Gail Bower's Blog

Gail BowerThis blog will help you and your organization flourish.

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Diversity Sounds Better

The conductor of my niece’s symphonic band performance may not have intended to make a political statement with his musical direction, but you couldn’t help but see some interesting parallels. 
A band with only flutes is a far less interesting band.

During five of the six tunes, a different section of the band rose from the their seats and, carrying their music stands, moved to the front of the stage for a spotlight. First it was the flutists. Next the clarinet players. Then the trumpeters, the trombonists. And finally the percussionists — though with all their big, complicated gear, they stayed put in the back.

(In case you’re wondering about the horns, with only one French horn player, who declined a solo, that section will have its moment in the spotlight in future years when the middle school musicians catch up and get to high school.)

Each musical selection was challenging and interesting for the whole band and provided special emphasis on the featured instrument.

Caroline Bower jamming out on the xylophone.While the conductor surely gave proud parents their money’s worth, he also helped us see that a band with only flutes or only trombones is not too interesting.

The rich quality of the sound came from the diversity of instruments, players’ talents, and strong leadership and teamwork.

In honor of International Women’s Day, consider the rich, resonant sound we make when diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, and perspective is part of our lives, communities, and workplaces.  

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