Introducing the theme for this year's concert series, 'Innovation and Diversity'. Artistic Director, Rob Guy, and programmers Maren Kuzmak and Sophie Miller introduce our concert series theme, and speak about what it means to them in our recent YouTube video, available to watch now.
Here's what they had to say!
Rob Guy: For a music department such as Manchester, Innovation and Diversity is absolutely core to what we do. I'm really proud that here as part of our concert series at the University we have male, female, and non-binary student conductors. In fact during my time here, we've always had fewest male conductors, and I really think that speaks volumes about the atmosphere of diversity that we have. It's great to have so many non-music students who bring a healthy diversity to our orchestras, and make us richer for their presence. Innovation is really important. There are so many lessons that we learnt from the pandemic going online with all our zoom rehearsals, and we are innovating here at Manchester this year. Chorus, and ensembles now have people attending in person and virtually, and there also many other advantages that we can now bring in leading industry professionals to give Q and As as part of rehearsals, or as part of a rehearsal package. So, innovation and diversity is something that I'm proud to be part of here with our fantastic students and I'm really excited to see what comes.
Sophie: So all great music is innovative, but for me, this theme means acknowledging and celebrating music that previously has been unfairly overlooked, and there's so much amazing repertoire out there and it's important to programme pieces regardless of factors like gender, sex and ethnicity, whilst also making an effort to include pieces that don't get enough public recognition.
Maren: So we're really excited about this theme because it shows how MUMS is aware of the issues of the world that we live in. So diversifying our concert programmes is an important step in moving towards a more inclusive society. We hope this theme will get people thinking and begin to acknowledge how much more music is out there. For a lot of us, our musical education has been largely focused on the Euro-centric white male canon, and this theme hopes to bring more diversity to audiences. The innovation portion of our theme can mean looking at the canon in a new way to keep those pieces of music relevant to the 21st century. We hope you enjoy our innovation and diversity concert series.