The Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music is leading the charge by utilizing its collective efforts and creative energy to shed light on the talents of those who have been historically underrepresented. As part of this crucial endeavor, the School has established a monthly educational series that includes masterclasses and roundtable discussions highlighting Black musicians and their contributions to the music field. The Black Artists Series launched this fall, upholding George Mason University’s mission to be an "inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world."
The new series—which is organized by Linda Apple Monson and members of the Dewberry School of Music faculty—features 13 extraordinary guest artists in various formats during the current semester. From composers and conductors to singers and instrumentalists, a broad array of musical disciplines at the Dewberry School of Music are being spotlighted through this Black Artist Series.
“I thought this was important for us to do, and I'm very proud of what we've been able accomplish in order to curate and present the Black Artists Series,” commented Linda Apple Monson, Director of the Dewberry School of Music. She added, “I must note that this is possible for us because of the terrific relationships that our Dewberry School of Music faculty enjoy with terrific colleagues in the field.”
Upcoming sessions left in the series will feature violist Rita Porfiris (November 20), soprano Aundi Marie Moore (December 1), conductor and tubist Michael Nickens (December 1), and conductor Marcellus Brown (December 3).
The Black Artists Series reflects a larger commitment to equality, justice, and freedom within the artistic community at Mason. Other new initiatives at the Dewberry School of Music for this academic year include: integrating a broader set of musical experiences and styles into the music curriculum; commissioning two new works by Black composers, which will be premiered by Mason students in May 2021; and inviting guest artists from diverse backgrounds for a Global Music Series with student artists.