Iowa School of Music 2021-22 Magazine

University of Iowa School of Music 2021-2022 Magazine


DMA in Orchestral Conducting

I started learning about equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) concepts through the BUILD program offered by the University of Iowa’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion. It has made me more aware of my prejudices (implicit bias), and I try to apply these concepts in my career and daily life. I embrace the fact that my point of view is colored by my own experiences. Without awareness, our actions can easily negatively impact our communities. I’ve discovered that “international experience” does not mean “cultural intelligence.” I have international experiences, I am a minority in the United States, and I am a woman in a male-

conductor. This means the issue, then, is in our environment. There are restrictions through biases, assumptions, and the consequent perpetuation of the same model. In the last few years, we’ve moved toward a more equal environment, but a lot remains to be done to create more opportunities for conductors of underrepresented gender, background, and ethnicity. We have a unique opportunity: We can rewrite the narrative and enrich our story. If we really want change, we cannot wait for the “music industry” to do so. We must contribute to this process because we’re all the “music industry.” great music. This, of course, is not true and, even today, there are great works being discovered and brought to light by composers of color. It’s important to diversify in aspects of education as well. We should be mindful not only of equity toward people in daily interactions, but also of the resources used for teaching and research. I believe that a re-evaluation of educational and historical materials will encourage a more diverse range of people to achieve great things.

dominated field, but that doesn’t mean I inherently know about EDIB practices. Cultural intelligence makes it possible for us to create a more inclusive environment and relationships with others. Being a woman conductor isn’t easy— especially when I started my career many years ago. Today, things are comparatively better, but there is still a long way to go. And while being a woman conductor isn’t easy, it’s also not difficult—just like it isn’t difficult to be a human being. In other words, we are not the problem. I’ve never thought it was difficult to love music and give it honor as a woman T he concepts of equity, diversity, of great composers simply because of their race or background, then we create a false narrative. A perfect example of this lies in modern music education. We learn about Mozart, Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven. Their faces inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) are significantly important to the world of music. If we suppress the music and names became pillars of Western music. Meanwhile, the amount of music taught of composers of color is only a small fraction. This creates perceptions that composers of color may not be as talented or important enough to have

Photo Credit: Michael Spooneybarger/CREO


DMA in Strings


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