The Trance of Ethnocentrism


Nothing brings people together like music.

The connection we feel to people who like the same music as us- even through headphones and screens- is an important part of the human experience.

We all make choices about how we experience this connection. We choose hip-hop but not country. Choir but not band. Classical but not jazz. 21 Pilots but not 21 Savage

Sometimes, it’s taste that defines our musical choices. But usually, it’s something more primal. That something is the Trance of ethnocentrism.

Ethnocentrism, noun: the attitude that one's own group, ethnicity, or nationality is superior to others.

Such an ugly word; such an ugly attitude. This is what motivates us to dig those trenches around ourselves.

As a professional choir conductor, I admit I was spellbound by the Trance of my ethnocentrism until eight years ago. I spent my whole career directing choirs with a cultural superiority in my heart that I didn’t know was there until I started attending non-classical concerts in the local music scene. When I realized how deeply the Trance had damaged my attitudes about music and those who make it, I knew I had to change.

While attending local shows, I got to know local musicians in many genres and they got to know me. As we opened up to each other, the bond we formed created the unique VOCO concept that is uniting students of all identities and Colorado musicians of all genres in revolutionary ways.

Stop digging those trenches around yourself. Find ways to work and live better.

Here’s how you can join Vocal Coalition:

  1. Believe. Believe that your love of music and people can change the world. It starts with you.

  2. Invest. Put your time and money where your heart is through the VOCO mission. Start with attending a concert, making a donation, or joining a Coalition Alliance.

  3. Transform. We believe that after you experience Vocal Coalition for yourself, you’ll never be the same. Once you’ve had your initial transformational experience with us, follow your transformation wherever it leads and revolutionize our divided society through your transformation.

We can do this, Colorado. We can do this.

See you at the next show,

Travis Branam
Leader, Vocal Coalition

#BreakTheTrance #LetsGoVOCO

P.S. Our next show is Black Music Matters on February 28th. Get your tickets today!