Musicians help create the Nashville African American Wind Symphony

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 19:15:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville is known for kick-starting the careers of many great musicians.

One community is playing together to bring classical music to the Black Community.

The Nashville African American Wind Symphony wants to create a vital cultural experience within the African American community by establishing a world-class wind band ensemble while also providing exceptional music education, training resources, and performing arts entertainment exposure for youth musicians.

"Being on the podium makes you feel powerful, makes you feel like the guy in charge but that doesn't matter, it’s making music with like-minded people. "

Bruce Ayers is standing exactly where he dreamed, he would always be standing.

"When I'm on the podium and I'm conducting the Nashville African-American Wind Symphony, it’s a young Black boy that's living out what his purpose of life is."

Ayers is the musical director and founder of the Nashville African American Wind Symphony, but he didn't do it alone.

Like music, first came the pitch and then the sound.

"Music has always been a part of my life," said flute player Ashley Crawford.

On the stage you'll find doctors, lawyers, educators, mothers and fathers all with a a gift in playing classical music.

"We use our music to touch other people. Music is a universal language," said Victoria McDowell, clarinet player.

September was their first rehearsal, but they sound like they've been playing together for years.

"It validates and emphasizes how important it is to be able to have spaces where we can feel valued and empowered," Roderick White said.

The mission is about education, entertainment and cultural awareness. It's taking what these musicians were taught in a classroom and turning them into the teachers for a new generation.

And when you listen closely to the music you can hear a voice singing out.

"Those voices that were once the voiceless or the underrepresented can now be seen, be supportive, be embraced in this environment that we're working so hard to provide for the community," said Crawford.

The Nashville African America Wind Symphony is aiming to have their concert on the Juneteenth Holiday next year.

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