Double bassist Dalanie Harris and violist Katie Brown, cohosts of the acclaimed podcast Classically Black, are the latest guests in WDAV’s virtual Small Batch series. Join us via Facebook Live Friday, May 22nd at 5 p.m. as Katie and Dalanie present favorite past performance recordings and share insights about their podcast and life’s work.
Describe Classically Black and why it’s so important to the here and now.
Classically Black is a podcast that seeks to show Black musicians that even in an industry that so clearly lacks diversity, they are visible and their voices matter. However, Black musicians do not make up the entirety of our audience. Because we cover all things classical music, our podcast attracts all people in the field.
This is especially relevant today because in the past, the world of classical music has not been inclusive of people of color in many ways. Now that many organizations are actively seeking to include more diverse groups, we are able to help aide this change by utilizing our unique perspectives.
We also include humor and references to popular culture in our content as a way of making the classical music aspect of our podcast more approachable to listeners who are not classically trained. This way, not only are we educating those within the field, but we are also engaging those who have never had a way to relate to classical music in the past.
For the uninitiated, is there a specific episode of Classically Black that you would suggest?
An episode we would certainly recommend to any listener is “Let’s Talk About It: Black Achievement in Classical Music” (Episode 60). In this episode, we talk about the achievement gap in classical music at the collegiate level and beyond, and what factors go into this disparity.
This is a topic we are both extremely passionate about, and this episode demonstrates the balance between humor and serious discussion we try to have in every episode.
For the reader who is interested in broadening perspectives, what podcast other than your own would you recommend?
Another classical music podcast we love is Trilloquy, hosted and produced by Garrett McQueen and Scott Blankenship. Like us, the hosts of Trilloquy prioritize giving a voice to those who have been voiceless in classical music for such a long time. We’ve collaborated with them three times so far, and foresee many more! You can listen and learn more about them at www.trilloquy.org.
How has the pandemic impacted your approach to producing the podcast?
Because of our busy schedules before the pandemic, we had to learn how to record remotely. Now that we are quarantined in different cities, we utilize this skill to get our weekly episodes done. Since we had already learned how to do this, moving the show to a completely virtual format fortunately was not a huge adjustment.