Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kelly Hall-Tompkins: Olivier Messaien 'Quartet for the End of Time,' New York Concerts and Eastman Masterclass

"Imagination" Music Video Album
Now 392,682 Total Views on You Tube
THANK YOU for watching!!

Tonight in Atlanta

Brevard 2014 07 27 Barber ViolinConcerto Mvt3

Published on Jan 24, 2015
Kelly Hall-Tompkins plays the Barber Violin Concerto with Keith Lockhart at the Brevard Music Festival, July 2014.

Upcoming Concerts and Events:
January 29  Feature Performance at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), with Craig Ketter, piano; event also features Soldedad O'brien, CNN as keynote speaker
January 30  Masterclass at the Eastman School of Music
February 1  Recital, Brooklyn Public Library Concert Series, with Craig Ketter, piano
February 12  Co-Soloist in Vivaldi Double Concerto, Chamber Orchestra of NY, Carnegie Weill Hall, with Daniel Khalikov, violin
February 15  Co-Soloist in Vivaldi Double Concerto, Chamber Orchestra of NY, First Church of Fairfield, CT, with Daniel Khalikov, violin

2015 is already off to an exciting start!  I have very much enjoyed rehearsing and performing  the poignant and profound Messaien Quartet for the End of Time, first in Jacksonville, FL and now here in Atlanta with my Ritz Chamber Players colleagues.  I am also very excited to have the opportunity to go back to my alma mater, the Eastman School of Music, to teach a masterclass next week!  My performance videos of the Barber Violin Concerto with Keith Lockhart at the Brevard Music Festival were temporarily removed due to a minor glitch.  The videos have now been reposted on You Tube and are available to watch here.  Thank you for all you do!

Michael S. Wright says Rebeca Omordia plays 'Beethoven Op 109 on You Tube with REAL understanding'; he hopes to hear her 'at (say) the Wigmore Hall, London'

Beethoven Piano Sonata op 109 Rebeca Omordia

On January 22, 2015 AfriClassical posted:

Michael S. Wright comments:

Great news. Having heard her playing Beethoven Op 109 on You Tube with REAL understanding, I hope she performs Fred's new Kaleidoscopes at (say) the Wigmore Hall, London one day!


Association for the Study of African American Life and History: Black History Month Kit includes both posters and Black History Bulletin for $40

Sylvia Y. Cyrus, Executive Director, ASALH, forwards the above announcement about the Black History Month Kit for 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago, Travel Grants Applications and Proposals Sought - Application deadline: February 1, 2015

CBMR travel grants of up to $1,000 are available 

and are awarded on a competitive basis 
to applicants who demonstrate the ability to 
launch and complete a scholarly, performance-
based, or otherwise creative research project 
that significantly utilizes holdings in the 

Applications are accepted from teachers,
independent researchers and scholars,
performers, conductors, composers, multi-
media artists, and graduate students in all genres
of black music and from other disciplines. Faculty
members are encouraged to recommend this grant
program to their graduate students who are writing
dissertations and theses or preparing for
performances and recordings. Application deadlines
are February 1 and September 1.
Eligibility for these travel grants is restricted to those
who reside or attend school beyond commuting
distance of the Center for Black Music Research (more
than 100 miles from Chicago). 
The grants are supported with funds that have been
given to the Center in honor of CBMR founder and
director emeritus Samuel A. Floyd Jr. and in memory
of Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. 
Additional information and application forms are
available at
You may donate to this fund on the CBMR website or by
creating a personal record in the CBMR’s new online
Active Net database.
Copyright © 2015 Center for Black Music Research,
All rights reserved.

Essex County College, New Jersey, Music Professor Richard Alston Honored by The Juilliard School

Richard C. Alston

Richard C. Alston:

Hello Bill,
Essex County College in Newark, NJ where I am Associate Professor and Performing Arts Coordinator interviewed me regarding my recently being honored by The Juilliard School. I would like to share this with you and the followers of Africlassical.
Prof. Richard Alston

by Wayne Yourstone

When Essex County College Music Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Performing Arts Richard Alston performed “Troubled Water,” he was... honoring African American composer and pianist Margaret Allison Bonds. Now he is being honored for his heartfelt piano rendition of Ms. Bonds’ spiritual “Wade in the Water” by his alma mater, The Julliard School. Professor Alston’s video of “Troubled Water” is the winner of The Juilliard School Alumni Video of the Month for January. In his repertoire since the late 1990s, Alston performed this version of “Troubled Waters" in concert at the First Congregational Church of Montclair, NJ. 

His performance is here: He earned both bachelor and master degrees from the famed New York City school. “I’ve performed Liszt and Chopin over the years, but to be honored for a piece by a famed African American composer, well that makes me especially happy,” said the outgoing professor. He submitted the video about a year ago, so he admitted being caught a little off guard when he received the email from Juilliard informing him of the monthly honor. That particular piece was described by renowned poet Maya Angelou as one of Ms. Bonds’ “masterpieces.” Ms. Bonds died in 1972. 

The honor also benefits Essex County College in general and the music program in particular. It also brightens the spotlight on another of Professor Alston’s initiatives. Professor Alston is host and producer of the Cablevision production of “Performing Arts Showcase,” recorded at the College, and featuring musicians and other performers in the area. “When you watch the telecasts, you really get to see Essex County College,” he said. “You see the College from the outside, you see our wonderful Mary Burch Theater and most importantly, you see our students in class and performing.” 

The East Orange resident also finds time to put on a lecture/performance of “Classically Black: Composers of African Descent” at college campuses around the country. When he was a student, Professor Alston was once told by a teacher to “lift as you climb.” “I’ve kept that line in my heart and soul all these years. I believe that as a person has opportunities in life, they should bring everyone they can along with them. I’m thankful I’ve been able to do just that with our students.” He was also “lifted” over the years. He recalled that his first music teacher who inspired him was a African American woman who was also a Juilliard graduate and a fellow East Orange resident Dorothy Early. And now, he is in a position to “lift as you climb.” 

Dominique-René de Lerma: University of Chicago Arts Master Class: Chi-chi Nwanoku, Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 4 PM, Logan Center Penthouse, 9th Floor

Chi-chi Nwanoku
(Photo: University of Chicago)

Dominique-René de Lerma:

Date & Time

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
4:00 PM


Logan Center, Performance Penthouse 901


FREE and open to the public


Music Department


Chi-chi Nwanoku studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she received her Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRCM) teacher’s and her ARCM (Associate of the Royal College of Music) performer’s with Honors. She was awarded the Principal’s Prize and the Eugene Cruft Double Bass Prize after graduating, and later won win four scholarships, including The Royal Society of Arts, to further her studies with Franco Petracchi in Rome.

She has become one of England’s most sought after double bassists, and has developed a worldwide reputation as one of the finest musicians on her instrument today.

Chi-chi's first professional position was as principal double bass with the London Mozart Players, and since then she has worked as principal and soloist with many of Europe’s prestigious chamber orchestras and ensembles. These include the Academy of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, English Baroque Soloists, London Classical Players and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique.

She is Principal Double Bass with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (of which she is also a founder member) and Endymion Ensemble. She is professor at the Royal Academy of Music, and gives masterclasses at music institutions worldwide.

UChicago Residency Schedule*:
Feb. 9

Black Cinema House (A program of Rebuld Foundation)
7200 S. Kimbark Ave., Chicago

"Chi-chi: Tales from the Base Line"
Dirs: Barrie Gavin & Chris Cox , UK, 50 min.

Barrie Gavin's and Chris Cox's compelling documentary portrait of Chi-chi Nwanoku, a world renowned virtuoso of one of the most challenging musical instruments, the double bass. The effervescent and indomitable Chi-chi recounts the hurdles she faced growing up as a mixed-race child and scaling the musical establishment in Britain, interspersed with luscious performances of Haydn, Berlioz, Elgar, Dvorak, and others.
Ms. Nwanoku will be in person at the screening for a Q&A afterward.

Feb. 10
12:00-1:30 pm
Currency Exchange Café

305 E. Garfield Blvd., Chicago

"Brownbag Discussion with Students"

4:00-6:00 pm
Logan Center, Penthouse (9th fl)
915 E. 60th St.

"Double bass Master Class"

Feb. 11
1:00-2:30 pm
Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture

5733 S. University Ave., Chicago

"Table Talk"
(lunch provided)

*Co-sponsored by the Department of Music, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, and Arts+Public Life.

Dominique-René de Lerma

Regina Harris Baiocchi: 11th Annual Haiku Festival

Dear Poets, Teachers & Parents:

Happy New Year! The 11th Annual Haiku Festival is underway and we'd love for you to participate! (Like many people, our webmaster suffered 3 colds and a flu since October. I’m happy to report all’s well and our site is updated. PRESS F5 to refresh our website screens as needed)… Here are the 2015 guidelines and info:

Ø Poets ages 8-14 (3rd-8th graders) send one, original poetry to win prizes*
Ø Haiku Festival offers free workshops at your school, place of worship, etc.
Ø Submit one poem online: or via the attached entry form

*This year we’ll award prizes in 3 different age groups, a bit different from previous years:

3rd and 4th graders
1st Prize = $100
2nd Prize = $50
3rd Prize = $20

5th and 6th graders
1st Prize = $100
2nd Prize = $50
3rd Prize = $20

7th and 8th graders
1st Prize = $100
2nd Prize = $50
3rd Prize = $20

          Founders Award: One $25 Prize regardless of age or grade level
          Gwendolyn Brooks Award: One $25 Prize to a CPS student
          Poem of the School Award: One $10 Prize per School
          Honorable Mention & All Participants: Certificate of Participation

Look forward to hearing from you…

312-253-7453 (v-mail)

Ritz Chamber Players Sat., Jan. 24, 2015, 8 PM Ties That Bind: From Swastika to Jim Crow; Adolphus Hailstork: American Landscape No. 2 for Violin & Cello

Adolphus C. Hailstork (b. 1941) 
is featured at

Ritz Chamber Players

Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, Morehouse College

Adolphus Hailstork: American Landscape No. 2 for violin and piano

Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Violin
Terrence Wilson, Piano
Tahirah Whittington, Cello
Terrance L. Patterson, Clarinet

Concerts are Free and Open to the Public
Donations are encouraged
Secure your seat at today

Dominique-René de Lerma: Chicago Sinfonietta: Social Media was buzzing after our Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Concert Tribute to MLK
Social media was buzzing after our Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. performance. Check out just a few highlights!

“A concert that beautifully demonstrated Dr. Kings vision... The program included amazingly talented young musicians from diverse backgrounds and ages... It was an emotional moment and truly an honor to Dr. King's legacy.”
- Beth Davidson Sances

"The Sinfonietta is a priceless treasure - Wow!”
- Ellen Sheaffer

"...tonight was one of the best and moving concerts I've ever experienced. There were moments of emotion peppered with tears.”
-  Trevonne Thompson

Dominique-René de Lerma

Sergio Mims: "Chi-chi: Tales from the Bass Line" to Screen in Chicago; Sergio Mims Hosts 'post-screening Q&A' After 7 PM Showing Feb. 9

Chi-chi Nwanoku

Sergio A. Mims tells us he is hosting a post-screening Question & Answer Session with Chi-chi Nwanoku after the 7 PM showing on February 9, 2015 at Chicago's Black Cinema House:

January 22, 2015 

Chi-chi Nwanoku, the world-renowned double-bass player, will attend a screening of Barrie Gavin's 2012 documentary, "Chi-chi: Tales from the Bass Line," at Chicago's Black Cinema House, 7200 South Kimbark Ave., Monday, February 9th, at 7pm. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Music and the Center for the Study of Race Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. Nwanoku will participate in a post-screening Q&A with CFCA member and Black Harvest Film Festival programmer Sergio Mims. She is also scheduled to give a talk and masterclass at the University of Chicago on Tuesday, February 10th (click here for the full line-up of events).

According to the official synopsis on the Black Cinema House site, Gavin's film includes interviews with Nwanoku where she "recounts the hurdles she faced growing up as a mixed-race child," the daughter of Nigerian and Irish parents, and "scaling the musical establishment in Britain." There is also ample performance footage in which Nwanoku tackles the work of such legendary composers as Joseph Haydn, Hector Berlioz, Edward Elgar and Antonín Dvořák.


Doors open at 6:30pm for the February 9th screening and Q&A. To RSVP, click here.