Members of the St. Louis Symphony’s IN UNISON Chorus rehearse at Powell Hall. Photo: Jeremy D. Goodwin

“St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is stepping up its efforts to reach out to Black audiences and musicians,” reports Jeremy D. Goodwin in Monday’s (7/19) St. Louis Public Radio. “The organization will use $160,000 from the Bayer Fund to support a cluster of programs called IN UNISON. They include the orchestra’s IN UNISON Chorus, which focuses on works by Black composers, and Peer to Peer, a mentorship program for young African American musicians. The League of American Orchestras is contributing $19,500 [through its Catalyst Fund program] … for anti-bias training for the organization’s personnel and an ongoing review of practices that would increase diversity among the organization’s patrons, musicians and other employees…. The roots of IN UNISON stretch to 1992, when the orchestra formed the chorus in partnership with a handful of Black churches…. The network of churches has grown to 33…. St. Louis Symphony created a committee on its board of trustees to explore diversity, equity and inclusion in 2016, [President and CEO Marie-Hélène] Bernard said. A separate task force made up of orchestra members and administrative staff formed during the 2020-21 season. Musicians, administrative staff and board members have participated in an initial anti-bias training…. ‘It’s an investment in the future, …’ Bernard said.”