When I was 8years old, my parents took me to see one of my first Broadway musicals, Aida. I remember I was sitting in the audience not really knowing what to expect when a tall beautiful dark woman appeared on stage as the leading lady. I was shocked; confused; emotional. All of these feelings crept up on me because I had never seen a black woman in a lead role in a musical. Before that I had no idea that someone with my shade could achieve more than ensemble or background. Heather Headley inspired me that night to reach for more than the backup singer or the token black player in the ensemble. Representation matters--it mattered for me, and it matters to other women and children of color. All women of color--directors, composers, and performers--are giants in an industry that lacks representation, and this concert is an ode to them!