Thursday, April 24, 2014

John Malveaux: African Americans for Los Angeles Opera: Seminar on William Grant Still - February 9, 2014 YouTube Video (7:07)


William Grant Still Seminar February 9, 2014 

John Malveaux of sends this link:

Seminar on William Grant Still - February 9, 2014 Video

John Malveaux

Sigma & U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding to Engage Youth in STEM and Outdoor Recreation

On April 21, 2014 AfriClassical posted:

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sign Historic MOU to Engage Urban Youth in Outdoor Recreation and STEM Education

April 24, 2014

Leading African-American fraternity Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (Sigma) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) have joined forces to conserve America’s wildlife in a new way.  The two organizations signed an historic memorandum of understanding today in Washington, DC, establishing a partnership that will provide new opportunities for urban youth to experience the natural world and promote interest in conservation and the biological sciences.

The initiative commemorates American scientist, botanist, and inventor, George Washington Carver – a Sigma member who has inspired generations of youth to pursue careers in science.

“Many Americans find it difficult to experience nature in an increasingly urban America. This has profound implications for the health and well-being of our citizens and the future of our nation,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Sigma – with its rich history of community leadership and deep connection to the legacy of Dr. Carver – is the ideal partner for the Service as we work to create meaningful connections between young people and the great outdoors.”

“The over-arching goal of Sigma is to impact the total well-being of the citizens in communities we serve,” shares Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. “We are excited for this amazing opportunity to partner with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in engaging our youth through education and physical activity. We’ve aligned our focus with President Barack Obama’s ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’ initiative as we take this opportunity to teach our young men that food does not come from a box, but from the ground,” Mason asserted.

The multi-faceted partnership will engage Sigma members and its Sigma Beta Club male mentoring youth groups to become environmental stewards. Goals include 1) teaching and engaging youth in outdoor recreation on public lands to promote health through physical activity; 2) promoting the pursuit of biological sciences careers through stewardship and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math); 3) building national, regional and local conservation partnerships; and 4) engaging Sigma as a voice on conservation issues.

Sigma Betas, Sigma’s youth auxiliary, will be engaged in hands-on activities with scientists to learn about wildlife, science, and conservation by participating in real scientific studies and conservation efforts.  Through “citizen science” activities, Sigma Betas will learn how to follow in the footsteps of conservationist, botanist, and inventor, George Washington Carver.  Carver is one of Sigma’s illustrious members, and is recognized for his groundbreaking research on plant biology and early experiments to improve soil conservation.  Carver is also the only member of a historically African-American fraternity to be featured on the face of a U.S. coin (The 1951 half dollar).

Sigma Betas will also learn about designing an active lifestyle, and the connection between outdoor recreation and nature through Let’s Move Outside.  The effort is part of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative, Let’s Move, designed to get kids and families to get involved in physical activities on public lands.  Outdoor activity helps kids maintain a healthy weight, boosts their immunity and bone health and lowers stress. 

About the US Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit 

About Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded on January 9, 1914 at Howard University, Washington, DC. As the organization celebrates 100 years of service, it has grown to amass over 150,000 members serving in nearly 700 chapters globally. As an international association of college-educated men, the organization’s programmatic areas include Bigger & Better Business, Education, Social Action and the Sigma Beta Club, a male youth mentoring program. The organization has corporate service partnerships with the March of Dimes Foundation and St. Jude’s Children’s Research.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sergio A. Mims: 'From September 2014, Maestro Kevin John Edusei will serve as Chief Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra'

From September 2014, Maestro Kevin John Edusei will serve as Chief Conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, one of four symphony orchestras in Munich. 

Sergio A. Mims writes:

Here's some important news that slipped by us. Kevin John Edusei has been appointed the chief conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra starting in Sept. 2014.  

And I've attached a press kit and a photo of him in action.


Comment by email:
Best wishes, Kevin John Edusei

Eric Conway: Morgan State University 2014 Faculty and Student Art Exhibition Open to May 18, 2014

Faculty Artist: Blaise DePaolo

Student Artist Donte Cotton

Student Artist: Gail Evans

Eric Conway, D.M.A. of Morgan State University:

Hello everyone,

The Visual Arts Area of the Fine and Performing Arts Department is holding their annual Faculty and Student Exhibition in the James E Lewis Museum of Art from April 17, 2014 - May 18, 2014.  Last Thursday, the department hosted two receptions 1) the opening reception for the Exhibition and 2) a reception for a visiting artist and former faculty member Joyce Scott renowned at the "Queen of Beadwork".  Although the department has more Graphic Arts majors than any other concentration, Multi-Media is is the fasting growing concentration in the Visual Arts area. One will notice many pieces of Art using Multi Media in presentation. I encourage you to visit the James E Lewis Museum to see these beautiful works of Art displayed in the gallery. Although not practical to share all the works of art displayed by our students and faculty, please see some snapshots of some of the Art displayed.  Thank you.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Harlem Chamber Players Present Their 'Spring Finale Concert' at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 521 West 126th Street, NYC, Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 3 PM

St. Mary's Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street
New York, NY 10027
Between Broadway and Amsterdam
Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 3 PM

Tali Makell, conductor;
Hassan Anderson, oboe; Sarah Scruby, oboe;   
Carl Jackson, clarinet; Liz Player, clarinet;  
Eric Davis, French horn; Deryck Clarke, French horn;  
Amy Fraser, bassoon; David Miller, bassoon
Steve Moran, double bass

Hummel Partita in E-flat Major
Pleyel Partita-Octet in B-flat Major
Beethoven Octet in E-flat, Op. 103 

Eric K. Washington  

Eric K. Washington
Journalist, Historian and Author, Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem 

The Trinity Chancel Choir and Chamber Orchestra | Patrick D. McCoy

Patrick D. McCoy sends this link:

The Trinity Chancel Choir and Chamber Orchestra presented “The Seven Last Words of Christ” by Théodore Dubois as a part of the annual Good Friday Memorial Concert at Trinity Church, Washington, D. C. with soprano Angeli Ferrette, Wayne Jennings, tenor and Shannon Steed, bass-baritone. Guest organist was Edmond Charles. 

Michigan Governor Appoints Sphinx Founder Aaron P. Dworkin to Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Aaron P. Dworkin (b. 1970), Founder and President, Sphinx Organization, is featured at
(Photo: Kevin Kennedy)

Sphinx is thrilled to share that Sphinx Founder and President Aaron Dworkin has been appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Aaron Dworkin is the newest addition to this 15-person council, which helps create an environment of artistic and cultural activity to support Michigan's quality of life and economic vitality. 

Please see the link below for the press release on this exciting appointment.

Snyder makes appointment to Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Monday, April 21, 2014

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sign Historic MOU to Engage Urban Youth in Outdoor Recreation and STEM Education

George Washington Carver

Initiative commemorates American scientist, botanist, and inventor, George Washington Carver to promote Conservation of North American Wildlife and their Habitats

WASHINGTON– On April 23, FWS Director Dan Ashe will join Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. President Jonathan A. Mason for an historic MOU signing.  The partnership establishes a broad framework for engagement of urban youth in outdoor physical recreation through the “Let’s Move Outside!” program and in hands-on science activities to promote interest in the biological sciences.  The initiative commemorates American scientist, botanist and inventor George Washington Carver.

Dan Ashe, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Jonathan A. Mason, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
Rep. John Lewis, invited
Harry Belafonte (actor and activist), invited
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 3:30 p.m. EDT,
South Interior Building Auditorium
Department of Interior
1951 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20245
Noemi Perez, USFWS, 703-358-2688,
Ron Carter, Phi Beta Sigma, 626-345-1413,
Media wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP with press contact by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 22. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit, or connect with us media channels

– FWS –

'On An Overgrown Path': Jan Willis: "If life were just, I would become a great conductor"

Bob Shingleton of On An Overgrown Path writes:

Hey Bill, tangential, but, nevertheless, a nice story -



On An Overgrown Path

April 21, 2014

by Jan Willis
One of my earliest and fondest memories is of standing in the center of our kitchen at about age four, stick baton in hand, "conducting" symphonies by Dvořák and Rimsky-Korsakov*. My mother had given in to my pleas for the 78 rpm records. She thought the music completely unappealing and constantly yelled at me for turning the volume up, but I loved her without bounds for buying me the ninety-eight cent record.

For days and weeks, I was completely lost in the roaring sonorities of Scheherazade and in the somber strains of the New World Symphony. My head and arms sunk and rose in waves and flurries as the music wholly enveloped me. I thought the New World particularly moving, somehow divinely captivating. Its sound struck a deep, still, soul-place in me, though I did not and could not say why. It was only much later that I learned of Dvořák's interest in black spirituals. 

I do not remember when I first heard classical music. Nor do I know how I could have known the names of particular composers. I suspect I first heard the music in movies such as Walt Disney's Fantasia or on television. How I ever claimed to comprehend the intricacies of musical notation and meter I am not sure. Yet I was somehow drawn intensely and irrevocably towards this kind of creativity; and I marveled that in music, as in mathematics, there was a language that was universal. And so, for a time, while my father was toiling away at making steel in the fiery blast furnaces of the Ensley mill, I determined that if life were just, I would become a great conductor.
That is Jan Willis in the photo above, and the extract is from her autobiographical Dreaming Me. She grew up in Docena, Alabama in the 1950s when life was even less just then than it is today. While Jan Willis was discovering classical music, America's leading impresario declared that he didn't believe in male "Negro symphony conductors", yet alone female Negro symphony conductors. Fortunately, classical music's loss was spirituality's gain: after studying with Lama Yeshe - who also influenced Philip Glass - Jan Willis went on to become the first African American scholar-practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2000 she was named one of the six spiritual innovators for the new millennium by Time magazine and today is professor of religion and East Asian studies at Wesleyan University

* While writing this post I was prompted to put a Rimsky symphony on the CD player; David Zinman's account of the Second Symphony Antar with the Rotterdam Philharmonic just happened to be the one I put my hand on. Listening to it again was a salutary reminder of how classical music's big opportunity is neglected music.

No review samples involved; but dependent arising dictated that the very cheap copy of Dreaming Me that I bought online came signed by Jan Willis

Sunday, April 20, 2014

John Malveaux: 'Number of Black-Owned TV Stations Plummets to Zero'

John Malveaux of writes:

Please see

John Malveaux`

We just experienced a shameful milestone in the history of U.S. media — and barely anyone noticed.

There are now zero black-owned and operated full-power TV stations in our country.

This sorry state of affairs is the culmination of a trend that started in the late 1990s when Congress and the Federal Communications Commission allowed massive consolidation in the broadcasting industry. This policy shift crowded out existing owners of color and ensured that it would be nearly impossible for new owners to access the public airwaves. Recent FCC actions (and in some cases, inaction) have only hastened this decline in opportunities for diverse broadcasters.

From Little … to Nothing

When Free Press released its first report on the state of TV ownership in 2006, we found that there were only 18 African American-owned and operated full-power commercial TV stations — representing just 1.3 percent of all such stations.

By December 2012, those 18 had shrunk to just five. And now they’re all gone.