Published July 13, 2020 by Rebecca McDaniel | Share this post!
***Definitions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion below drawn in part from the Ford Foundation.
Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences, both collectively and as individuals.
Our nation is enriched and illuminated by a panoply of different cultures, ideas, and ways of making music. For us, a major focus is the diversity of the composers whose music we commission, premiere, perform, and record. So, we have set a new goal for ourselves: to have our programming reflect the diversity of our nation, which currently equates to a 50% non-male, 40% ALAANA* population.
We have looked closely at the programming in our past four concert seasons, and determined the amount of time we have spent on stage each year performing the music of ALAANA composers and non-male composers.
We have also examined our history of commissions and premieres of new work and our recorded output, through a similar lens.
This information is below, and we plan to look back at our programming each year and continue to make this information public so that we can both reflect and hold ourselves accountable to our goals.
Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people.
Third Coast Percussion has found that what unifies the community of creators and audience members that surround us is a creativity and curiosity that cut across the boundaries of gender, race, class, and more. We are at our happiest and most creative when we are creating an environment that makes everyone in our team and in our audience feel welcome, appreciated, and heard.
As classical musicians, we find ourselves in constant creative dialogue with other composers, either in real time or with their music as a proxy. By shaping our creative voice in tandem with these other voices, we include them and empower them, and inspire audience members who see themselves in the creators we celebrate.
Equity ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities by recognizing we all have an unequal starting place.
For years, Third Coast Percussion performed almost exclusively music composed by White men of European and North American descent. This was not by design—our programming has been the product of a legacy of implicit and explicit exclusion of non-White non-males in classical music.
In recent years, we’ve started to bring an awareness of our own blind spots and limited worldview to every discussion we have about programming. We are constantly searching for composers and collaborators who inspire us, and we deliberately seek out composers and collaborators who are from historically disenfranchised populations so that we can help lift up their voices and their creative work.
*ALAANA stands for African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American individuals and communities.
*Current as of July 2, 2020
In the 2019/20 concert season, we spent 15% of our total time on stage performing the works of ALAANA composers, and 13% of our total time on stage performing the works of non-male composers.
In 2018/19: 28% ALAANA, 5% non-male.
In 2017/18: 8% ALAANA, 9% non-male.
In 2016/17: 2% ALAANA, 12% non-male.
Commissions and Premieres
Since our founding in 2005, Third Coast Percussion has commissioned, co-commissioned, or premiered 65 new works.
22 of those works (25%) are by ALAANA composers.
18 of the works (21%) are by non-male composers.
We have released or been included on 23 commercially-available albums.
ALAANA composers represent 9% of our total recorded output.
Non-male composers represent 11% of our total recorded output.