Music Ed Mentor Podcast #70: Performance Programming and Diversity

performance programming and diversity

As a member of the greater music education community, chances are you’ve come across the topic of programming for diversity in one way or another. Maybe you’re already programming with diversity in mind. Maybe you’re just getting started. Or maybe you’re asking, “What’s the big deal?”

No matter your stage in the process, today’s episode aims to address how to be more intentional with program planning, offer resources for doing so, and answer questions such as “When does it cross the line back to inequality?”

I bring on two guests today for their expertise—my good friend Jenny Neff; professor, conductor, and member of the Women Band Directors International; and Christian Folk, the man who created the Diverse Composers of Wind Band Music Database. As of now, the database has 711 pieces from LGBTQIA+ composers, 1,245 selections from women composers, and 1,375 from composers of color!

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Topics Covered

  • Why is there such a push for programming diverse composers?
  • Resources to access for getting started
  • Tips for program planning
  • Tokenism vs. intentional programming
  • Advocacy and awareness

Liked this podcast? Check out more Music Ed Mentor Podcasts.


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Elisa Janson Jones

An experienced K8 music educator, Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, manage, and grow thriving school music programs and have long and happy careers. She holds a bachelor of music from Brigham Young University and a master of business administration from Western Governors University. Elisa uses her vast and diverse skillset to help nonprofits, businesses, and music educators around the world. She serves as conductor of her local community band, a columnist for SBO Magazine, and maintains a private lesson studio. Elisa is a nationally-recognized speaker, the host and producer of the Music Ed Mentor Podcast, founder of the International Music Education Summit, and author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

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