Castle of Our Skins

From MSO Board Member Kris Kautzman:
A couple years ago I had the honor to connect with of Castle of Our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational organization dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, COOS invites cultural curiosity and exploration into ​Black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated ​figures of past and present. Their website is a treasure trove of stories, interviews, and performances. Like their Facebook page to get regular updates, and check out the winning videos from their recent  Black Composer Miniature Challenge: 30 second pieces for solo piano, solo viola, or viola-piano duo.

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra

From Racial Equity Committee Co-Chair Christine Melchert:
This week we take an in-depth look at Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, founded ten years ago and directed by Jeri Lynn Johnson in Philadelphia. Ms. Johnson has embedded diversity, equity, inclusion, and excellence into her orchestra from the start. Black Pearl’s mission is “to take the audience beyond spectatorship to participation in the musical experience by combining artistic excellence with cultural diversity and innovative community engagement.” The orchestra is comprised of the some of the finest African American, Asian American, Latin American, and European American musicians. As a result, their audience more closely reflects the makeup of the orchestra (56% African American and 34% white).   
Watch this short interview of Jeri Lynn Johnson to learn more about this group.
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra recently performed in “See Me: A Global Concert” for the Davos Agenda and World Economic Forum. This international collaboration features Yo-Yo Ma and musicians from around the world who created this stunning musical production during the COVID-19 pandemic, showing the interconnectedness and resilience of humanity through the power of music.It’s worth the 23 minutes needed to watch!  See Me: A Global Concert