Monday, November 5, 2007

The Sphinx at Smith College

Sometimes it's okay to feel really good about Michigan. Even southeast lower Michigan.

This week, Aaron Dworkin, founder and director of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization visited Smith College. His appearance was part of Smith's annual Otelia Cromwell celebration. Cromwell was the first African American to graduate from Smith. She transferred in her junior year from Howard in 1898.

Dworkin, a University of Michigan School of Music graduate, founded the Sphinx Organization to advocate for greater representation of minority musicians in the rarefied, exclusive realm of classical music. Today, his ten-year-old organization nurtures minority classical musicians from elementary school through college and to professional careers.

Blacks and latinos are still underrepresented among orchestral membership today.

But Dworkin and his organization persevere in working to change that with programs like: Sphinx Prep at Wayne State, Harlem Quartet School Dayz, the Instrument Fund, and the annual Sphinx Competition.

Dworkin has vision, drive, and commitment to his mission. He's a Michigan treasure.