5 Days of Action events highlight diversity and inclusion in music programming

by Kayleigh Francis | Nov 15, 2021 | Students, Faculty, Events

Since 2018, the University of Victoria has hosted a group of events collectively called the 5 Days of Action: 365 Days of Commitment. The events aim to amplify the efforts put forth by groups, units, and organizations across UVic that are committed to building a safe and more inclusive campus. The School of Music invites the public and UVic community to join us for three musical events organized by faculty and students who share a commitment to bringing awareness to challenges of equity, diversity and inclusion. “The School of Music is committed to being part of the change that is happening at UVic through the 5 Days of Action,” says Dr. Alexis Luko, the Director of the School of Music. “Music is a powerful way to open up a positive space for listening, reflecting, engaging, and showing solidarity.” 

The first event on Nov. 16 entitled Amplifying voices: Integrating underrepresented identities in music, is organized by UVic’s Music Students’ Association (MSA). The concert features works composed by underrepresented identities in music, including two School of Music students, and will be performed by our students as well. Following the concert, a panel discussion will take a critical look at programming diverse music in curricula and concert halls. “There are some issues around racism [and] diversity that musicians are confronting every day in the real world,” says Lucas Hung, the  MSA’s 1st/2nd Year Representative. “We need to start having conversations talking about difficult things. There are so many traditions that we are missing out on just because we are [only] programming Western European music all the time.” Brendan Wong, the Events Coordinator for the MSA, says they were aiming for a variety of styles with each performance in this event. “So, contemporary, jazz, late Classical, [as well as] an indigenous work… It just really worked out that a bunch of people applied, and [that] there is quite a big range [of repertoire],” said Wong. “This is something that we are excited about.”

The second event on Nov. 17, Music we love: Appreciating a wider spectrum of flute repertoire, features the students from Dr. Suzanne Snizek’s flute studio. Highlighting the music of composers underrepresented in the classical music canon, the program is made up of works by diverse musical voices including Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Korean and Jewish composers, performed by both undergraduate and graduate students. 

The final event, Every timbre and tone: Honouring diversity through song takes place on Nov. 18 and features School of Music faculty and guests, including soprano and piano duo Sharon and Harold Krebs, pianist Bruce Vogt and soprano Anne Grimm, and singer-songwriter Colleen Eccleston. The program includes works by Florence Prince (the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer) and Poldowski (a pseudonym of marginalized Belgian-born British composer and pianist Régine Wieniawsk)i, as well as original music by Colleen Eccleston written especially for this occasion. 

The full schedule of 5 Days of Action events can be found here. All School of Music concerts are free to attend and will also be live streamed. If attending in person, registration and proof of vaccination is required.

We hope that you will join us in celebrating and amplifying the music presented in all of these concerts!