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MSU College of Music announces new video series

Posted at 5:20 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 05:20:47-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The College of Music at Michigan State University announces a new video series. The series is titled ‘Music for Social Justice'.

Following the tragic passing of George Floyd, faculty members felt compelled to speak out on issues of inequality. Music is the common thread.

As of now, nine episodes of the series have been filmed. All the episodes feature new performances by MSU artists with brief commentary on the importance of music.

The series will premiere on Aug. 12. The first video will feature University Distinguished Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies Rodney Whitaker.

New performances will then be released every other week through early December. Videos will be posted on the college website and shared via social media.

“The most important discussion that we need to have is that all people deserve to be free. The discussion has to be about equality, freedom, and justice. This video series is important for the College of Music primarily because it makes a statement that we’re committed to equality and freedom for all, and that Black Lives Matter,” said Whitaker, who also facilitates the college’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee. “I think that it is important during these times that we enlist allies because how things have always changed in America is when people stand together, not black against white, but black and white against racial injustice and inequality.”

The schedule for all of the performances are as follows:

  • Rodney Whitaker, bass-Aug.12
  • Gwendolyn Dease, percussion-Aug. 26
  • Diego Rivera, saxophone-Sept.9
  • Richard Fracker, tenor-Sept. 23
  • Michael Dease, trombone-Oct. 7
  • Yvonne Lam, violin-Oct. 21
  • Randy Napoleon, jazz guitar-Nov. 4
  • Melanie Helton with Rodney Whitaker, soprano-Nov. 18
  • Xavier Davis, piano-Dec. 2

Media representatives are invited to conduct interviews with performers before or after release dates.

More video releases are planned for early 2021. The 2020–2021 Music for Social Justice video series is generously sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union.

The videos have been filmed following safety guidelines and regulations as set forth by Michigan State University and the State of Michigan.

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