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Next AMTA Meeting – February 12

The next meeting of AMTA will be held via Zoom on February 12th. We will hear award winning artist and educator Deborah De La Torre speaking on the timely and important topic of Diversity in Repertoire.

Even without realizing it, the ways we do our private piano teaching contribute to systemic racism in music education.  The history of BIPOC music (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) is OUR music history in the United States but its presence has been noticeably absent from our private teaching activities.

Our repertoire catalogues seldom include BIPOC music. Repertoire catalogues for competitions and festivals are assembled by private teacher committees collaborating with publishers, typically a year or two in advance of future competitions. Private teachers do in fact decide what type of music does get played, or does not.  Likewise, summer music camp and college entrance audition music preparation experiences the same fate.

If there are no pieces appearing by composers of color on the repertoire lists, they will not be taught or studied for recitals and festivals.  This is how “cultural erasure” works.  Composers and their works that are continuously absent from catalogues and competitions lead to the assumption that such music simply does not exist.

About Deborah De La Torre

Deborah De La Torre’s award-winning career spans over 35 years of performing, composing, teaching, accompanying professional instrumentalists and opera singers, and making significant contributions in arts and culture. She has taught and performed as a soloist, within ensembles, and with professional performers both in the US and internationally since her first public solo recital at age eleven. The founder of several art and culture nonprofit organizations, including an international Latino/a art and film festival, she has served in senior leadership roles in various creative organizations, art festival, museum, film, music organizations, as a judge in national community, film, music and arts events, and has worked as an independent strategic planning consultant. In addition to being the producer of an internationally-recognized award-winning documentary, Deborah is a recording artist and produced a full-length album plus two singles of her original Latinx classical-jazz music for jazz trio, full band and piano solo. She has worked in the for-profit, government, faith-based and nonprofit sectors as well as in academic institutions, teaching music and cultural studies courses at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and several semesters of piano and music theory at DIME-Denver, a commercial music program affiliated with and accredited through Metropolitan State University Denver. Deborah has a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Miami, Florida, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and her professional passions include research work and taking graduate courses in musicology. Her current projects include several large compositions as well as her second album. Her company DLT Creative Productions, LLC, provides services in music teaching, film, and video production, as well as publishing books and music. Her website is www.deborahdelatorre.com.

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