This project aims to critically examine European classical music, drawing from social, historical, and cultural factors that have driven its conception, growth, exceptionalization, and prevalent affect. Why are urban and “at risk” youth are zealously encouraged by school districts and other government funded forces to participate in youth classical orchestras? More or less structured chronologically, this project focuses on empire and secular music under the scope of colonialism; imperialism, aesthetic, consumption, globalization, and present-day analysis of the classical music initiatives. It is evident that the development of Western classical music continues to reflect and influence how humans deal with difference, and I argue that the history of classical music can illuminate how white supremacy evolved into the gravitational force it is today. Moreover, this study seeks to articulate how mass participation in classical orchestras effects one’s sense of self.