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Student-run virtual concert supports Black Lives Matters

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, a group of student leaders from University of the Pacific music fraternities, student-run ensembles and the Conservatory of Music Student Senate organized a virtual concert on June 25.

Event student director Molly Westlake introduced the concert by saying, "It is the very start of a conversation regarding who we are supporting and how we are showing our support to musicians across the country. We're going to feature two organizations that are performing critical work in black music communities and I'm inviting everyone to donate to these organizations."

Nearly 90 people attended the Zoom concert, including members of the community. The program included 10 individual and two group performances ranging from traditional piano ragtime to spiritual songs and rhythm and blues tunes. There were also two presentations from the conservatory faculty: Professor Kyle Bruckmann about the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and Dr. Andrew Conklin on Stevie Wonder.

"One of the things we've got on our plate now as musicians, as a conservatory, as a field, is to think very intensively about the different ways and the different forms the representation and inclusion can take,” Bruckmann said. “We have to move beyond representation toward inclusion and that is hard work. That work requires humility and a lot of listening, and a lot of collaboration. And it requires all voices being at the table."

In interludes, students shared information about non-profit organizations supporting black artists and encouraged the audience to donate via provided links. The two highlighted charities were  www.musicbyblackcomposers.org and  www.castleskins.org

The next BLM Solidarity concert will be broadcast on Zoom on July 24 at 5 p.m. More information is available at go.Pacific.edu/MusicEvents.

Tanya Harris ’20 (BM, Music Performance), soprano, perform “Give Me Jesus” with faculty member Monica Adams '91 accompanying.

Mathew Krejci, associate professor, and Jan-Ian Mason '07 perform “Anthem for Peace” by Valerie Coleman.