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School of Music Response to Recent Events

June 05, 2020 School of Music

 University of Maryland School of Music logo on black background.

A statement from our director and director-designate.

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

The School of Music community has been profoundly affected by the senseless killing of George Floyd, the latest in a long line of racially motivated acts of violence against African Americans.  We condemn in the strongest possible terms such dehumanizing acts of aggression as well as the systemic and institutional racism that has plagued our country for generations and that continues to adversely impact communities of color.  It is apparent to many of us that the present moment demands action.  Members of the Senior Administrative Team have been discussing ways in which the School of Music will respond with proactive measures in the days, months, and years ahead, and it is precisely because this effort will extend into next academic year and beyond that both Greg Miller and I felt it was important to craft and issue this joint statement.    

To begin with, we will charge the school's IDEA Committee (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) to immediately mobilize its membership to consider specific ways the school will respond to recent events and to take up with renewed vigor conversations it had already been having around making the School of Music more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible.  We will pointedly charge this committee--and will ourselves take more decisive steps--to recommend and implement changes in our curriculum, programming, and community engagement that reflect our commitment to combating racism in all of its forms and to using our art and scholarship as powerful tools in so doing.      

While no one can rewrite history, it is incumbent upon each of us to lead the charge for lasting change.  As Marian Anderson, the eminent African-American singer once said, “No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.”  As we continually strive toward the ideals of equality and justice upon which our country was founded but that continue to elude us, let us keep these potent words in mind and let us not forget the uncanny ability of music to inspire resilience, fortitude, action, and hope. 


Jason Geary, Director
Greg Miller, Director-Designate