Composer Shara Nova (@mybrightestdiamond) shares her thoughts on "Blind to the Illness", commissioned by the Chorus: "This music was written in the summer of 2016, in response to the many killings of black people in America. At the time of this composition, #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile were the most recent deaths that were highly publicized. My sorrow lead me to research and I came across a teacher, Jane Elliot, who conducts an experiment called the “Blue-Eyes-Brown-Eyes” exercise. After watching a classroom session with her, my eyes were further opened to my own assumptions, power I took for granted, my racism, and my biases. Other readings relevant to the music were "I, Racist" by John Metta, "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo, and @the_new_jimcrow by Michelle Alexander. Let the change begin in me." "Blind to the Illness" was performed by Brooklyn Youth Chorus at the World Premiere of our 25th anniversary project Silent Voices at @bam_brooklyn earlier this year. #BYCSilentVoices focuses on the most pressing issues of our time, harnessing the power of young people to be instruments of change.