The School of Music recently formed the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee (IDE) comprised of staff and faculty members dedicated to advocate for the BIPOC population in our School and on campus.  Per their official bylaws, they advise the Director on all topics relating to IDE within the curriculum, policies, and communication of the MU School of Music. 

2023-2024 Committee Members

Leo Saguiguit, chair

Amanda Collins

Stefan Freund

Joanna Griffith

Amy Knopps

Bonnie McLarty

Pete Zambito

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee of the University of Missouri School of Music is to promote and facilitate a culture and atmosphere of mutual respect in our school based on the recognition of our differences, including those of race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, socioeconomic status, religious background, gender, gender identity and/or expression, and sexual orientation.  

Our goal is to provide resources that promote equal access and opportunity for all constituents of the School of Music in order to attain our vision of an inclusive, diverse, and equitable community. We also seek a role beyond the School of Music in promoting this goal for the university and the wider community.  

We value all points of view and all voices, while recognizing that minority perspectives have been disproportionally undervalued and suppressed. We seek to create equity for underrepresented groups and individuals, empowering those who have been unrecognized. Additionally, we seek to break down barriers caused by social injustice, inequality, and racial trauma.  

We believe that the ideals we seek to promote should have practical effects on many of the day-to-day actions of the School of Music, from relations between and among students and faculty to programming, curriculum, faculty hiring, and recruitment. We will also endeavor to increase educational opportunities for young musicians from underrepresented groups.  

Finally, we believe that the realization of a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable School of Music strengthens all of us, makes us more capable and effective in our individual endeavors, and widens our vision of what is possible when we all value and embrace one another as true equals.  

The goal of the SOM Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Student Collective is to celebrate the diverse identities of musicians within our spaces and within our broader community, working not only within the SOM but with the larger Mizzou campus, the Columbia community, and our global community of musicians. Our aim is to invite all within and outside of the SOM to dismantle the exclusivity of our musical world.

We are actively working to decolonize our musical world and spaces within the SOM through repertoire choices and curriculum, especially addressing the historical exclusion of racial and gender identities and expressions. We host educational convocations about IDE and promote a larger variety of events throughout campus, while advocating for diversity both in performance practices and pedagogical approaches for future educators.


Samuel Varnon, President

Pete Zambito, Faculty Advisor

The IDE Committee partnered with the Community Music Program to launch the Inclusive Excellence Music Scholarship (formerly IDEAS) in Spring 2021, offering 12 full scholarships for private lessons for 6-12th grade students who are members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group. The program has since grown to being able to offer up to 20 full scholarship awards. For more information about this scholarship, visit the CMP website.


Introduction to Soul & Country  
MUSIC_NM 1335 
Examination of musical cultures signified by “soul” and “country”. Study of the evolution and aesthetics of these genres and how they deal with concepts like identity, class, race, and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; politics and patriotism.

Introduction to World Music  
MUSIC_NM 1313 Sec. 1 (online)   
Introduction to the musical traditions of selected non-Western societies; emphasis on developing listening skills.   

Studies in World Music
Studies in World Music is designed as a survey of selected musical traditions practiced by both Western and non-Western societies to understand the function and importance of musical expression in context as well as the impact of globalization on musical styles. 


The MU School of Music is committed to presenting diverse composers, musicians and IDE topics throughout all concerts and events. Below are upcoming diversity-centered events that might be of particular interest. Click here for a listing of recent past events highlighting diverse composers, musicians, and IDE topics.