Oscars 2022 Orchestra Highlights Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

by Susan Chatman, AFM Local 47 Diversity Committee

Congratulations to the music production team of the 94th Academy Awards for their hard work and superb artistry.

The music production leaders should also be applauded for their diverse representation of musicians, music styles and performances.

There were close to 120 musicians who performed at the 94th Academy Awards. What is notable was the cultural diversity, blend of musical styles, ages and genders from all over the world.

The BBE 94th Oscars Orchestra with Musical Director Adam Blackstone and Arrangers/Conductors
Derrick Hodges and Dontae Winslow at the telecast

  • The Music Director was African-American (Adam Blackstone)
  • The two Conductors/Orchestrators were African-American (Derrick Hodges, Dontae Winslow)
  • The Musician Contractors were two women, one who is African-American (Deborah Chase, Kimberlee Wertz)
  • The concertmasters of the orchestras were African-American and Asian women (Stephanie Matthews – Academy Awards BBE Orchestra; and Daphne Chen – Billie Eilish & Jessica McJunkins – BeyoncĂ©)
  • Original song and score “Encanto” featured a variety of Latinx performers and composers

Talent and musical skills can be very subjective. Each culture has their unique expression and interpretation of music and talent. This is why music producers, contractors and music directors must continue to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion.

If you value innovation, creativity and new ideas, then diversity matters.

Above, top photo: Musical Director Adam Blackstone. Above, bottom photo: Arrangers/Conductors Derrick Hodges and Dontae Winslow.

MD Adam Blackstone and concertmaster Stephanie Matthews

Principal cellist Giovanna Moraga Clayton, violinist Susan Chatman, and contractor Deborah Chase

Drummer Brian Frasier-Moore, percussionist Sidney Hopson, and timpanist Wesley Sumpter

Violas, cellos and bass at the telecast

Strings on break at rehearsal

Oscars onstage band: Travis Barker, Adam Blackstone, Sheila E, and Robert Glasper