Brass Out Loud: Reinforcing the Definition of Community
This first week of 2021 was surely an interesting one. For me it’s been filled with a lot of stress, excitement, and work. January is a busy month! Between my job, my blog, wrapping up the holidays and Brass Out Loud, I’ve had little to no down time this week. So let’s pause for a minute. Brass Out Loud? What? I run ANOTHER thing? Yes! Let me tell you about it.
Brass Out Loud is a new organization that I run with two other ladies that aims to address the problems in the brass community. Why is there a lack of diversity in so many workshops and seminars? Why is it still acceptable to hire known abusers? When will this change?
With so many conversations regarding the lack of inclusivity and diversity that we see in workshops, I made the statement, “If we want to see the change, we have to be the change. Why not start our own workshop and show people what’s right?” From there BOLD was born. In June of 2020 we started weekly meetings, coming up with plans, mission statements, what and who we wanted to represent and more. In September, we officially launched our organization and program. Our mission statement is as follows:
Brass Out Loud is an organization dedicated to uplifting and inspiring brass players everywhere. We are especially interested in supporting brass players who have felt underrepresented in the music world. In addition to celebrating the work of male players in our communities, we aim to elevate the work of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Female, Trans, and Non-Binary Musicians. Our workshop will feature events that address the various needs and challenges faced by the brass community. The inclusive faculty and staff at Brass Out Loud will offer a new perspective on what it means to be a musician today.
We’ve spent the last 7 months planning our event; Contacting faculty, creating our website and social media platforms, and advertising our organization. We were going in kind of blind. While we knew people were upset about the lack of diversity, we didn’t know if people would put their faith in us as a new organization. Would they back us? Would they donate? Would we get anyone to register for our event?
Here we are currently experiencing what we’ve put so much time into. We have 61 participants from at least 4 different countries, and an age range from 13-60+. People had faith in the product we are putting out and I’m glad we had all of them to come along for the ride. It’s time for our community to become more than just the same 5 faces. It’s time for us to recognize each other's voices and what we have to offer. The music industry is unfair to begin with, but the least we can do is start a change in our community first. Set up a place for people to come to to speak out about injustices in our community, and learn from each other. How can we combat racism? What can we do as teachers to offer a more diverse education to our students? What can we do to create a stronger community?
Brass Out Loud is for YOU. It’s for your studio mates. It’s for your students. It’s for the comeback players who haven’t picked up their instrument in 20 years. This is a home for everyone.
Now I’ll be honest, when starting Brass Out Loud, none of us had any idea what we were doing, or what we were getting ourselves into. How do you start an organization? How do you get faculty members? How do you estimate your budget and pay people properly? The truth is, we haven’t figured it ALL out yet, but we are on our way. We’ve been making all the right moves so far, and there are still plenty more to make. We have exciting plans for the future of our organization but I can’t give too much away for now!
So why is this important? Why do I want to back Brass Out Loud?
Take a screenshot of our current world. Now look for injustices. We as a music community have noticed the lack of representation in orchestras, for example. Over the summer there were multiple articles that came out about whether audition screens or resume rounds were fair, and while there seems to be no conclusion reached as to what we could do to fix this, we at Brass Out Loud want to continue the conversation. Not just about orchestras, but about the bigger picture. We are here to lift up every brass player, especially those who are, and continue to be underrepresented in our community, in hopes that the panel discussions, newsletters, outreach programs, and workshops we have make people realize that this is what we always should have done. That COMMUNITY is the bigger picture.
Again, Brass Out Loud was and is a learning experience for us as well. We do not claim to know everything. We are becoming educated by others just as much as you! This is why we bring people in. It’s why we are holding panel discussions. Everyone's collective experiences and ideas are the foundation of how we plan to move forward. We learn from each other. We learn from others rights and wrongs, we learn from our own. We learn from reading, writing, and listening to the people around us. We cannot heal the world on our own, we need the community to engage in the change we wish to see. This is why you should back Brass Out Loud.
While my blog is for everyone, not just Brass folks, I hope that maybe all you reading have something to take away from this. You’re not too young to start your own organization. You absolutely can learn as you go. You’re not too small to want to make a change. Your voice is powerful and your voice is yours. So go ahead and use it! Collaborate with people you know, and people you don’t. Learn from what you do and share your knowledge with others.
Are you interested in Brass Out Loud or anything regarding entrepreneurship? Contact me! I can be reached by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me on instagram @mindoverpractice. Reminder that I offer coachings, lessons and FREE consultations! Check out my lessons tab on my website.
I’ll be back next week with more to share with all of you! For now have a productive week of positive practicing?