Our hearts are with those whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by the events of the past days and weeks. It is not just the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade that have ignited worldwide public outcry, but the legacy of prejudice and violence against all Black Americans over our nation’s long history of systemic racism, especially at the hands of police. The voices of the oppressed cry out to us today as compellingly as ever, and for those of us in the arts, giving these voices the space and platform to be heard is urgently necessary.
As a response to these tragedies, we will perform an upcoming livestream benefit concert supporting a nonprofit organization that is working to end police violence against Black lives (details to be announced soon). C4 will also make a donation directly to this organization out of our own funds. This is a small step, and the work certainly does not end here, but we feel it is important to not just condemn racism with our words, but work to fight it both through our artistry and through monetary support.
As a collectively led ensemble dedicated to support and promoting today’s choral composers, conductors, and singers, C4 is well poised to exemplify diversity and equality throughout our repertoire, our membership, our leadership, and our audiences. And yet, we continue to fall short in this regard. This is not because we don’t desire our ensemble to reflect the justice and inclusion we wish to see in our world, but because achieving these goals is difficult, takes time, and requires constant attention and action.
We are committed to incorporating honest reflection and uncomfortable conversations into our work, and to listening to and welcoming in those voices who call out for us to do better. We pledge to continually examine how our actions either uphold or dismantle systemic racism and to be open to growth and positive change. There is a long road ahead, both for C4 and this country, but it must be taken if we are to truly value and uplift every voice and every life.
Today and every day, Black Lives Matter.
Signed in collectivity,
C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective
Board of Directors: Rebecca Ehren, Melissa Wozniak, Brenda Montagna, Fahad Siadat, Jennifer Wu
C4 Leadership: Daniel Andor-Ardó, Alexander Boostrom, Mario Gullo, Jamie Klenetsky Fay, Brian Mountford, David See, Perry Townsend, Jennifer Wu, Melissa Wozniak
Staff: Elise Brancheau
C4 is funded in part by:
The Rea Charitable Trust
C4 is a proud member of: New York Choral Consortium