Racist? High school band refuses to buy music from white composers

band white composers racist
Spring Lake Park High School band teachers have made a point of incorporating both modern and classical composers of color into their lesson plans. Evan Frost/MPR News

band white composers racist
Spring Lake Park High School band teachers have made a point of incorporating both modern and classical composers of color into their lesson plans.
Evan Frost/MPR News

On Sunday, NPR gleefully reported that band directors at Spring Lake Park High outside St. Paul, Minnesota, will only buy music from composers of color.

According to NPR:

There’s a bulletin board at the front of the band room at Spring Lake Park High covered in portraits of the composers who wrote this year’s music selection.

The bulletin board isn’t new, it’s there every year. What’s new are the faces: Instead of primarily white men, there are faces of women and composers of color.

This is intentional. The band directors at Spring Lake, outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, have pledged to include at least one piece by a female composer and one by a composer of color in each concert, for each of the school’s bands.

“We made a commitment this year to only buy music from composers of color,” says Brian Lukkasson, one of the directors.

The Daily Wire added:

Nora Tycast, the other band director, pushed the narrative of an ongoing “conversation” among high school students to advance neo-Marxist racial narratives: “The more you practice talking about race and culture and ethnicity, the more comfortable you are. And we have this platform in ninth.”

Yolanda Williams, a professor of “Afro-American and African Studies” at the University of Minnesota, told NPR that “composers of color and women” are somehow broadly discriminated against in the field of big band composition. No explanation or evidence was provided.

Kia Muleta, a black junior who plays clarinet in the school’s band, hyped black victimhood in the realm of big band music composition: “There’s a kind of, like, ideological segregation of who can and can not be in band based on who the composers are and what the music’s like and what the experiences of those composers are like.”

“This is what racism looks like,” a commenter at the site said.

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