The global pandemic has caused many individuals to pause and ponder as our country continues to struggle to become more equitable. What policies and practices are in place in our schools, churches, and professional organizations that are not equitable? What can we do? How can we advocate for change? These are difficult questions that we are also tackling as choral directors who firmly believe that music is a powerful form for us to engage with our communities. Jimi Hendrix speaks truth in the following quote:
Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.
YES – we love to focus on the music. However, we cannot just make music. We must care about the singers that we serve. If we care about the people in our choirs, then we must care about equity and justice.
Equity is the designated theme for our three Voices from the District articles that are authored by Chad Felton (Southwest district), Chris Larson (Metro West district), and Richard Robbins (Northeast district). Our Commissioning Corner article highlights several Minnesota composers as they talk about how equity impacts their work. Our Guest Feature article will also provide you with information about the newly formed ACDA-MN Diversity Initiatives Committee.
The Orono High School Choral Program under the direction of Nichole Brenna is the Star Program for this issue. The Legacy article lifts up the work of Bruce Phelps, and Katelyn Larson is the subject of the Home Sweet Home article. Several award winners are also featured in our ACE Inspiration awards as well as an article that highlights the Three Outstanding Leaders who were honored at the closing ceremony of the ACDA-MN Virtual Conference.
Stay up to date with the Inside ACDA article and read about the Scholarship Sketches that are awarded through the FMC Endowment Fund. Don’t forget to peruse the Pick Six selections that are provided by our Repertoire and Resources chairs.
On behalf of the Star of the North editorial team, we thank you for engaging in the work of equity and for pursuing peace and justice that enhances the social and emotional well-being of our communities.
Peter J. Durow
Bruce W. Becker