When I first created the “Texas Latino Choral Directors” Facebook page, I had no idea what the response might be.
A few fellow choir directors and I have a running text thread where we occasionally converse about choir drama, vent our woes, and bounce repertoire ideas off of one another. One day, a member of that text group asked if we had any recommendations for music by people of color, namely Hispanic composers. A quick check of the Prescribed Music List yielded surprisingly little output by Hispanic composers!
What followed was a conversation between us – a varied group of conductors of different races and ethnicities – where we all agreed that more representation was needed. One idea that was floated was the use of a Facebook page. So, I created the “Texas Latino Choral Directors” for my fellow Latino/a/X conductors, not expecting much of a response. Less than a day later, we had 100 members!
Since then, we’ve been fortunate to meet on Zoom to discuss the issues that face Latino choral directors, as well as intersecting marginalized ethnic, racial and gender groups. I honestly just wanted to create a safe place for my Latino choir friends to discuss things and create fellowship. But, even after one meeting, the discussions were wide-ranging in scope and more sorely needed than I could have ever imagined. It’s my hope that our Facebook group, along with more prominent advocates for equality, can band together to form an alliance that works to unify people.
As a high school choir director, I am proud to call many members of the FWC my colleagues. And as a member of the Board of Directors, I seek to foster this same kind of open dialogue in our meetings. I am grateful to be a part of the FWC family, and for the joining of minds, hearts and voices in our new Facebook group.
We all need community, and YOU are invited to be a part of what binds us together in the music!
The Chorale is honored that Carlos and other fine music teachers/directors are a part of the FWC family.