The Portland Symphony Orchestra prepares for rehearsal in Merrill Auditorium. Photo by Nick Song/Maine Public Radio.

In Tuesday’s (11/28) Maine Public Radio, Nick Song reports, “In the midst of their 99th season, the Portland Symphony Orchestra is working to diversify its repertoire and become a more inclusive space for audiences and musicians alike…. McKenzie Blanchard, the PSO’s inaugural Director of Learning and Community Impact [said], ‘The broader our circles can be, the more inclusive our orchestra can be, [and] the stronger we will be.’ This past June, the Portland Symphony Orchestra adopted an EDI statement committing the organization to fostering an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment…. ‘We’ve in the past couple years included a lot more of diverse composers—when it comes to race as well as it comes to gender, or both,’ said Music Director Eckart Preu … The PSO’s dedicated a number of their concerts this season to celebrating communities historically excluded from orchestral music…. The PSO is far from the only orchestra dealing with these issues. According to a recent report put out by the League of American Orchestras, white musicians account for 80% of all musical chairs in the United States. Black musicians … make up less than 2.5%….The PSO says they share internal data with the League of American Orchestra’s Inclusive Stages program to better understand the barriers faced by underrepresented musicians across the industry.”