2019 Commencement Address
In his Commencement address to the Class of 2019, titled Why Music Matters, Dean Robert Blocker told graduates, “The world needs you! It is gasping for the oxygen that your talent and sense of justice can provide.” Blocker lauded the work members of the graduating class did to make their community a more welcoming place for those who call the School home, even for a few relatively short years. He cited OutLoud, the School’s first-ever affinity group, which seeks to create a safe space for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff. And he credited the YSM Black Collective, whose leadership, “with courage, kindness, and restraint, called on our community to become better educated about unconscious and implicit bias.” Blocker also referenced the Music in Schools Initiative and the School’s Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students asexamples of the kind of advocacy he supports and encourages.