogged about this in this 2004 post.) I’m proud of our innovation, but even more happy to hear that Rob is helping lead the way in advocating for composers from historically underrepresented groups. That’s cool.



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