Black classical musicians represent only about 2% of major orchestral membership in the United States. With African Americans making up the largest racial minority group in the nation, that statistic is staggering.
“There are thousands of top-tier classical principals, composers, and performers of African descent around the world, yet their opportunities to grace concert stages of major American orchestras are rare to non-existent,” says Lee Pringle, founder and artistic director of the Colour of Music Festival.
“Our festival works tirelessly to buck that trend,” he explains. Now in its third year, the Colour of Music Festival is a celebration of this underrepresented group of talented musicians who have earned their rightful place on the concert stage. Assembling acclaimed black chamber ensemble players and artists to form the Colour of Music Orchestra, the four-day festival showcases top black classical musicians in the United States, trained at some of the most prestigious music schools, conservatories, and universities in the world.
“It is a truly moving sight to behold an 80-piece orchestra of black musicians and composers,” Pringle says. The festival also highlights the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture.
This year, the festival takes on an even greater significance. As the city of Charleston continues to heal from the recent Emanuel 9 tragedy (in which nine people were shot and killed during Bible study at the Mother Emanuel AME Church), many individuals and organizations are working on meaningful ways to celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made to society.
From October 21-25th, audiences will have that opportunity —right in the heart of Charleston — at the Colour of Music Festival. Buy your tickets today.