By engaging every Conservatory student in meaningful training experiences and developing skills in communication, programming, connecting to community, and citizen artistry, the Breakthrough Curriculum has significant implications for diversity and inclusion both at Peabody and in the performing arts field. This new model recognizes that the ability to connect with ever-broader and more diverse audiences is critical to the future of our art, and equips students with the foundational skills to do so.

An intentional focus on increasing the diversity of the performers and repertoire on Peabody’s stages has played out in a variety of ways, including:

  • memorable performances by guest artists including the American Spiritual Ensemble and conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and by the Peabody Studio Orchestra of Laura Karpman’s Ask Your Mama
  • master classes with Christian McBride and Ronald K. Brown, among many other guest artists and visiting faculty
  • a special screening of the documentary film RAW Tuba: From Sandtown to Symphony
  • a 2018 Peabody performance of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS at Baltimore’s New Psalmist Baptist Church, with more than 500 performers, including Conservatory and Preparatory students and community partners such as the Morgan State University Choir
  • a multi-media recording of faculty composer Du Yun and Palestinian videographer Khaled Jarrar’s Where We Lost Our Shadows, with Pakistani author and musician Ali Sethi and Swedish experimental mezzo-soprano Sofia Jernberg
  • the 2023 launch of Peabody Premieres, dedicated to recording and preserving music of underrepresented composers.

A May 2021 report of the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Task Force recommended a continued focus on diversifying and expanding the repertoire and performance experiences available to students. In response, a repertoire tracking system has been created to collect and codify diversity data for performances across all applied areas in the Conservatory, to benchmark and measure our progress going forward.