October 15, 2023–Glyne Griffith II, Vice President of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO), is bringing his corporate experience to the world of classical music and is creating new avenues for engaging with ED&I in that arena.
Dr. Griffith, who earned a Ph.D. in Business Administration specializing in organizational leadership, joined the DSO last year as its inaugural EDI/SI leader. The orchestra’s strategic plan included the commitment to infuse ED&I within every facet of its operations.
Among his achievements is establishing the orchestra’s first-ever Employee Resource Groups (ERG), which the DSO refers to as Dallas Symphony Community Groups. These groups play a significant role in raising cultural awareness, nurturing a sense of belonging, and advancing the DSO’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and social impact. The groups are open to staff, professionals, and volunteers.
In addition, Dr. Griffith expanded the existing Fermata Speaker series, which offers free opportunities for the public to hear insights and perspectives about ED&I from featured performers. The DSO musicians also initiated the establishment of a diversity fellowship program. The 2023-2024 Diversity Fellow is Bassoonist Jaquain Sloan.
The importance of sincere, transparent efforts to foster a culture of inclusion within the classical music arena cannot be overstated, especially because the percentage of diverse conductors, musicians, and programs featuring the works of diverse composers is exceedingly small. The DSO initiatives offer hope towards equity in hiring; the retention of staff of color; opportunities for diverse musicians, and more access for diverse audiences. It’s all connected.