Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Michael S. Wright: 'Black and Ethnic Minority Representation in Music Broadcasting' in Britain

Shirley J. Thompson 

Wayne Marshall

Duke Ellington (1899-1974) 
is featured at

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) 
is profiled at,
 which features a comprehensive Works List 
and a Bibliography by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma,  
We are collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]

Michael S. Wright writes:

FYI re my letter to Edward Vaizey – Britain’s Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.

Shirley Thompson is an amazingly talented and successful composer of Jamaican descent who I met some 20 years ago.

The e-mail I sent was copied in to a number of relevant artists and performers

From: Shirley Thompson [] 

Sent: 26 August 2014 03:12

To: michael wright

Subject: Re: Black and Ethnic Minority Representation in Music Broadcasting

Dear Michael,

Thanks for copying me into your insightful email to Hon Ed Vaizey, MP. I entirely concur with the issue you've raised and the points you make. It is particularly interesting to be reminded that Samuel Coleridge Taylor had a prom performance in 1914. 100 years later and the Classical prom programme excludes music by persons of colour from Britain, or anywhere else in the world for that matter!

I have several orchestral works that could easily be included in the prom. They have been recorded by world-leading musicians such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the BBC Concert Orchestra Principals et al. Please see century/id882808507. I have also been performed in 38 major opera houses worldwide including Sydney Opera House, City Center New York, the Royal Opera House and the Mariinsky Opera House.

I am not sure of the criteria employed in programming for the prom and would like to know. I am also curious to find out how classical works make it onto the Radio 3 and Classic FM playlists.

I look forward to progressing this enquiry and developing a list of persons wanting to see appropriate changes to the BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM playlists.

Best wishes,

Dr Shirley J. Thompson FRSA
Composer, Conductor, Creative Director, 
Academic, Violinist
Tel: 07976 941421

On Saturday, 23 August 2014, 12:55, michael wright <> wrote:

The Hon Edward Vaizey
Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries

Dear Mr Vaizey,
I refer to recent campaigns and I follow on from recent concerns over the disproportionally low representation of Black and Ethnic Minorities working in the media industry,  I have good reason to believe that there is a massive under-representation of people of non-European origin in the broadcasting of all forms of  music outside the ‘pop’ music industry. Black Asian and people from ethnic minorities make up 14% of the UK population yet less than 6% of the people who work in the media are from ethnic minorities!
A prime example of the disproportion of broadcast ‘classical’ music by Black and Ethnic minorities can be seen in this years’ listing of the ‘BBC Proms’. Practically all of the music is by White composers of European origin. However, I must acknowledge that this years’ Prom 30: ‘Battle of the Bands’ – does contain some music by the great African American jazz composer-performers Duke Ellington and Count Basie. However, this was somewhat marginalised by the timing and format. It is interesting to note that Prom 24 held on Friday 11 Sept 1914, at 8.00pm in the Queen's Hall did include Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Scenes from 'The Song of Hiawatha', Op 30. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 1875-1912 was a major composer of mixed African and English origin who was born in London and during his lifetime rivalled the much more well known composer, Sir Edward Elgar.
The BBC Proms have been long-held to be the flagship classical music festival in the UK. However, those responsible for programming these concerts and selecting the artists performing and the composers represented have clearly missed the mark in the ethnic balance for this years’ Proms. I believe that the inclusion of Wayne Marshall as one of the presenters is little more than a ‘token representation.'
Whilst the BBC have come some way in recent years to make more efforts to include music by Black and Ethnic Minorities in their programmes on BBC Radio 3 and BBC 4, there is still much more work required to redress this imbalance.
I believe the BBC, Classic FM and other UK channels need to do much more to make sure more black, Asian and ethnic minorities are employed in all aspects of the media whether they are artists or presenters..
Kind Regards,

Michael Wright
Way House,
Nr Beaworthy,
EX21 5SL

I have now added the following listing of Wayne Marshall’s impressive list previous performances at the BBC Proms and highlighted those that have featured performances of music by composers or arrangers of African origin or descent including his own works.
(1988) Prom 30 - Tuesday 16 August, 7.30pm - Francis Poulenc - Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor
(1996) Prom 30 - Sunday 11 August, 9.30pm - Igor Stravinsky - Concerto for piano and wind instruments
(1997) Prom 73 - Last Night of the Proms 1997 - Saturday 13 September, 7.30pm  -George Gershwin - Variations on 'I got Rhythm' Olivier Messiaen - L' Ascension (organ version)
(1998) Prom 20 - Saturday 1 August, 6.30pm - George Gershwin - Porgy and Bess
(1999) Prom 43 - Duke Ellington: A Centenary Celebration - Thursday 19 August, 10.00pm Billy Strayhorn - Take the 'A' train, Duke Ellington – Solitude, Louis Bellson - The Hawk Talks, Duke Ellington - It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing, Duke Ellington – Juniflip, Duke Ellington - Drop me Off in Harlem, Duke Ellington - Sophisticated Lady, Duke Ellington - Such Sweet Thunder, Duke Ellington - I Got It Bad, And That Ain't Good, Duke Ellington - Rockin' in Rhythm, Duke Ellington - Time's A-Wastin' (Things Ain't What They Used To Be), Duke Ellington - Mood Indigo, Duke Ellington - Satin Doll (This was extremely well performed with the BBC Big Band but to my mind, somehow lacked something you could hear in the originals which I have on CD transfers of the old records – my comment!)
(2001) Prom 29 - Saturday 11 August, 7.00pm - Olivier Messiaen - La nativité du Seigneur, Olivier Messiaen - Messe de la Pentecôte, Olivier Messiaen - L' Ascension (organ version)
(2005) Prom 08 - Thursday 21 July, 7.30pm - James MacMillan - A Scotch Bestiary
(2008) Prom 01 - First Night of the Proms 2008 - Friday 18 July, 8.00pm  - Olivier Messiaen - La nativité du Seigneur, Richard Strauss - Festliches Präludium
(2008) Prom 22 - Sunday 3 August, 4.00pm - Olivier Messiaen – Prélude, Wayne Marshall - Organ improvisation on Themes by Messiaen, Olivier Messiaen - Verset pour la Fête de la Dédicace, Dupré - Organ Symphony No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op 26, Naji Subhy Paul Irénée Hakim - Pange lingua, Jeanne Demessieux - Te Deum, Op 11
(2010) Prom 20 - Sunday 1 August, 4.00pm - Richard Wagner - Tannhäuser, WWV 70 (arr. Edwin Lemare), Wayne Marshall - Organ improvisation on Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries', Wayne Marshall - Organ improvisation on Themes from Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde', Richard Wagner - Die Walküre, WWV 86b (arr. Edwin Lemare), Richard Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, WWV 96 (arr. Edwin Lemare)
(2012) Prom 70: Desert Island Discs 70th-Anniversary Prom - Monday 3 September, 7.30pm - J. S. Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565

Sergio Mims: Opera News: Nmon Ford as Macbeth is “compelling, weak, nervous, delusional in his courageousness. His voice crisp and burnished."

Nmon Ford,

Nmon Ford in Bloch's Macbeth

Sergio A. Mims writes:

I have some very important major news happening next month at the Chicago Opera Theater for their new production of Ernest Bloch's opera Macbeth:

Nmon Ford as Macbeth

From the moment the curtain rises, this 110-minute non-stop thriller captures the dark and bloody world where ambition and revenge run rampant.  Nmon Ford as Macbeth is “compelling, weak, nervous, delusional in his courageousness. His voice crisp and burnished.” (Opera News). 

A featured soloist on 2010’s Grammy Award-winning Transmigrations (Telarc) and 2006’s 4-time Grammy Award-winning (including “Best Classical Recording”) Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Naxos), Los Angeles native Nmon Ford appeared most recently with the symphonies of St. Louis and Atlanta (Carmina Burana), Opéra National de Bordeaux (Jochanaan, Salome), Michigan Opera Theater (Zurga, The Pearl Fishers), Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Don Giovanni), Sferisterio Festival in Italy (Attila), and the Grafenegg Festival (Austria). Under the auspices of the Claremont Colleges, he sang his first performances as Wotan (Die Walküre).  He made his Ravinia debut with James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony in Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony, and he has soloed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Nmon was vocal arranger and lead singer for the CD Vai DaCapo – Songs of Delight (Billboard Top 20 – Classical) and has performed lead roles in several festival-bound feature films.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Awadagin Pratt Performs 'Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor with the Ciompi Quartet at Duke' University 8 PM, Saturday, September 20, 2014

Awadagin Pratt

The career of Awadagin Pratt continues to fascinate us.  We have a few of his recordings in our collection, including the Brahms disc he recorded on Telarc with cellist Zuill Bailey.  The following program is just one of four he has listed at his website for the month of September 2014:

The home page of Awadagin Pratt,,  announces:

Awadagin will be performing the Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor with the Ciompi Quartet at Duke:

September 20 - Durham, NC
8:00 p.m., Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University
Performance with the Ciompi Quartet
Brahms: Quintet in F Minor

Ciompi Concert No. 1 featuring Awadagin Pratt, Piano

Saturday, September 20 | 8 pm
$10 all students
General Admission
In the Ciompi Quartet’s venerable tradition of opening each season with a work by Haydn, this program begins with the vivacious String Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 50, no. 1, the first of the composer’s Prussian quartets. Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Minor, op. 95 (“Serioso”), follows, a compact composition with a sense of liberation that echoes the bravura Overture from Egmont. In the evening’s boldly expressive finale, Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F Minor, op. 34, the Ciompi are joined by Awadagin Pratt, a charismatic pianist who started his illustrious career with a Naumburg International Piano Competition win and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. "Pratt plays with a full-bodied intensity that can be at turns intimate and grandly heart-wrenching. He has a story to tell, and you can hear him agonizing over every twist. Pratt commands your unfailing attention” (Newsweek).


Haydn: String Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 50, no. 1
Beethoven: String Quartet in F Minor, op. 95 (“Serioso”)
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F Minor, op. 34

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tours of Tennessee and Mississippi You Don't Want to Miss - ASALH Annual Convention

99th Annual Convention
Tickets to the Convention Tours are selling quickly.


Space is limited. To ensure you do not miss out on these historic and informative tours purchase your tickets today.

We are sure you will agree that our 99th Annual Convention tours are some of the best yet.

Tours can be purchased as part of a Full Convention Package or separately, as A La Carte Events. Read pricing details by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Pre-Conference Henning, Tennessee "Roots" Tour, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Tour Alex Haley House Museum & Interpretive Center
  • Historic Henning, TN Tour
  • Bethlehem Cemetery
  • Gravesite of Chicken George & other Haley Ancestors
  • Fort Pillow State Park
    • The Battle of Fort Pillow, also known as the Fort Pillow Massacre, was fought on April 12, 1864, at Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River in Henning, Tennessee, during the American Civil War. The battle ended with a massacre of Federal black troops, some while attempting to surrender, by soldiers under the command of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Military historian David J. Eicher concluded, "Fort Pillow marked one of the bleakest, saddest events of American military history".
  • Box lunch provided
  • $80 Members, $85 Non-members
To Register Click Here. (choose A La Carte Event, then Wednesday Tour)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 
Experience the Pentecostal Movement and
Tour the Birthplace of the Church of God in Christ
In Lexington,Mississippi 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Walk in the footsteps of Charles H. Mason, founder of The Church of God in Christ, Inc. and experience how he and other COGIC leaders birthed a denomination that would impact the world.

More than 100 years ago, Brother Charles H. Mason began preaching about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and power from on high in the living room of the home of Brother John Lee.  This proved inadequate, however, and a white landowner, Mr. John Stewart Watson gave his consent for meeting services to be held in a nearby abandoned gin house.  Thus began what is today, The Church of god in Christ, Inc.

Join Pentecostal Heritage Connection and Pilgrimage Lexington/Holmes County, Mississippi as we tour The Birthplace of the Church of God in Christ.  The guided tour will visit the following sites:
  • Asia Missionary Baptist Church where Brother Charles H. Mason, Sr. first preached about Sanctification
  • St. Paul Church of God in Christ, known as "The Mother Church"
  • The site of the first Church (where the Gin House once stood)
  • The Courthouse cell where Bishop C.H. Mason was jailed for expounding pacifism and being a conscientious objector to war.
  • Saints Industrial and Literary School - Saints Academy
  • Lunch provided
 To register click here to download the form.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Memphis Black History Tour, 7:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

  •  Beale Street Historic District
  •  W. C. Handy Memphis Home & Museum
  •  Handy Park & Statue
  •  Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
  •  Ida B. Wells Historic Sites
  •  First Baptist Beale Street Church - 1st Newspaper Office
  •  Historical Marker - 2nd Newspaper Office
  •  People's Grocery Historical Marker - Site of store of Lynching victims
  •  City Jail - Location from which lynching victims were transported
  •  Robert R. Church Park - Historical Marker & Plaques
  •  Mary Church Terrell Historical Marker
  •  Hunt Phelan Home - Civil Ward Headquarters - Freedman's School
  •  Dr. Marking Luther King Labor Center
  •  Martyr Park - Yellow Fever Historical Marker
  •  Mason Temple - Dr. King's Last speech
  •  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  •  Cossitt Library - 1st Sit in Location
  •  LeMoyne Owen College - HBCU
  •  Elmwood Cemetery
  •  Zion Cemetery - Established after slavery
  •  Stax Museum of American Soul Music
  •  University of West Tennessee - Black Medical School (Historical Marker)
  •  Tom Lee Park - Mississippi River Hero
  •  Clayborn Temple - Dr. King's Last March
  •  Tri-State Bank - Only Black-owned Bank
  •  Memphis Massacre Location- Historical Marker
  • $70 Members, $80 Non-members 
 To register click here. (Choose A La Carte Event, then Thursday Tour)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Post-Conference Ida B. Wells Museum Tour 
in Holly Springs, Mississippi, 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Ida B. Wells Museum
  • Rust College
  • Hillcrest Cemetery
    • The resting place of Hiram Revels, the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate
  • Box Lunch Included 
  • $80 Members $85 Non-members
To register click here(Choose A La Carte Event, then Sunday Tour)

Times of Trenton: "'Classical Discoveries' has explored the work of women and black composers"; "guests over the years have included...Tania León"

Tania Justina León (b. 1943) 
has a web site at 
 and  is featured at

Marvin Rosen: "Story about Classical Discoveries in The Times of Trenton"

Dear Friends of Classical Discoveries:

I hope that you are all well. It has been a long time since you received any correspondence from me. I know how annoying multiple mass e-mails can be which is why I try not to bother you too often but I would like to share with you very exciting news.
Ross Amico of The Times of Trenton wrote a really great story about me and Classical Discoveries which appeared in the Friday, August 22 edition of the paper. I hope that you will enjoy reading this article.  

If you are on Facebook, you may have already seen it. If you are not, here is a link to the article titled: Host Marvin Rosen airs overlooked musical gems on WPRB radio: 

Ross Amico
For The Times of Trenton
"Other guests over the years have included Derek Bermel, Carson Cooman, Eriks Ešenvalds, Eric Ewazen, Paul Lansky, Tania León..."

"Classical Discoveries has explored the work of women and black composers, Jewish-inspired music, special memorial shows and holiday shows, as well as shows devoted to specific themes or geographic regions."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 Africa Travel Association & Uganda Road Show Coming to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and New York

  The Africa Travel Association & Uganda Ministry of Tourism Launch U.S. Road Show, September 2nd-8th, 2014

 The tour visits Los Angeles (Dinner) September 2, 6-9 PM; Atlanta September 3, 6-8 PM; Washington, D.C. September 4, 6-8 PM and New York September 8, 6-8 PM.

The Africa Travel Association (ATA) with a high-level delegation from the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities led by Honorable Minister Maria Mutagamba will launch a U.S. promotional road show with stops in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and New York in September. 

The road show is part of the promotions for ATA's 39th Annual World Congress in Kampala scheduled for November 11-16, 2014.

The goal of the promotional road show is to build business relationships and linkages between American tour operators, travel specialists, media and the Ugandan tourism industry. The road show offers event participants the opportunity to gather information about ATA's 39th Annual World Congress in Kampala, including official airline specials from Brussels Airlines, accommodations, pre-and post-country tours, as well as program highlights.

Each city stop features an evening networking reception hosted by ATA and local chapter members, including tour operators, in which travel industry professionals will have the opportunity to learn about ATA's 39th Annual World Congress and the Destination Uganda. In each city Brussels Airlines, the Official Congress Airline, will also raffle off tickets to attendees to win tickets to attend the Congress.

Please RSVP by emailing or call +1.212.447.1357. Kindly include your title and company affiliation along with your RSVP.

For More Travel info, visit             


Comment by email:
Hi Bill, Hope you are well. Thanks for the post below and all that you do. I hope that I am fortunate enought to meet you one day.  Take care and let's stay in touch.   Kitty [Kitty Pope] 

Saturday, August 23, 2014 Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum: 'Black Talkies to Focus on Scott Joplin' Saturday, August 30 @ 4pm, Culver City, CA

Culver City Crossroads

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Black Talkies on Parade begins a two month celebration of ragtime with a screening of the film Scott Joplin. Directed by Jeremy Kagan, this 1977 bio-pic stars Billy Dee Williams and features Clifton Davies, Art Carney and music legend Eubie Blake. The film tells the story of Joplin also known as the “King of Ragtime.” Joplin composed many of the genre’s greatest hits including the Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer and helped bring ragtime to a wider audience.


Mickey Thomas Terry Performs Organ Works by Bach, Dupre and African-American Composers at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC, 5 PM, Oct. 12

Morningstar Music Publishers

Mickey Thomas Terry
On Sunday, October 12 at 5pm, Mickey Thomas Terry will be presented in recital at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York as part of "The Great Organ" series.  Performed will be organ works by Bach, Dupre, and African-American composers.  Terry is the editor of the critically-acclaimed "African-American Organ Music Anthology," published by MorningStar Music Publishers of St. Louis.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Antara Ensemble in works by Bizet, Dvorak & Telemann, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 8:00 p.m. Saint Peter’s Church at Citicorp 619 Lexington Ave. at 54th St, NYC

Harold Jones

William Foster McDaniel

On Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:00 PM, at Saint Peter’s Church at CitiCorp, 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, New York City, conductor/flutist Harold Jones will lead members of the Antara Ensemble in Georges Bizet’s Adagietto and Antonin Dvorák’s Serenade, and William Foster McDaniel will be guest conductor for Georg Phillipp Telemann’s Suite in A minor for Flute and Strings
Tickets are $25; seniors (62 and over) and students $20.  For information and reservations: (212) 866-2545 or

The ANTARA ENSEMBLE, now in its 21st season, was formed by Harold Jones to bring quality classical music at affordable prices to the culturally diverse neighborhoods of New York.  The group performs a repertoire spanning centuries and including works by American, African-American, European and Third World composers.

A native of Chicago and a graduate of Juilliard, HAROLD JONES has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Tully Hall, CAMI Hall and other New York venues, Jordan Hall in Boston, and throughout the U.S., Europe and Taiwan.  He has performed as flute soloist with The Bach Aria Orchestra, American Symphony, New York Sinfonietta, Brooklyn Philharmonia, National Orchestral Association, and is on the faculties of the Westchester Conservatory of Music and Manhattanville College.  His recordings on the Antara label include two LPs and three CDs: “Let Us Break Bread Together”, “Just As I Am” and “Lil’ Lite O’ Mine”.

Composer/conductor WILLIAM FOSTER McDANIEL received a Master of Music degree from Boston University; he also studied as a Fulbright Scholar with Jacques Fevrier in Paris.  His works have been performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, New Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles. 

# # #

John Malveaux: Albany Records has posted new videos on YouTube of George Walker, piano

George Walker (b. 1922) 
has a website at
and is featured at

John Malveaux of 

Albany Records has posted new videos on Youtube of George Walker, piano. Albany Records continues its series of recordings by George Walker, who has achieved international recognition as a pianist and as a composer. See Albany TROY523 (2002)

John Malveaux