RPO trumpeter will discuss racial injustice in music industry

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 22 October 2021 at 5:56 pm

Program at Hoag sponsored by Community Coalition for Justice

ALBION – A renowned Eastman graduate and trumpeter with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will perform and discuss racial injustice in the music world at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hoag Library.

Herb Smith’s appearance is the latest in a series of programs dealing with racial injustice which are sponsored by the Community Coalition for Justice. The Coalition is made up of a local churches and four civic groups, which are addressing racism and prejudice – Social Justice Committee, People Embracing Diversity, Albion Betterment Committee, Pullman Universalist Church and Hoag Library.

Among the instrumental individuals who are involved are Bob and Margaret Golden, Kim Remley, Kay Wibert, Sister Dolores Dowd and Gary Kent. They are also joined by the Rev. Jim Renfrew.

Herb Smith’s appearance is one the committee hopes will bring out a full house. Smith has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for 30 years. He believes in the power of music to heal and as a path to justice.

“Throughout history, music has been tied in with protest and been a motivator for change,” Smith said. “I’m excited to be able to do this in your community.”

During the last two years of protests over racial injustice, Smith has led members of the RPO to be involved and play at non-violent demonstrations, according to Golden. He has also conducted workshops throughout Western New York on classical, jazz and world music.

He has worked with children, including the Young Audiences of America, Aesthetic Education Institute and the Rochester School System.

In addition, Smith has performed with the Buffalo and Cincinnati Philharmonics, the Chautauqua Symphony and played in several jazz groups. He co-led the popular jazz group, Thornwood.

Smith has accompanied several music greats, such as Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Doc Severenson and the O’Jays, among others.

As a composer, he has written for Garth Fagan, films and local bands.

The press release provided by Golden continues to say the history of classical, jazz, blues, pop and swing is full of incidents and patterns of social and gender exploitation, plagiarism, denial of access and opportunity, denied pay and even assault and death. The patten of prejudice, although less overt, unfortunately continues today, the release stated.

Anyone with questions or wishing to volunteer may call Golden at (585) 682-4821 or contact him at goldenjazz59@gmail.com.

Donations for the program expenses can be made to People Embracing Diversity @ Disciples First, UMC, 4410 Holley-Byron Rd., Holley, 14470.