A Message to the QUO Community

Dear friends, family, and supporters of QUO,

We write to you today with sadness in our hearts. For the past several months, we have witnessed one of the most unparalleled moments in our lifetime. We witnessed xenophobic attitudes as the pandemic spread, disproportionally impacting black and brown communities. We saw individuals weaponize their white privilege to continue to demonize black citizens. These most recent incidents of violence towards Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and David McAtee are the latest among the many atrocities that people of color have had to endure time after time. Over the last several days, people all across the nation are standing up against oppression, police brutality, and white supremacy. QUO stands with them.

QUO is committed to celebrating the diversity within our orchestra and beyond. We want to specifically acknowledge and honor the deep pain and exhaustion our musicians of color are experiencing right now, and have experienced for a long time. You are loved members of our community and we will stand next to you, use our voices with you, and fight oppression alongside you, firmly rooted in the principle that black lives matter.

As we move into Pride month, we celebrate our queer community’s own history of resistance to oppression. We must remember that it was black and brown trans folks who threw those first bricks at Stonewall. This month, this year especially, we need to acknowledge that queerness is in all communities, and that the pursuit of racial justice and LGBTQ+ liberation are connected. When a community is hurting, it is our queerness that can reach out with empathy and commitment. Let our Pride stand up and speak out for the rights of others, especially our black and brown brothers, sisters, and others.

To do this, we must collectively commit to the work of anti-racism, and call on our white members to critically and actively engage in this process. Similar to our own roles as musicians, we must listen carefully to the voices around us that need to be heard, we need to think thoughtfully and each do our own individual work, and we need to realize that we are collectively stronger together.

QUO will continue to listen and work to take action as we can. We are here as a community to support each and every one of you however we can.

In solidarity,
Ian Shafer, Artistic Director
Todd Porter, General Manager
Luke Nosal, Assistant Conductor
Members of the Board of Directors: Clint Arndt, Bjorn Berkhout, Christopher Campbell, Lynn Caron, Alan Hyde, Ron Nahass, Scott Oaks