representation in repertoire
project rep is my passion project, currently seeking to find greater representation of diversity in the percussion the community.
my undergraduate research exposed me to the disparity between genders in the university + professional settings.
i later became a part of the percussive arts society diversity alliance, where i became more involved in advocating for diversity of all kinds including (but not limited to) gender, race, ability, + sexuality.
as i continued this work, conversations with colleagues made me realize that while our community has made leaps towards better representation, we still have a long way to go. i attended performance after performance of entire recitals of all-male compositions. and the music has been phenomenal. there are tons of fantastic male composers that we have access to.
project rep is not about discrediting the work of those that fall into majority categories.
rather, project rep is about seeking more representation for minority categories.
when a person attends a recital of people that don't look like them, comprised of music composed by people that aren't like them, surrounded by an audience that may or may not be similar to them, why would they want to become involved? even further, some people that do join the community feel like they are doing so under the cloud of representing their minority group, not being seen for a percussionist or composer just as they are.
i've seen this in my entire percussion career. i first started playing drums on my high school drum line. every year, i was the only girl on the line. i was never just a person on the drum line. i was never just the most-senior bass drummer. i was the girl on the drum line. when i started doing indoor and drum corps, i was still the girl auditioning for the drum line. while some people got to walk in the door and only become noticed for their playing abilities, i was instantly representing my entire gender when i stepped up to a drum.
many people don't know this experience. many people don't see an issue with a recital of music played by similar people composed by similar people. and i see their point, they picked the music because it was good music, not because of the lack diversity.
however, there are so many great works that are both representative of diverse groups while also being great music. project rep is my part in showcasing just that.
in the spring of 2021, i hope to showcase my senior percussion recital by all-female and nonbinary composers. it's going to be great music, by great composers, who also happen to showcase the power of under-represented genders in the percussion community.
if you'd like more information on project rep or have questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me below! i'd love to hear your input as i continue on this journey.