Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts

June 02, 2020

A Message on Recent Events

Dan Fernandez
  • Director of Marketing & Communications, School of Music
  • 412-268-4921

Dear School of Music Students, Faculty and Staff,

I write this to give voice to something I believe most of us are feeling – a sense of horror and outrage that racism in America is still so prevalent and pernicious that people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery suffer unjust deaths. I believe that we have a responsibility as artists to talk about these tragedies openly, resolve to call out injustice when we see it, and get involved wherever and however we can.

This is a time when the School of Music community should state plainly its shared belief: that racism and injustice will not be tolerated in our School, at Carnegie Mellon, and in our nation.

Yesterday, I asked the faculty of the School of Music to examine ways we can give more exposure and support to Black and African-American composers and musicians, both in our classrooms and on our stages (virtual or otherwise). I invite you - our students, faculty and staff - to reach out to me directly with any ideas on this topic, as we to work to make our community a more inclusive place.

As CMU President Farnam Jahanian noted in his recent message, “it is up to each one of us – no matter our background – to confront and dismantle racism and injustice wherever they exist.” Let’s take these words to heart as we help build an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for all.


Denis Colwell
Jack G. Buncher Head of the School of Music