Saturday, November 29, 2008

Updates on FESAAM 2009, An African Chorus and ICMAD Artists Collaboration Feb. 12-15, 2009

Today we received an update from Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke on the 2009 Festival of African and African American Music (FESAAM 2009): Following are a few FESAAM 2009 updates. As usual you may look up other useful information of the FESAAM 2009 official website at Please share and forward widely. See you in Louie!
Orchestra Repertoire:

  1. Anxiety” for Symphony Orchestra by Lettie Beckon Alston

  2. Exodus” for String Orchestra by Jean Rudy Perrault

  3. Song of Harriet Tubman” for Soprano & Orchestra by Nkeiru Okoye

  4. Suite No. 3 for Orchestra” by Fred Onovwerosuoke

  5. Voices Shouting Out” for Symphony Orchestra by Nkeiru Okoye

  6. Tribute to Great African Composers” for Orchestra, Soprano, SATB Choir and Dancers.
    Fred Onovwerosuoke orchestration of J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Ephraim Amu, Ikoli Harcourt-Whyte, Dafuri Lamentations, South Africa Protest Chants, Fon Prayer Chants, and Mandinka Griot Praise Chants!

200-Voice FESAAM 2009 Mass Choir: The FESAAM 2009 Mass Choir is comprised of the Kirkwood Community College Concert Choir (Cedar Rapids, IA), Jazz Transit (Cedar Rapids, IA), St. Louis Children’s Choir (St. Louis, MO), University City High Concert Choir (St Louis, MO), Winneba Youth Choir of Ghana

Special Guest Roster:
Oboist Althea Ifeka (UK)
Pianist Silvia Belfiore (Italy) 
Pianist William Chapman-Nyaho (Renton, WA)
Pianist Susanne Garcia (Lafayette, LA)
Pianist Darryl Hollister (Boston, MA)
Pianist Laura Garritson (Elsah, IL)
Nyaho-Garcia Piano Duo (Seattle, WA) 
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine, (Chicago, IL)
Flutist Wendy Hymes (New Orleans, LA)
Flutist/Pianist Marie Jureit, (Stewart, FL)
Harpist Rashida Black (Chicago, IL)
Soprano Marie Hadley Robinson (Newark, DE)
Soprano Dawn Padmore (New York, NY)
Equinox Chamber Players (St. Louis, MO)  
Conductor Marlon Daniel (New York)
Jazz Transit A Cappella (Cedar Rapids, IA)

'Uniquely American' is Dayton Philharmonic's Contribution to 2008 William Grant Still Festival

[Uniquely American: Dr. Everett Jones, piano] ]
On Thursday, December 4 and Saturday, December 6 at 8 pm in the Schuster Center, as part of the William Grant Still Festival 2008 the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present Uniquely American, a musical program featuring the works of arguably the world’s greatest African American composer and Wilberforce University alumnus William Grant Still. DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman will open the program with Still’s Festive Overture. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra then performs Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7, which many consider “the pinnacle of his achievement as a composer.” Still’s Kaintuck’, a Poem for Piano and Orchestra follows with guest pianist Everett Jones performing. The program concludes with Still’s Afro-American Symphony featuring guest Herbert Martin narrating the poetry of Dayton native Paul Laurence Dunbar. The symphony’s blues inflections and energetic cross-rhythms are “a landmark in the history of American music as the first symphonic work by an African-American composer performed by a major orchestra.”

"William Grant Still was not only a pioneering African American composer,” Everett Jones states,” but an American composer who sought to unite different cultures through music; the festival is a celebration of his life and works, and it commemorates the 30th anniversary of his death.” At 6:30 pm on both evenings in the Mead Theatre, Judith Still (William Grant Still's daughter) will be conducting a Take Note discussion, which includes a PowerPoint presentation. On December 4 from 7 pm to 7:45 pm in the Wintergarden as part of the Stars of Tomorrow program, Stivers School for the Arts Ringing Tigers – Henrietta Cissy Matthews, Director – will perform. Hauer Music Company is the December 6 concert co-sponsor, Everett Jones is the Bill and Dianne Schneider Endowed Guest Artist. -- [William Grant Still (1895-1978) was born in Woodville, Mississippi and died in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma has compiled a comprehensive Works List, which he has generously made available for the William Grant Still page at

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cincinnati Enquirer's Janelle Gelfand Outlines Performances of 2008 William Grant Still Festival

[Africa: Piano Music of William Grant Still; Denver Oldham, piano; Koch 3 7084 2H1 (1991)]

Cincinnati Enquirer
Janelle Gelfand's Page 
Posted 11/28/2008 2:37 PM EST
William Grant Still was an important American composer, but his music is still rarely heard in concert halls. A festival of Still's music, taking place in Cincinnati, Dayton and at Wilberforce University next week is aiming to change that. Six concerts and events starting Monday will honor the 30th anniversary of Still's death in 1978. Still was born in 1895 in rural Mississippi, and raised in Little Rock, Ark. He grew up listening to opera on the family phonograph, a passion of his step-father. Although he dreamed of composing opera, he entered Ohio's Wilberforce University as a pre-med student at age 16. His mother feared he could not make a living as a musician because of his color.

He left school before graduating and got jobs playing in pit orchestras in Cincinnati and Dayton. He attended opera whenever he could, standing in the upper balconies or wherever African-Americans were allowed. His accomplishments speak not only of his distinguished career, but of the ground-breaking path he took. His Afro-American Symphony was the first symphony by an African-American composer to be performed by a leading orchestra in 1931. "When he wrote the Afro-American Symphony, my father was trying to elevate Negro music in the minds of people, so they would learn to value and respect it," his daughter, Judith Anne Still, told me several years ago. He was the first African-American to compose an opera produced by an important company, the first to conduct a major orchestra (the Los Angeles Philharmonic), and one of the first to write for radio, film and television. Still's Festive Overture won the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's contest for a "Jubilee Overture" in 1945.

Festival events:
Monday at 3:00 p.m. Festival opening ceremony at the National Afro-American Museum, 1350 Brush Row Road, Wilberforce, Ohio. Free event.
Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., Piano and Chamber Music Recital in Harriet Tubman Theater, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Free event, with an introduction by Dr. Everett N. Jones, III, festival dreictor. Performers are Heidi Yenney, viola; Jessica Madsen, piano; Jennifer Cruz, piano, Barbara Lambert, flute, Peggy Grant, oboe, Dorothy White Okpebholo, viola and Seta Bartesch, piano. The program includes "Carmela" and Bambelete e espin garda" for viola and piano; "Three Visions" for piano solo; "Miniatures" for flute, oboe and piano; Suite for Violin and Piano and "Seven Traceries" for piano solo.
Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Selections from Still’s opera, "Troubled Island," featuring acclaimed soprano Adrienne Danrich and conductors Jeffrey Powell and Jeremy Winston, performed at Sears Recital Hall, University of Dayton. Free event. 
Thursday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra performs Still’s Symphony No. 1, "Kaintuck’" and more, with conductor Neal Gittleman and soloist Dr. Everett N. Jones III, piano. (Pre-concert discussion with Judith Still at 6:30 p.m.) At the Schuster Center, Dayton. Tickets ($10 students) available by calling the box office at (888) 228-3630.
Friday, Dec. 5, at 8:00 p.m. Still’s works performed as part of the Classical Connections program of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr. Everett N. Jones III, piano. Tickets available by calling the box office at (888) 228-3630. 
Saturday, Dec. 6 at 3:00 p.m. Recital at Stivers School for the Arts, Dayton, Ohio. Free event. Information:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

2008 William Grant Still Festival Opens at National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

AfriClassical recently posted “William Grant Still Festival Dec. 1-6, 2008 Commemorates 30th Anniversary of Still's Death”. Today another blog published a post on the opening concert:
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Blog
Posted on November 27th, 2008 by Paul Bemish
Violinist Heidi Yenney and pianist Jessica Madsen will perform the opening concert of the 2008 William Grant Still Festival on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The concert is free and open to the public, and includes a lecture on the music of Still, (1895 - 1978), an African-American classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions. Still studied at Wilberforce University and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In a varied career spanning classical and pop musical genres, Still achieved fame as the first African-American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, the first to have a symphony of his own (his first symphony) performed by a leading orchestra, the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company, and the first to have an opera performed on national television. He is often referred to as “the dean” of African-American composers. [William Grant Still (1895-1978) was an African American composer who was born in Woodville, Mississippi and died in Los Angeles, California. He is profiled at]

Michelle Areyzaga Sings African American Composer William Levi Dawson's 'Mary Had A Baby'

[The Spirituals of William L. Dawson; The St. Olaf Choir; Anton Armstrong, conductor; Marvis Martin, soprano; St. Olaf Records 2159 (1997)]

By Bill Gowen
Daily Herald Classical Music Columnist
Published 11/27/2008, Suburban Chicago
St. Charles Singers: Acclaimed operatic and concert soprano Michelle Areyzaga will be the special guest artist when the St. Charles Singers open their 25th anniversary season with the group's annual 'Candlelight Carols' concerts Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7, in St. Charles and Wheaton.  'With the choral works on the program and audience singalongs between sets, the concert will offer at least 25 songs, one for each of our 25 years,' said Jeffrey Hunt, founder and artistic director of the 30-voice professional chamber choir. 'The program embraces traditional and contemporary carols, including jazz arrangements. Most of the songs - about three-quarters of them - will be new to our repertoire, so audience members can expect to hear a fresh and bracing Christmas program.' The concerts are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles, with two performances on Dec. 7 - 3 p.m., at St. Michael Church, 310 S. Wheaton Ave., Wheaton and 7 p.m. back at Baker Memorial Church.

Areyzaga, a resident of the Fox River Valley area, will perform as soloist in a special set of six songs for soprano and a cappella choir.” “She will also perform two songs by African-American composers: 'Mary Had a Baby' by legendary 20th century choral director and composer William Levi Dawson; and 'Who Is the Baby?' by Auburn University's Rosephanye Powell. [Full Post] [William Levi Dawson (1899-1990) is profiled at]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tafelmusik Performs Music of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges at its Toronto Home Dec. 4-7

[Le Mozart Noir: Music of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges; Tafelmusik Orchestra; Jeanne Lamon, conductor; CBC Records SMCD 5225 (2003)]]

Chevalier de Saint-Georges
An aristocratic resurrection
Nov 22, 2008 04:30 AM
John Terauds
Classical Music Critic
A Visa Infinite card's throw from the tony rue Saint-Honoré in Paris is a side street inscribed 'rue du Chevalier de Saint-Georges, 1739-1799, Musicien et Chef d'Orchestre, Colonel de la Garde Nationale' (musician, conductor and colonel of the National Guard). That sign evokes the Ancien Régime, aristocratic peccadilloes, noble causes, duels, elegant clothes and powdered wigs. Except that this wig topped the milk-chocolate-coloured face of a mixed-race individual who was for two decades the toast of Paris. A growing number of scholars and fans are doing their best to make sure we can again hear that story – and the music it begat. Jeanne Lamon, music director of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, is one such passionate advocate. In the course of the next 10 days – including concerts at the orchestra's Toronto home at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre from Dec. 4 to 7 – the violinist will preside over a classical-era program. On it, a well-known Mozart symphony, a Haydn cello concerto, and two symphonies by Joseph de Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges – one in the 'concertante' style, giving two violinists opportunity for extra fireworks. 'It's such an interesting story, and it's very charming music,' says Lamon. 'Putting it in a program with Mozart and Haydn is a bit unfair to Saint-Georges. He won't come out as the shining star. But the story is so interesting.' She continues: 'I hope people will conclude that this is still music worth hearing and worth having in the repertoire.' This is only the second time that Tafelmusik has programmed pieces by Saint-Georges. The first was six years ago, when the orchestra presented the composer's music inside a staged dramatization of his life, as well as in a 2003 film, Le Mozart Noir, aired on CBC-TV's long-defunct Opening Night show (and now available on DVD). There is disagreement regarding the spelling of Saint-Georges' name, as well as his birth date. But no one contests that he led an extraordinary life and that his music is pretty – the violin writing more accomplished even than Mozart's.” [Full Post] [Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) is profiled at, where pages are devoted to his biography, fencing career and recordings]

The Michigan Journal: 'Cox Quartet jazzes up final music lecture'

[Duke Ellington: Four Symphonic Works; American Composers Orchestra; Maurice Peress, conductor; Nimbus Records NI2511 (2008)]

The Michigan Journal
The Student Newspaper Of The University Of Michigan-Dearborn
Veronica Grandison
Issue date: 11/25/08 Section: News
“Although, the fourth installment of pianist Kenn Cox's music lecture series was called 'Jazz: African American Classical Music', Cox made it very clear that jazz was not a word that he used to describe the musical genre. 'No jazz musician tagged this music jazz,' Cox said in a fiery tone. 'They called it “hot blues,” not jazz.'" “Cox, who is the Visiting King-Chavez-Parks Professor for 2008 will be teaching a course in African-American music history on Wednesdays from 6:10 to 9 p.m. beginning in January.” [Full Post]

Comment by William J. Zick at
I believe that if we are to appreciate the full scope of African American music, we must consider the classical works of African American jazz geniuses such as Scott Joplin (1868-1917), Duke Ellington (1899-1974) and James P. Johnson (1894-1955). Joplin wrote three operas, including "Treemonisha", which is enjoying a revival. All three composers are profiled at along with other composers of classical music. In addition, the "Afro-American Symphony" of William Grant Still (1895-1978) is infused with elements of jazz and the blues. William Levi Dawson (1899-1990) is best known for his arrangements of African American spirituals, but he also composed his hauntingly moving "Negro Folk Symphony", which makes use of three spirituals.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

William Grant Still's 'Afro-American Symphony' was 'unlike any classical piece I have ever heard'

[Afro-American Symphony; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Kruger, conductor; Bridge 9086 (1999)]

Review of Performance of Black Hills Symphony Orchestra
Dakota Discography
Nov. 24, 2008
Posted by: Ruth in What went down 
by Ruth Milne
“Leonard Bernstein’s lively Overture to Candide began Saturday’s Black Hills Symphony Orchestra performance, a 'Made in America' concert celebrating American-born composers that was conducted by Bruce Knowles. Quite unexpectedly, I instantly recognized the music to Candide; I had heard it many times while growing up, although I never knew the name of the piece and hadn’t heard it since. Like rediscovering a beloved childhood book, every note and phrase warmed me and I couldn’t stop smiling. My nostalgia combined with a really sharp performance by the symphony to create a wonderful experience.

For entirely different reasons, I also enjoyed William Grant Still’s bluesy, evocative Afro-American Symphony, which was unlike any classical piece I have ever heard. From the sassy trumpet solos to the gospel and jazz elements, the rhythms of African-American culture were drawn out and blended into a full symphonic experience, with both horns and flutes echoing a similar theme. The composer remained true to the structure and tradition of classical music, while imbuing it with a new soul. [Full Post] [William Grant Still (1895-1978) was an African American composer, arranger, conductor and oboist who is profiled at]

2009 National Black History Theme is "Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas"

[Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964); 2009 Black Heritage Stamp, U.S. Postal Service]]

February is Black History Month in Canada, Jamaica and the United States. The annual observance was founded in 1926 by the American historian Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950). He also founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), The Association's website explains the newest Black Heritage stamp of the United States Postal Service: "During the 93rd annual ASALH convention in Birmingham, AL, a special unveiling was held to honor Anna Julia Cooper, an educator, scholar, feminist, and activist who gave voice to the African American community during the 19th and 20th centuries, from the end of slavery to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The Postal Service's Black Heritage stamp series is truly alive and well." The stamp will be released in January 2009.  A link to the Postal Service press release  on the Cooper stamp can be found at:

For a Black History Quiz and information on Black History and Classical Music, see the Black History page at  The ASALH website also includes a link for teachers who would like to request a free copy of the DVD Freedom's Song: 100 Years of African-American struggle and triumph:

Call For Papers Extended for William Grant Still Conference November 19-22, 2009

[William Grant Still, Conducting (Photo is the sole property of William Grant Still Music, and is used with permission.)]

Music and the Arts: Still Our Only Future
A Call for Papers has been issued for “Music and the Arts: Still Our Only Future”, Nov. 19-22, 2009. The Conference is a Tribute to William Grant Still and will attract over 400 prominent music educators from schools, colleges, universities and conservatories throughout the United States and abroad. Individuals interested in making a presentation are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Lisa M. Headlee, Director of Communication and Events, informs us the original deadline has been extended to January 8, 2009. The Conference location is the Convention Center in historic downtown Natchez, Mississippi. Applications are available from William Grant Still Music, Flagstaff, Arizona. Fax: (928) 526-0321 E-mail: Website: [William Grant Still is profiled at]

Monday, November 24, 2008

'Higher Ground' Podcast: Wendy Hymes Plays Flutes on CD 'African Art Music for Flute'

[African Art Music for Flute; Wendy Hymes, flutes; Darryl Hollister, piano; African Music Publishers; AGCD 2081 (2008)]

AfriClassical has previously published posts on the contributions of several composers to the new CD African Art Music for Flute; Wendy Hymes, flutes; Darryl Hollister, piano; African Music Publishers; AGCD 2081 (2008). We have also written of the forthcoming Festival of African and African American Music (FESAAM), Feb. 12-15, 2009. Today we heard from a person involved in the CD as well as FESAAM, Wendy Hymes: “Hi Bill, Thought your readers would like to hear a new 30-minute podcast on my cd, African Art Music for Flute. It's available on WPR's Higher Ground show website, hosted by Jonathan Overby. Here's the link: 
Wendy Hymes, DMA, Louisiana State University.
CD: African Art Music for Flute
Coordinator, Festival of African and African American Music St. Louis, MO Feb. 12-15, 2009 

Instrumental Versions of Michael Mosoeu Moerane's Songs 'Della' and 'Sylvia' Heard at UNISA

[Fatse la heso; South African Music, National Symphony Orchestra of the S.A.B.C.; Peter Marchbank, conductor; Marco Polo 8.223709 (1994)]

University of South Africa Online
On Sunday 2 November 2008, the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology presented a historic concert, Unisa Composes, in the ZK Matthews hall, with the help of generous sponsorship from SAMRO. Featuring six composers with Unisa associations in a programme of stimulating and attractive contemporary art music, the performances were enthusiastically received by an appreciative audience. The department hopes that this will be the first in a series of such concerts sponsored by SAMRO each year. Michael Mosoeu Moerane (1909-1981), awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Africa in 1941, was the first black South African to gain such a degree. In this concert, we heard instrumental arrangements of two songs, Della and Sylvia. “ [Full Post

Michael Mosoeu Moerane is profiled at The Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) explains in its biography how Moerane came to compose Fatse la heso, which he wrote during the period of White minority rule: “Moerane was required to present a composition exercise in order to complete his degree, and so composed the symphonic poem, Fatse la heso (My Country), which he completed in 1941, graduating that same year. Three years later, in November 1944, the work was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in two separate studio performances under the baton of Clifford Curzon, one broadcast by the BBC's Home Service, and the other by its African Service. Fatse la heso was subsequently championed in New York and Paris by the pioneering black American conductor, Dean Dixon.”

'Jogo da Vida' Makes Celso Machado World Solo Artist in 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards

Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, November 24, 2008
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The fourth annual Canadian Folk Music Awards were held on the East Coast for the first time last night, but it was Central and Western Canada that walked off with all the honours. The late Oliver Schroer, the Toronto-based fiddler who died of leukemia in July, was the only double winner at the fourth annual awards. Honoured during a special tribute, Schroer won the Instrumental Artist and Pushing the Boundaries awards for his album Hymns and Hers. His sister, Martina Schroer, accepted his awards.

Toronto's Luke Doucet and the White Falcon took the contemporary album award for Blood's Too Rich, while one-time rodeo rider and Taber, Alta., native Corb Lund captured the English songwriter prize for Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier! B.C. winners included Gabriola Island's The Kerplunks for best children's album, Gibsons' Celso Machado (Jogo da Vida) for world solo artist and Qualicum Beach's Emma Beaton, who won the young performer award for her Pretty Fair Maid. The Vancouver Province [Jogo da Vida translates as Game of Life. Celso Machado (b. 1953) is a globe-trotting Afro-Brazilian guitarist, singer and composer who now lives in Canada. His personal website is and he is also profiled at]

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Berklee College of Music: 'The Art Music of Black Composers' Nov. 25, 7:30 PM

[Somewhere Far Away: The Music of Julius Williams; Dvorak Symphony Orchestra; Julius Williams, conductor; Videmus/Albany Records (2008) (Release Date Dec. 1, 2008)]

Berklee College of Music
Africana Music Studies Programming 2008/2009

Tuesday, November 25, 7:30 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall
Classical compositions by Julius Williams, Jonathan Holland, Chevalier de St. Georges, Margaret Bonds, Hale Smith, Evelyn Simpson-Currenton, John Carter, and William Banfield, with special guest composer/pianist Patrice Rushen. Performers will include Duane Moody, Matthew Truss, Krystal Banfield, Kudisan Kai, Gabrielle Goodman, Jennifer Elowsky-Fox, and others.  [Julius P. Williams is a Professor of Music at Berklee College of Music.  Prof. Williams, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Margaret A. Bonds and Hale Smith are profiled at]

Friday, November 21, 2008

Music of Afro-Cuban Composer Leo Brouwer Included in 'Living Composers Concert' Nov. 23

Wicked Local Rockland
Thu Nov 20, 2008, 12:34 PM EST
“Duxbury - South Shore Conservatory’s Contemporary Music Month concludes the first portion of its 2008-2009 Conservatory Concert Series with a special ‘Living Composers Concert’ on Sunday Nov. 23, at 4 p.m. at the Ellison Center for the Arts, 64 St. George St., Duxbury.” “This ambitious musical event will further include works composed by Richard Rodney Bennet, a British composer renowned for his film scores and his jazz performances, and Leo Brouwer, a Cuban composer who includes among his work a large number of solo guitar pieces, several guitar concertos and over forty film scores. Performers at the concert will include Donald Zook – Flute, Regina Yung – Piano, Stephen Deitz – Piano, John Kramer – Piano, Lorna Jane Norris – Voice and George Little - Guitar  There will be a wine and cheese reception where you can meet the composers and the performers immediately following the concert. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children. Tickets may be purchased online at For information, contact Amy Schomp at 781-749-7565 ext. 19, or at [Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is profiled at]

Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama & Pianist Awadagin Pratt in Quartet at Brooklyn's BargeMusic

[Nokuthula Ngwenyama; Awadagin Pratt: Beethoven Piano Sonatas, EMI 55290 (1996)]

Classical Music/Opera Listings
By The New York Times
Published: November 20, 2008  
“This floating concert hall has long been an ideal place to hear chamber music, and lately it has become a hub of interesting contemporary programming as well.” “On Sunday afternoon, a piano quartet —Andy Simionescu, violinist; Nokuthula Ngwenyama, violist; Judith Serkin, cellist; and Awadagin Pratt, pianist — take over for the Brahms Piano Quartet No. 2 (Op. 26) and works by Martinu and Robert Starer. Sunday at 4 p.m.; Fulton Ferry Landing next to the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, (718) 624-2083,; $35; $20 for students. (Kozinn) [Nokuthula Ngwenyama (b. 1976) is a Visiting Associate Professor (Viola) at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. “Thula”, as her friends call her, records for EDI Records. She is profiled at]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quad City Symphony Orchestra Plays Duke Ellington's 'Three Black Kings' at Holiday Concert

[The Definitive Duke Ellington; Sony 61444 (2000)]

Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2008, 2:10 pm
Jonathan Turner,
“Mark Russell Smith has conducted his share of holiday pops concerts. But nothing like what we have in the Quad-Cities, he says. 'This is unique,' Mr. Smith, the new music director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO), said recently. 'It will be an adventure for all of us. What I love about that is, having our orchestra and orchestral music be part of that tradition, be part of something the community does year in and year out.' On Saturday, Mr. Smith will lead the QCSO for the 16th annual Holiday Pops concert. The program will feature the Figure Skating Club of the Quad Cities, the Sanctuary Choir of First Presbyterian Church, the Holiday Pops Children's Chorus, and the Atlantic Brass Quintet (this week's Quad City Arts Visiting Artist).”

“In addition to the traditional holiday favorites at the Holiday Pops, Mr. Smith has programmed a few surprises – in a trilogy of tunes dedicated to the seasonal three kings. 'It's music fit for a king,' he said of this section. 'What I love to do is have kind of thematic ideas, and have different people opining on those. It's a different perspective, looking at the same thing in different ways.' These selections are 'March of the Three Kings' by Georges Bizet; 'Three Black Kings' by Duke Ellington, and 'Good King Kong Looked Out' (based on 'Good King Wenceslas') by P.D.Q. Bach.”  “The 2008 Holiday Pops is at the i wireless Center, Moline, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12 and are available in person at the i wireless Box Office, by phone at (563) 326-1111, or at [Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974) is profiled at]