|History of Organization|
|Orchestrating Diversity Philosophy|
|Board of Directors|
|St. Louis University|
|Friends of Orchestrating Diversity|
Orchestrating Diversity brings professional musicians and college faculty to young inner-city students in an intensified educational program. We have both beginner and advanced programs. For 8 weeks during the summer and 40 weeks while school is in session, students are taught music theory, history, and musicianship at the college level. They also participate in an ensemble performing symphonic literature, and are given private lessons on their instrument by many of the finest musicians in the area. The program is free for all students and is offered at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. We seek to even the playing field with the goal of increasing diversity in the orchestra. We also aim to nurture the acceptance of diversity as a more rich social framework and bring the transformative power of music to replace despair with personal engagement in creating the lives of the young people we reach.
Fundamentally, Orchestrating Diversity is an answer to the incomplete and, at times, uninspired music education in the inner city. Paired with a social environment that often provides a disincentive to educational excellence, schools often establish low expectations of inner-city youth, trapping these young people. Remedying the situation requires a recasting of the educational process and proving a social framework of hope, self-empowerment and the expectation of personal excellence. In these few years our graduates have consistently graduated from high school programs, successfully entered college programs, and in several instances changed their lives from engaging in maladaptive behaviors to motivated, productive strategies.
Inner-city young musicians can find themselves as charity cases in programs designed for the affluent. Our goal is to provide high-level music instruction to these students free of the intimidation, which is often an unwanted aspect of their alternatives. As our name would suggest we are dedicated to providing ensemble music as a tool to foster diversity. Our students come from city public schools. This has resulted in a demographic in the program that closely maps the cultural diversity of the city.