Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Marie-Josée Lord, a Prize-Winning Canadian Soprano who was born in Haiti, releases 'Amazing Grace,' her second classical CD on ATMA Classique

Amazing Grace
Marie-Josée Lord
ATMA Classique (2014)

Wikipedia says: "Marie-Josée Lord is a Haitian-born Canadian soprano.  Lord was adopted from Haiti at the age of six..."  The encyclopedia reports she was raised in Levis, in a rural area of Quebec.  Her English website is:

Marie-Josée Lord, Soprano

In 2005, Marie-Josée Lord was the recipient of the Prix d’Excellence de la Culture, awarded by la Fondation de l’Opéra de Québec, and was selected to represent Canada at the Cardiff Singer of World Competition. She won the Public Prize at the Canadian Lyric Fund Competition, and received the Raoul-Jobin Prize in 1998. Her first solo CD, which was recorded with the Metropolitan Orchestra and under the Giuseppe Pietraroia’s baton, allowed Marie-Josée Lord to win a Félix in the category Album of the Year, in 2011— Classic Vocal. Released on the ATMA Classic in November 2010, the album had a great success with over 30 000 copies sold to date. Nominated also in 2012, for the Junos Prize in the category Album of the Year.

Madame Lord made her professional debut in the autumn of 2003, singing Liù in the Turandot Opera (Puccini) at l’Opéra de Québec. In February 2004, Montreal music lovers were seduced by her performance as Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème at l’Opéra de Montréal, where she also performed Laoula in l’Étoile (Chabrier) in October 2005.

In September 2006, Marie-Josée Lord opened Montreal’s Opera season with the title role as Suor Angelica (Puccini). Recently, she was also heard as Marie-Jeanne in the World Premiere of the Operatic version of the celebrated musical Starmania (Plamondon/Berger) at l’Opéra de Québec in May 2008, and at l’Opéra de Montréal in March 2009. In the early fall of 2009, she brilliantly held the role of Nedda (I Paggliacci) at l’Opéra de Montréal. By the spring time of 2012, Marie-Josée Lord carried out the role of Meg Page in Falstaff (Verdi) at l’Opéra de Québec. Her irresistible charisma, generosity and passion for lyrical art make her an outstanding guest for many TV and radio programs, such as: “Tout le monde en parle”, “Studio 12”, “En Direct de l’Univers”, etc. On October 28th 2012, Madame Lord made her debut in Toronto, performing at the prestigious Koerner Hall Royal Conservatory.

Marie-Josée Lord has performed several times with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Quebec Symphony Orchestra and Montreal Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kent Nagano, Yannick-Nezet Seguin, Paul Nadler and many others.

Sphinx Organization, Inc.: How Does Creative Placemaking Impact Diversity and Inclusion? Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2015 in Detroit, MI

Monday, November 24, 2014

John Malveaux: Donnie Ray Albert to be narrator in L.A. premiere of Roy Harris' 'Bicentennial Symphony' & Copland's 'Lincoln Portrait' Jan. 17, 2015, CSULA

Donnie Ray Albert

John Malveaux of 

MusicUNTOLD and California State University Los Angeles will not program Ulysses Kay's ONCE THAT WAS A MAN with Grammy Bass-Baritone Donnie Ray Albert as solo narrator during concert to celebrate 150th Anniversary of US Constitution 13th Amendment Ending Slavery on January 17, 2015 at Luckman Fine Arts Complex as previously reported. However, Donnie Ray Albert is scheduled for the male narrator in Roy Harris's BICENTENNIAL SYMPHONY, Los Angeles world premiere and Copland's LINCOLN PORTRAIT. He will also sing a short aria from Ulysses Kay's FREDERICK DOUGLASS opera with pianist Polli Chambers-Salazar and the following text:

Like a coat of many colors,
see this land ordained by God!
First among its many brothers,
stained with weeping, stained with blood!
Look along the far horizon-
See them coming, the lost, alone-
to this land of many colors
does not a Father call them home?
Then shall the day be the prophets spoke of:
out of the hunter shall come forth sweet:
and like a coat of many colors
the land shall be theirs and they shall be free!
sound loud the timbrell over Egypt's dark see-
Jehovah shall triumph, his people be free!

John Malveaux

Comment by email:
Thank you Bill.  I wouldn't have known anything if​ you hadn't copied me. ~Virginia  [Virginia Kay]

John Malveaux: Los Angeles Premiere of Roy Harris' 'Bicentennial Symphony' on 150th Anniversary of 13th Amendment January 17, 2015, 7:30 PM, CSULA


John Malveaux of 
sends the above announcement of a Co-Production of CSULA Department of Music, Theater and Dance and  MusicUNTOLD, on the Campus of California State
University Los Angeles.  The Host is Dennis Bartel of KUSC Classical Radio 91.5, KUSC.org.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

John Malveaux: Dr. Zanaida Robles Directed Glendale Community College Chamber Singers & College Choir in Afrocentric Program November 22, 2014

Zanaida Robles

John Malveaux of 

Dr.  Zanaida Robles debut as director of Glendale Community College Chamber Singers and College Choir on November 22, 2014 suggested a talent destined for major United States and International stages. Dr. Robles navigated the audience and singers through over five hundred years of strategically selected choral music with picture precision and compelling enthusiasm. The comprehensive program included African descent composers Adolphus Hailstork (Ye Shall Have a Song), Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (The Evening Star), Rosephanye Powell (I Dream A World), and Byron Smith (He’ll Make a Way). See photo/attachment
John Malveaux

Philly.com: 'A music man of the mid-19th century,' African American Bugler, Bandmaster and Composer Francis B. Johnson (1792-1844)

is featured at AfriClassical.com
which features a comprehensive
Works List 
and a Bibliography by 
Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma, 

In Antebellum America, Francis "Frank" Johnson (1792-1844) called the tune. One of the most popular American musicians in the mid-19th century, Johnson was a prolific composer and vivid performer.

Little is known about his early life. Recent scholarship suggests that Johnson was born in Martinique, West Indies, though some claim him as a native Philadelphian. His early musical training is equally unclear. Though he would become a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist, Johnson appears to have begun with the violin and keyed bugle, playing dances, parades, and other social occasions in the city.

What is certain is Johnson's talent. During the 1810s, Johnson made a name for himself as a composer and bandmaster. By 1818, Johnson became the first African American to have his compositions published as sheet music with his Collection of New Cotillions.

His popularity continued to soar throughout the 1820s and 1830s, when Johnson and his band could be heard in the homes, dance halls, and streets across Philadelphia. The exclusively free black audiences of his early career soon broadened to include the city's aristocracy. Johnson is credited with participating in some of the first racially integrated concerts in the country.

Johnson was not able to completely avoid the racism of his time. Several all-white bands refused to share a billing with him, and crowds in St. Louis and Pittsburgh chased him out of town.


In 1837, Johnson became the first African American bandleader to take a band to Europe, and Queen Victoria was in the audience when he performed at Buckingham Palace. Victoria was so impressed that she gave Johnson a silver bugle, and he repaid her kindness by being buried with the instrument.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Research Query: Godwin Sadoh seeks date of birth of Nigerian Composer William Wilberforce Chukudinka Echezona

Godwin Sadoh, D.M.A.

Godwin Sadoh, D.M.A. writes:

Hello Bill,
    I am desperately looking for the date of birth of this Nigerian composer: William Wilberforce Chukudinka Echezona. I have searched several databases on the internet to no avail. I will really appreciate it if you could please assist me to search and make contacts if possible to get this vital information.

Many thanks for the assistance,

Godwin Sadoh

The United Voices of Detroit invites you to join us in the presentation of our annual 'Detroit Spiritual Festival' Jan. 22-24, 2015 at Bushnell Congregational Church


Jeanette M. Pollard writes:

Hello Bill:

Just to clarify the dates of the Detroit Spiritual Festival.  The dates are Thursday, January 22, 2015, through Saturday evening, January 24, 2015. Venue still at Bushnell Congregational Church, 15000 Southfield Freeway,  near Grand River Avenue, (313) 272-3500. 


Jeanette M. Pollard, RN, APRN/PMH-BC, M. Div., LNC
Office:   15841 Crabbs Branch Way
               Rockville, MD 20855

South Coast Repertory's 'The Whipping Man' Set For The Pasadena Playhouse 2014-2015 Season

Charlie Robinson

PASADENA, CA (October 24, 2014) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Elizabeth Doran Executive Director) announced that they will present Matthew Lopez’s multi-award winning play THE WHIPPING MAN, which will replace the previously announced production of William Gibson’s TWO FOR THE SEESAW as the fourth production of the 2014-2015 season. THE WHIPPING MAN is produced in association with South Coast Repertory, where the show will play January 4-25, 2015, and then transfer to The Pasadena Playhouse February 3 - March 1, 2015 with a press opening on February 4.

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, said "I am very pleased that we will once again be working in collaboration with our highly respected colleagues at South Coast Repertory to present THE WHIPPING MAN, a play which I have had under consideration for our season for quite some time. This play, one of the most frequently produced works in contemporary American Theatre, is beautifully written, a perfect play for actors, and its themes fall so well into our ongoing diversity initiatives.”

Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, says, "The Pasadena Playhouse is pleased to partner with the esteemed South Coast Repertory once again with this production of THE WHIPPING MAN. As with our most recent partnership in 2012 when we presented SCR's Jitney, this kind of collaboration deepens the artistic experience for the artists, and broadens the audiences who ultimately receive the work. As was the case in bringing Stoneface from Sacred Fools' to our mainstage in 2013, we value partnerships like these with our peer theatres. They feed our community's cultural ecosystem by sustaining artists and broadening community dialogue through the telling and retelling of great stories on our stages."”

South Coast Repertory’s production of THE WHIPPING MAN is directed by Martin Benson. Stage and television star Charlie Robinson plays Simon in this Obie Award-winning drama The New York Times proclaimed “haunting and powerful.” South Coast Repertory describes THE WHIPPING MAN as follows: The Civil War has ended, leaving destruction in its wake. As a raging storm illuminates what’s left of a once majestic plantation home, three Jewish men prepare for Passover—the owner’s son, and his family’s former slaves. Only one of them, Simon, remains strong in his faith, but it is threatened with truths about what happened in this house—and in their lives—during its antebellum days. Full casting and the creative team for THE WHIPPING MAN will be announced at a later date.

Matthew Lopez is the author of THE WHIPPING MAN, one of the most widely produced new American plays of the last several years. It premiered at Luna Stage in Montclair, NJ, had its New York debut at Manhattan Theatre Club in a production directed by Doug Hughes and featuring Andre Braugher. The sold-out production extended four times—ultimately running 101 performances off-Broadway—and garnered Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards. Lopez was awarded the John Gassner New Play Award from the New York Outer Critics Circle for the play. Since then, THE WHIPPING MAN has had more than 40 productions worldwide. Lopez's play Somewhere has been produced at The Old Globe, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto and most recently at Hartford Stage Company, where his play Reverberation will receive its world premiere in 2015. His newest play, The Legend of Georgia McBride, premiered earlier this year at the Denver Theatre Center for the Performing Arts. His play The Sentinels premiered in London at Headlong Theatre Company in 2011. Lopez currently holds new play commissions from Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage, and South Coast Repertory. He was a staff writer on HBO’s “The Newsroom” and is currently adapting Javier Marias’ trilogy Your Face Tomorrow for the screen.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. Single tickets for THE WHIPPING MAN are $30.00 - $75.00 with premiere seating priced at $125.00. Single tickets and subscriptions are available online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org, by calling the Box Office at 626-356-7529 or by visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office. The box office phone lines are open Monday-Friday 12:00 pm -6:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm -6:00 pm on non-performance dates. The windows are open from Monday-Sunday 12:30 pm -6:00 pm on non-performance dates. On performance dates the box office windows are open Monday from 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm and Tuesday-Saturday 12:30 pm -8:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:30 pm -7:00 pm. For groups of 8 or more call 626-921-1161.

Philly.com: 'Charles Wilbert Hilliard McCabe, 72,' Music Teacher & Author of 'African American Sacred Music: An Afrocentric Historical Narrative'

Charles Wilbert Hilliard McCabe

Friday, November 21, 2014

WILBERT McCABE memorized all the major streets of Philadelphia at age 6, took his first piano lessons at age 3 and performed with Paul Robeson at age 6. By 14, he was playing Grieg's Piano Concerto in a Philadelphia church.

It was no wonder this brilliant child prodigy, musician and teacher had no problem remembering the birthdays of children, nieces and nephews, siblings, in-laws and friends.

And the fact that every year he would send out 700 Christmas cards worldwide is not much of a surprise.

Charles Wilbert Hilliard McCabe, a 40-year music teacher in Philadelphia public schools, a concert pianist here and abroad, and an authority on African-American music, died Nov. 13 after a long illness. He was 72 and lived in Yeadon, Delaware County.

Wilbert, as he was known to family and friends, was the author of African American Sacred Music: An Afrocentric Historical Narrative, which was his doctorate dissertation at Temple University and is available on Amazon and at book stores.

He was the choir director of several Philadelphia churches.

"Because of his gentle and generous spirit, Wilbert was beloved by the members and clergy of all of these churches," his family said in a tribute.

During his four-decade career at the Philadelphia School District, he taught music history and music appreciation and was chorale director at Beeber Junior High School, John Bartram High School, Daroff Elementary School and Mastbaum Technical High School.
He also gave private piano lessons.