Thursday, January 18, 2018

John Malveaux: MusicUNTOLD Suggestis that KUSC Consider Funding a Minority Classical Host Training Program to Help Increase On-Air Diversity in Los Angeles

Violin Concertos, Op. 5, Nos. 1 & 2; Op. 3, No. 1; Op. 8, No. 9
Bernard  Thomas Chamber Orchestra
Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Violin 
Arion 68093 (1990)

John Malveaux of 

Impressive steps to heighten awareness of diversity in classical music are forthcoming in Los Angeles with upcoming concerts by LA Phil to include music of William Grant Still, Adolphus Hailstork, and Billy Childs. Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) recently announced a future campus in Inglewood to facilitate training young musician from underrepresented communities. USC Thornton, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra partnered to create a string ensemble and mentorship for musicians from underrepresented communities.

I commend the mentioned organizations and other organizations for efforts to expand diversity and overcome the subliminal misconception that classical music is the domain of “white men”. Unfortunately, a critical player is not part of the current efforts to change the image of classical music. KUSC Classical Radio 91.5 FM has not moved in step with the LA Phil, LA Chamber, USC Thornton, and others.

I am unaware of a university or college curriculum that teach the history and achievements by composers of African descent from Chevalier de Saint George to current living and working composers.  As best I know, independent study is the only substantive route to learn the extensive history by composers of African descent. If one does the research and become aware of the deep treasure of recordings by composers of African descent, awareness alone is far short of listening to the music for a personal evaluation. In my case, I was forced to research and then invest in recordings to actually hear the music that was not available to me via radio programming, The point is listening to recordings of the music is the critical factor to determine your like or dislike regardless of the ethnicity of the composer.

Diversity support from KUSC on-air programming is fundamental to gird the diversity efforts of LA Phil, LA Chamber and other institutions. Diversity efforts cost money. LA Phil and LA Chamber are raising the money for outstanding diversity programs. Keep in mind that the air waves belong to the total public not strategic segments.

MusicUNTOLD offer the suggestion that KUSC Classical Radio consider funding a minority classical host training program with an educational component to help increase on-air diversity in Los Angeles and the nation. I recall when television did not have African Americans news announcers, etc., but today African American and other minorities are even reporting the weather. Please see

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