The Association of Music Producers and its Diversity & Inclusion Committee will be holding an online webinar this week that promises to share the stories and experiences of three Black composers working with agencies and brands.
The session, which takes place on Thursday, October 15 at 7 pm EDT, will feature Kevin Simon, Jocelyn Chambers and Wendell Hanes. Conducted via Zoom, it will include a question and answer period and is open to everyone.
The webinar will be moderated by Carol Dunn, Executive Producer at Human Worldwide in Los Angeles and a member of the AMP West Chapter board. She explains that AMP’s Diversity & Inclusion committee, on which she serves, came up with the idea for the panel.
“We gather once a week to discuss a whole host of initiatives and programs that will draw new members to AMP and its benefits, specifically those that can assist Black composers,” Dunn notes. “Our goal with this event is to
simply share the experience and the stories of these lauded Black artists – shining a light on a segment of the composer community that seems to go unseen.”
AMP’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee represents a cross-section of talents from both the East and West Chapters. In addition to Dunn, its roster includes Georg Bissen of MetaTechnik, who’s president of AMP’s National Board, as well as Nan Wilson of Manage Ad Music, Sallie Moore of Heavy Hitters, Jennie Armon of Found Objects, Matt Phenix of Elias (and AMP East Chapter president), Adrian Womack of Mophonics, Craig Caniglia of Human Worldwide and Samanta Adelman of Motive Music + Sound (and AMP West Chapter president.)
Dunn says the panel participants were chosen with purpose: “Kevin and Wendell are legends in the field of film and TV music, not just for their work on ad campaigns. Their expertise is limitless, and their knowledge is golden. Jocelyn is a young newbie whose talents are worlds beyond her years. And being a Black woman in this industry, I’m always eager to raise up other women of color wherever and however I can.”
What will attendees take away from the experience? “That Black composers are composers. Period. That’s truly what I hope the audience walks away with,” Dunn states. “I expect them to be inspired by the talent we’ll introduce on this panel. The people out there with the power to hire will not be able to use the excuse that they ‘didn’t know where to find any Black composers.’
“This is not an exercise in calling people out for their lack of diversity,” Dunn adds. “We already know that exists. Rather, this is an opportunity to meet new composers and hear their stories, which aren’t much different from most any other composers’ journeys. The main hurdle in getting hired for any job is access, and access requires introductions. Those introductions hopefully lead to relationships. We want to introduce our audience to some successful Black composers while also opening up a portal for other black
composers to build their toolsheds for success.”
Dunn says the discussion promises to be up an uplifting experience. “Kevin, Wendell and Jocelyn are prolific, multi-genre composers,” she observes. “Their stories are varied and colorful. We want this to be a discussion of empowerment.”
To register, go here.