General news and announcements from and about the Chester River Chorale.
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July 22, 2020: Chester River Chorale releases statement on Black Lives Matter
As we lift our voices in song, so should we lift them in support of larger causes. Like many of you, we were horrified by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. Like many arts organizations, we as a board and a staff have debated and weighed how we could respond to these events and the long history underpinning them.
The systemic racism that has been part of US culture is only now, after hundreds of years, being viewed widely and condemned by an increasingly enlightened populace with an international reach.
Here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we have failed to acknowledge the extent to which our communities remain segregated between whites and Blacks — separate and unequal.
We are inspired by the multiracial, multigenerational, and peaceful protests taking place across our country and around the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We share in the demands for social justice, equal opportunity, shared prosperity, and inclusion in an anti-racist, welcoming community.
The shared experience of singing together with a common musical goal has the transformative power to close the gap that separates the white and Black communities. The Chester River Chorale aims to be inclusive and to share its music and our camaraderie with everyone in the community. We are singers and we will raise our voices together in this cause.
We are aware that words without actions are empty. While we expect this list to grow, here are some actions we plan to take:
- Explore ways to make the Chester River Chorale and our beloved community a more welcoming place to live, work, and enjoy.
- Seek out and promote the works of Black and other minority composers and artists.
- Expand our repertoire in order to reflect diverse and authentic voices.
- Find opportunities to join in performance with groups from the Black community.
The Chester River Chorale is committed to being an active agent for positive change on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Our mission is to provide opportunity, education, and inspiration for amateur singers to strive for artistic excellence. There are no racial or color barriers to our music making mission.
The Board and Staff of the Chester River Chorale
Additional resources for vital engagement (links open in new tab):
Social Action Committee for Racial Justice – Sumner Hall
Maryland Arts Racial Equity Program, from Maryland Citizens for the Arts
Maryland Black-led Arts Organizations, from Maryland Citizens for the Arts
Equity Resources, from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County MD