Highlights

Jason Hainsworth to Lead Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SFCM

I am very pleased to announce that Jason Hainsworth, Executive Director of the Roots, Jazz, and American Music program, has been appointed Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Special Advisor to the President. His appointment is being made with the full support of the President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion and is effective immediately.

In this role, Jason will build on the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s important work to strengthen our institution, community, and industry through actions that systemically oppose racism and injustice. His duties will focus on increasing representation and belonging by fostering alliances, engaging prospective and current students, supporting job placement, and facilitating faculty and staff recruitment and learning.

“This is important work and I am humbled at the opportunity President Stull has entrusted me with in helping to redefine what SFCM will look like in the future. My personal story mirrors many of the stories I have heard from our students of color. Part of my job will be to use these experiences to make the school we love, SFCM, a place where all voices are heard, represented, and embraced,” Jason said.

As many of you are aware, Jason is a beloved member of the SCFM faculty and a talented and passionate educator, saxophonist, composer, and recording artist. He brings a vibrancy of ideas and excellence to this new position. He will continue in his role with RJAM, and will lead the search to hire two new positions to support the Conservatory’s pledge to DEI.

We would also like to take this opportunity to update you on some of our related commitments and actions.

In August 2020, we announced the Emerging Black Composers Project, a ten-year commissioning partnership with the San Francisco Symphony. We are pleased that the initial application received more than 100 submissions. We expect to announce the 2021 winner in April. In his new position, Jason will oversee this program and its growth.

In addition, Chair of Music Theory and Musicianship Scott Foglesong and Associate Director of the New Music Ensemble Jacques Desjardins, in collaboration with adjunct faculty, are leading a re-imagination of SFCM’s curriculum and musicianship and music theory textbook for the 2021-2022 school year. It will foreground Black contributions to classical music. This fall, led by Chair Rachel Vandagriff, courses taught in our Music History and Literature program will integrate the study of Black composers, music theorists, and performers from the Renaissance era through the present while providing context about how classical music production and culture has profited from the transatlantic slave trade, colonization, and laws and traditions that promote racial segregation.

In upcoming weeks, we will expand our Bridge to Arts and Music Program under the leadership of Reverend James Parrish Smith, minister of music at Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, and we are excited to share more details when available. We continue to play host to artists of color who are joining us to lead master classes and as guest conductors, directors, and residents. This Saturday, acclaimed Music Director of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra Michael Morgan will conduct the SFCM Orchestra. We hope you’ll tune in.

Our plans continue to be guided by the President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion, which is anchored by Black students, alumni, faculty, and community leaders. We are all better for their contributions, and I thank them.

Please join me in congratulating Jason on his new role and in supporting our efforts to be a welcoming home for music that serves everyone.