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  • Writer's pictureSOUNDWEAVERS

S1. E8. Castle of Our Skins

Dec. 16, 2020


Ashleigh Gordon, the Artistic and Executive Director of Castle of our Skins, joins us to chat about her work leading a collective dedicated to celebrating black artistry through music. We discuss how she and co-founder Anthony Green developed COOS from individual grad school projects to a multifaceted concert presenter and educational organization. We speak about several of their initiatives, such as their Shirley Graham DuBois Creative-in-Residence Program, Beauty in Black Artistry blog, and edutainment recital and workshop series. We finish with advice on how to use one’s platform to provoke conversations on becoming ever better.


Described as a “charismatic and captivating performer,” Ashleigh Gordon has recorded with Switzerland's Ensemble Proton and Germany's Ensemble Modern; performed with Grammy-award winning BMOP and Grammy-nominated A Far Cry string ensemble; and appeared at the prestigious BBC Proms Festival with the Chineke! Orchestra. Ashleigh has performed in the Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls (London), Konzerthaus Berlin and Oper Frankfurt (Germany), Gare du Nord and Dampfzentrale Bern (Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Lee Hysan Concert Hall (Hong Kong), and the 180 Degrees Festival (Bulgaria).

​Ashleigh is co-founder, Artistic/Executive Director, and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award and 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 "Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities,” and one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25”, twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston’s arts and culture scene.

As an advocate of social change through education, Ashleigh served as viola instructor in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program, a rigorous string instrumental program that provides instruction to populations often underrepresented in classical music. She has presented lectures on citizen artistry and entrepreneurship, workshops for fellow educators on Caribbean folk songs, and served as a guest panelist at the Sphinx Connect Conference and Chamber Music America Conference discussing diversity in classical music. She is an Instructor of Teaching Artistry at the Longy School of Music at Bard College.


S1.E8 Transcript – Castle of our Skins
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Additional Resources discussed in today’s episode:

For more information about Castle of our Skins, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.



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