DAVIDSON & CHARLOTTE, NC – WDAV Classical Public Radio is proud to announce its commitment to the Recording Inclusivity Initiative (RII). Originated by All Classical Radio in Portland, OR, RII seeks to actively confront systemic inequities in classical music through the production of new high-quality recordings of works by composers from underrepresented communities. WDAV joins peer stations nationwide who have committed to record additional works, which will be shared for download and broadcast in a database accessible to public radio stations across the country, allowing the recordings to reach a much broader audience. Together, we’re changing America’s playlist, one recording at a time – and one community at a time.
With a goal to complete three recordings in 2023, a diverse panel of musical leaders from the community was assembled to nominate and select pieces for the first phase of WDAV’s RII project. An inaugural cohort of three composers has been selected to have their works professionally recorded and broadcast by WDAV: Damien Geter (String Quartet No. 1, Neo Soul), Xinyan Li (Mongolian Impressions), and B.E. Boykin (Moments in Sonder). All three recordings are now in post-production.
In addition, WDAV has selected a dynamic work by Nkeiru Okoye titled Briar Patch for voices and chamber orchestra. Because of its larger scale, the work has been reserved for the second phase of WDAV’s RII project to be executed at a future date.
A concert event to culminate the first year of WDAV’s RII project is also in development with details forthcoming. The concert will be free of charge and open to the public.
As a key member of Charlotte’s arts community, WDAV’s RII involvement reinforces our desire to lead by example, advancing representation by diversifying our music library and sharing our platform with artists from communities that have been excluded from classical music for generations.
“We describe ourselves as wanting to build community through classical music, and WDAV’s RII project is a major way to ensure that our audience is represented by what we present on air,” said WDAV General Manager Frank Dominguez. “People of color, women, and artists from other marginalized groups have been making incredible strides in classical music throughout its history, and the variety of experiences and backgrounds reflected in the new music we’re seeing today is astonishing. I have a feeling that once RII recordings start getting regular airplay, more and more stations will become interested in participating, and that has the potential to diversify the classical playlist at an incredible rate.”
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Damien Geter (String Quartet No. 1, Neo Soul)
Acclaimed composer and bass-baritone Damien Geter infuses classical music with various styles from the Black diaspora to create music that furthers the cause for social justice. Geter’s rapidly growing body of work includes chamber, vocal, orchestral, and full operatic works, with his compositions being praised for their “skillful vocal writing” (Wall Street Journal). He is Composer-in-Residence at the Richmond Symphony through the 2024-25 season, Interim Music
About Neo Soul: Inspired by the composer’s love of the Neo Soul genre, Damien Geter’s String Quartet No. 1, Neo Soul seamlessly fuses elements of classical and contemporary music in a unique sonic experience that crackles with energy. “I hope people have a good time when they listen to Neo Soul,” Geter said of the piece. “I hope it piques their curiosity and broadens their horizons of what classical music can be.”
Xinyan Li (Mongolian Impressions)
Currently a Visiting Professor of Music at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, award-winning composer and pianist Dr. Xinyan Li’s works are rooted in Chinese music and culture. She has extensively studied Chinese folk songs, Beijing Opera and Kunqu, and the ethnic instrumental music of various minorities, such as the Dong, Miao, Yi, and Zhuang peoples of southwest China and the Mongol and Daur peoples of northeast China. In addition to her compositional pursuits, Li is an experienced educator in music theory and composition and is skilled in piano performance and improvisation. Dr. Xinyan Li’s full bio can be found at her official website.
About Mongolian Impressions: Xinyan Li’s innovative chamber work Mongolian Impressions is informed by the composer’s experiences and observations among the Mongol people. Each of the piece’s three movements are inspired by elements of Mongolian culture: the “long song” genre of traditional Mongolian music, traditional horse racing, and lively depiction of children playing in the snow. Mongolian Impressions is scored for Western classical instruments, requiring the musicians to use special techniques to imitate the sounds of instruments common to Chinese folk music.
B.E. Boykin (Moments in Sonder)
Composer B.E. Boykin is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. After graduating from Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in Music, Ms. Boykin continued her studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. She continued to compose music during her time at Westminster and was awarded the R & R Young Composition Prize just a few months shy of graduating. In May of 2013,
Ms. Boykin graduated from Westminster Choir College with a M.M. in Sacred Music with a concentration in choral studies. Among her professional endeavors, Ms. Boykin is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She recently obtained her PhD from Georgia State University with an emphasis in Music Education. Read B.E. Boykin’s full bio at her official website.
About Moments in Sonder: Scored for soprano and piano, B.E. Boykin’s contemplative song cycle Moments in Sonder is comprised of 14 song settings of texts by Maya Angelou. While sifting through Angelou’s poetry in search of short, “almost Haiku-length” texts, Boykin explains that she came across many with “similar themes about the human experience and time,” which became the basis for the work. Boykin hopes that audiences who hear Moments in Sonder for the first time will find brief moments of contemplation that resonate with their own lived experiences.
WDAV RII PANELISTS
WDAV’s Recording Inclusivity Initiative is funded, in part, by ASC. This project is made possible with generous support from Catherine and Wilton Connor.
Multimillion Dollar Commitment
City of Charlotte
$1.5 million and above
Bank of America
C.D. Spangler Foundation / National Gypsum Company
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
$600,000 – $1 million
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
The Centene Charitable Foundation
Childress Klein Properties
The Gambrell Foundation
Moore & Van Allen
Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
Up to $300,000
Fifth Third Bank
Foundation For The Carolinas
Deidre and Clay Grubb
Leslie and Michael Marsicano
Jane and Hugh McColl
Jane and Nelson Schwab
WDAV Classical Public Radio is dedicated to building a community focused on classical music by providing easy access to the art form, as well as opportunities for exploration and discovery. In addition to producing 149 hours per week for its own broadcast use on 89.9FM, HD-1, HD-2, and wdav.org channels, the station produces nationally distributed programs, including Concierto, and, in partnership with South Carolina Public Radio, Carolina Live. A service of Davidson College in Davidson, NC, WDAV’s main source of operating revenue comes from annual member contributions. The station’s 89.9FM signal reaches a 22-county region centered in the Charlotte, NC metro area and ranges from Rock Hill, SC to Galax, VA. WDAV’s broadcasts can also be heard live online 24 hours a day at wdav.org and iTunes, as well as on any Android, iPhone, or iPad device equipped with the WDAV Classical Public Radio app, or the TuneIn, NPR Music, or Public Radio Player apps.