Wednesday, November 05, 2008


(Bear with me, because despite what you're thinking, this is going to turn into a music posting. Really, it is.)

The boys at, my favorite polling analysts, noted today that African Americans made up 13% of the turnout in yesterday's historic election, up from 11% in recent presidential elections. You don't have to think too hard to figure out why: the presence of an African American on the Democratic ticket.

Here's something I left out of my recent review of guest conductor William Eddins's excellent concert at the Berkeley Symphony: I saw a noticeable number of African Americans at the concert, more than I can remember seeing at past Berkeley Symphony concerts that I've attended. And at opera performances with soprano Hope Briggs, whether at San Francisco or Festival Opera, it's same story. And at Appomattox last year, where several African American singers had roles, and where the story was, to say the least, important to African Americans. And at The Bonesetter's Daughter, the crowd of Chinese-Americans.

Moral of the story: Diversity of talent also improves the diversity - and size - of the audience.

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