Academic Year 2020-2021
Please note that the following is a sampling of the actions and initiatives undertaken in 2020-2021.
Historical Performance added the Amplified Series with the 4 artists of the Amplified Opera: Teiya Kasahara, Marion Newman, Asitha Tennekoon and Aria Umezawa working alongside Jonathon Adams, Alexandra Delle Donne and DMA students Ryan McDonald and Camille Rogers.
In October 2020, The Jazz Area AREDI working group approved a U of T Jazz Area statement acknowledging Black American Music posted on www.uoftjazz.ca. This statement and a separate statement on anti-racism, diversity and inclusion link to a document outlining and providing updates on AREDI actions taken by U of T Jazz.The working group proposes that the above statements be included in syllabi for all courses specific to the Jazz Area. Syllabi should also acknowledge the Black artists whose music will be referenced and studied in these courses.
With Prof Bina John, Music Education is joining work by the Marigold Music Program to develop a course on Civic Engagement and Community Co-op.
Music and Health
Professor Amy Clements-Cortes incorporated instruction on anti-oppressive practices and a final paper of “Building an Anti-Oppressive Practice” as part of course MU7415 Topics in Music & Health.
Music Technology and Digital Media
In the required 2nd year course, Digital Media Distribution, Prof Catherine Moore added a section on “Cultural Variety as Digital Media Strategy”.
The musicology area added units in courses at all levels on institutional racism in music, on the role of western art music and opera in disseminating toxic ideologies of race, on the effect of colonialism on Indigenous musics, and on the ways that white supremacy has historically been embedded in the academic study of music (for example, the course Music, Power, and Politics (HMU 322) began with discussions of institutional racism in music – centering on Philip Ewell’s “Music Theory and the White Racial Frame,” Music Theory Online 26/2 (Sept, 2020) and Denise Dalphond “Black Detroit: Sonic Distortion Fuels Social Distortion,” Chapter 5 in Black Lives Matter and Music Maultsby, Orejuela and Shonekan ed. (I U Press, 2018).
Opera brought on Korin Thomas-Smith as a Diversity Coach this year and he is currently working on creating a program for the typical spotlight on opera (historically features our 2nd mainstage opera). This performance has changed to a Spotlight on Diversity. Korin is curating a diverse range in repertoire for students to explore.
Prof Bev Johnston included these lectures in her Instrumental Performance class: ‘Rhythm in Music Theory: The 5% Quandary’. Lecture by professor emeritus Russell Hartenberger. (December 3, 2020) and ‘The Evolution of the Marimba’ with special guests…SK Kakraba (Ghana/USA, Lester Godinez (Guatemala), Fernando Meza (Costa Rica/USA), William Moersch (USA). This class was on January 14, 2021
Voice Studies commissioned Resource on Vocal Works by BIPOC Composers by alumna Alexandra Smither. Released in September 2020, this resource is currently licensed for use by the faculty, students and staff of the Faculty of Music. In addition, the requirements around juries and recitals were amended to encourage or require a broadening of languages, composers and poets included in a repertoire.
The library committed to identifying collection gaps and worked with volunteers to increase the number of BIPOC composers in the library holdings. They also collaborated with FoMARA to create a digital exhibition highlighting the diversity in the library collection and encourage dialogue on anti-racism in musical communities.