ASO Statement on Black Lives Matter

ASO Statement on Black Lives Matter

As shocking events unfold in our country, we feel the pain resulting from the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. 

We share the outrage over the many injustices that continue to harm our African-American citizens and other marginalized minority communities. And we condemn the veiled and overt racism that plagues our nation.

The Akron Symphony’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our community through great music. We are re-examining every aspect of our organization, with the realization that there is more we can and must do for all of our neighbors.

Music has always played an important role in times of pain, protest, grieving, and celebration. It can bring comfort and uplift. And it has the unique power to create togetherness throughout a community. 

At this moment—when large musical ensembles, singing, and the gathering of audiences are not safe—we are committed to finding new ways to give voice to all the community.

We are listening.

My Black is Beautiful

In response to the events currently unfolding in our nation, Gospel Meets Symphony Choirmaster Jonathon Turner composed My Black is Beautiful as a powerful statement against the continued violence committed against our communities of color.

We fully support Jonathon’s important message to remind everyone that we can and must be better as a nation.

My Black is Beautiful
Jonathon Turner, composer

Jonathon Tuner, tenor
Erica Snowden-Rodriguez, cello
Joseph Townsend, piano
Wellsley Jones, alto
Veronica Townsend, alto
Natausha Kight, soprano
Russell Davis, tenor
Imani Divine George, child soloist

Recorded at First United Methodist Church of Akron on June 3, 2020

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ASO Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

The Board of Trustees is formalizing our commitment to these important topics with the formation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. If you are interested in learning more about how we are engaging the community in our ongoing dialogue on this topic, or are interested in future participation, please email Executive Director Paul Jarrett at