Dr. Quinton Morris, a gifted concert violinist and chamber musician, started playing his instrument as a child.
Over time, he noticed a pattern.
“I've always been the only Black person or person of color in many performance spaces that I've been in,” said Morris.
As an adult, Morris set out to changed that for others.
“Because there hasn't been strong representation in symphonies, operas and classical music as a whole, it's important for us to be able to create a show like unmute the voices where can we not only highlight, but also celebrate their accomplishments and share their stories, which are so important,” shared Morris.
Morris founded the non-profit Key to Change to offer under-served youth world-class music instruction and development.
But there was still more to do!
Quinton is now the host of "Unmute the Voices" — a monthly radio show on the classical station KING FM.
It celebrates BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artistry in classical music by highlighting compositions and performances by BIPOC artists.
“Having a show like this is so important because it allows us to highlight and showcase the great artistry they are doing. When they are hearing them on the radio they are being judged on their artistry, rather than their color. They happen to be a person of color, but they are performing great music,” shared Morris.
KING FM's CEO Brenda Barnes said it was the death of George Floyd that sparked the conversations that led to "Unmute the Voices."
"All of us in the arts had to step back and think about how much effort we had truly put into diversifying our field. We are in a field with 100 years of exclusion. It’s just not acceptable to go on in that mode any longer,” said Barnes.
Unmute the Voices airs every third Saturday at 3 p.m. on Classical KING FM. They have also launched a video series to share the stories behind the artists featured.