As part of this community and as an organization, we of the Louisville Orchestra endeavor to understand, internalize, and support the imperative for racial justice and social equality. We believe that the systemic threat and danger to the lives of our fellow citizens is unacceptable and must be changed. We grieve for Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, George Floyd, and too many others. We believe that the fear, hopelessness, and anger created under the pressure of endemic racism should never be laid on a human soul.

Your Louisville Orchestra’s community mission is to generate change through the transformative power of music. Called “Your” Louisville Orchestra by Music Director Teddy Abrams and musicians, the Board of Directors and staff, we are an institution that belongs to our entire community. As an organization, we recognize the strength created by a community sharing music and fellowship. We also recognize that the traditions of the symphony orchestra are deeply rooted in European culture. While great beauty can be found in that past, extraordinary voices have been neglected and even silenced at the hands of racism, sexism, and the glorification of that past. This damage is especially abysmal with Black music, which because of its textures and rhythms of have formed the very nature of American music.

Over the past seven years, the galvanizing leadership of Teddy Abrams has opened our stages to a greater diversity of music and musicians than ever before in the organization’s history. However, we are not satisfied with our past efforts. We commit to seeking a deeper awareness and broader support of our Black community.

Therefore, Your Louisville Orchestra pledges to:

Celebrate the lives and music of people of wide diversity in race, creed, age, color, and sexual orientation through orchestral music;

Treat all who engage with this organization with respect, peace, fairness, and gratitude;

Feature performers and composers who embody and bring forward the diversity of our community;

Enhance understanding by actively seeking corrections to covert racism and assumed privileges through organizational initiatives;

Examine all policies and practices within the Louisville Orchestra to ensure they reflect the highest standards of equality and justice.

Our mission is devoted to public service. We strive to raise up new and diverse voices, seek out the silenced, and share the richness of musical expression throughout our community. As an American orchestra in the 21st century, Your Louisville Orchestra embraces the responsibility to do more than simply “reflect” the world around us; we aspire to help build a city that upholds these deeper values: unity, collaboration, empathy, compassion, fairness, and genuine equality.

For Further Information:

Who’s Fighting for Racial Equity in American Orchestras? 

Classical Music Orgs Launch Initiative to Diversify Orchestras

Composers Diversity Collective

 Sphinx Music

Symphony Magazine: Unheard Voices – Black composers’ music

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