BS&F Mission, Vision, & Values Statements
Byron Schenkman & Friends brings a diverse set of 21st-century perspectives to artistically excellent ensemble music, inspired by European traditions of the 17th through 19th centuries.
Byron Schenkman & Friends builds an increasingly inclusive and diverse community through thoughtfully programmed performances that welcome, engage and inspire.
We conduct ourselves with integrity by:
- Showing care and appreciation for artists, audience, staff, and volunteers.
- Committing ourselves to equity, inclusivity, and egalitarian relationships.
- Engaging in learning with humility.
- Being transparent and intentional in all our activities.
- Relating our work to history and to the social realities of our time.
- Performing with attention to the technical and philosophical aspects of music.
Black Lives Matter
Dear members of our community:
Byron Schenkman & Friends’ vision is “to build a diverse and inclusive community through historically informed chamber music performances that welcome, engage and inspire.” We are committed to fostering a stage where artistry from all backgrounds is nurtured, shared, and valued. This means that we also advocate for the societal change that breaks down systemic racism. We cannot come together as a musical community when there are members of that community who are unsafe, unequal, and unheard. So, let us be clear: Black lives matter. Black grief matters. Black joy matters. Black voices and creative expression matter.
Merely condemning racism is not enough. We must commit our organization to a more active role in supporting the Black and African-American community. Our recent and upcoming seasons have and will increasingly feature music by Black composers and the artistry of Black and African-American musicians.
We have recently commissioned our first piece, from the African-American composer Jonathan Woody. Our goal is to include Peoples of Color in all facets of our organization and to create a community in which everyone feels safe, included, and heard. We recognize that we have a long way to go, and we commit ourselves to take action so that our organization’s vision is not mere words.
Here is Nigra Sum Sed Formosa: A Fantasia on Microaggressions composed by Jonathan Woody, with the main text compiled by Reginald L Mobley, both of whom have sung on recent BS&F programs. This beautiful and forceful piece contrasts words from the Bible’s Song of Solomon (“I am black but beautiful”) with phrases that document the kind of casual racism that Black musicians confront every day.
Our first step is listening and learning. We invite you to join us.
President, BS&F Board of Directors
Duwamish Land Acknowledgement
Byron Schenkman & Friends would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe which has stewarded the land throughout the generations.