Directed by Tyrone Clinton Jr., The Unsung Collective Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to celebrating people of color in Western art music in New York City.
The Unsung Collective navigates countless stories that are the true fabric of historical and current events, with aims to stretch the confines of music of the Western canon.
This ensemble and its members are born of the same community that bears the music by which many of these stories are told. As an ensemble, the collective is committed to fostering relationships through collaboration and sharing art with those willing to listen.
The Unsung Collective collaborates with some of the World’s most prolific artists. Most recently The Unsung Collective pioneered and completed the first residency that opened New York City’s brand New Center for Art, Research, and Alliances (CARA), as part of South African artist Neo Muyanga’s first solo exhibition in the United States entitled A Mass of Cyborgs. As part of her America: A Hymnal series, The Unsung Collective collaborated with Bethany Collins both at the historic 15th Street Quaker Meeting House in New York City and in Pennsylvania at Bryn Mawr College.
Last fall, The Unsung Collective Chamber orchestra led a performance of Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons in Harlem’s Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church. In the summer of 2022, The Unsung Collective made their Lincoln Center debut and was the first predominantly Black ensemble to perform for the Mostly Mozart Festival in its 50+ year history. Just one year prior in 2021, The Unsung Collective pioneered the World Trade Center’s first Juneteenth Celebration in the same year it was first proclaimed a Federal holiday by President Biden.
The Unsung Collective rehearses in Harlem and calls Mother AME Zion Church home, the oldest African-American religious institution in New York City.
To be a movement in the community by programming music that shares the adversities and strengths of people of color.
To spread awareness and educate audiences on diversity by promoting the works of minority composers and creating a platform for world-class musicians of color to practice and perform their art.
To stretch the confinements of choral music born of the Western art tradition.
The Bridge program is designed to give students of color professional experience in the performing arts before going to college. Typically from grades 7-12, students attend rehearsals and have a chance to perform alongside Unsung professional musicians for a major performance in New York City. The Unsung Collective has partnered with the following 3 schools to have students share and develop their growing gifts: The Equity Project Charter School, Talent Unlimited High School, and Professional Performing Arts School. Students are selected by the music directors of their corresponding institutions based on criteria supplied by Dr. Tyrone Clinton.
As a result of The Bridge Program, students have performed at The World Trade Center (2021) and the Empire State Building (2022), and have been a part of LGBTQ celebrity Monét X Change’s music video, Light of a Clear Blue Morning for the #DragIsntDangerous campaign (2023).