Instrumental: The Elayne Jones Story

Grace Wang
American Studies
UC Davis

Julie Wyman
Cinema and Digital Media
UC Davis

Instrumental: The Elayne Jones Story is a media project and strategic impact campaign aimed at fostering diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the field of classical music. Produced in collaboration with San Francisco Symphony, Percussive Arts Society (the world’s largest percussion organization), and Orchestrate Inclusion, and focused on the life of African American timpanist Elayne Jones, Instrumental consists of an original short documentary, a participatory web portal that features UCD student-produced media, and a comprehensive impact campaign to activate this media towards our campaign’s goals.

A collaboration between American Studies scholar Grace Wang and documentary filmmaker Julie Wyman, Instrumental places Jones’ life, work, and fight for inclusion in classical music within the burgeoning movement to upend traditional hierarchies in the field. SF Symphony and PAS are engaged in critical DEI efforts to challenge fundamental assumptions of belonging. Orchestrate Inclusion works to transform orchestras at the level of leadership, boards, and policy-making. Partnering with organizations who are contributing to our media project — and who themselves will be the recipients of resources this project is producing — the film and its accompanying media materials furthers the collective goal of facilitating public conversation, awareness, and policy change in and beyond the field of classical music.