Black musicians have historically been underrepresented in classical music spaces. A new symphony here in Nashville aims to change that. Instead of just having a few Black musicians, the entire ensemble is made up of them.
It’s called the Nashville African American Wind Symphony and their inaugural performance is this Sunday at 4 p.m., coinciding with the Juneteenth holiday commemorating the end of slavery after the Civil War.
“There’s going to be people who are going to be listening to us trying to find that perfection, and they might not find it. And that’s not our purpose. We’re going to sound good. We’re going to sound clean. But it’s to cultivate a lifelong love of music,” Ayers said.
Many of the Black musicians in the ensemble studied music in college. But after graduation, if they didn’t make it into a symphony professionally, they put down their instruments. He wants to give them a reason to pick them back up again.
Their debut concert will be on Belmont University’s campus at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 19.