Saturday, February 21, 2009

The '31st Annual Classical Roots Honors Composer William Grant Still' Mar. 6-8

[William Grant Still (1895-1978); (Photo is the sole property of William Grant Still Music, and is used with permission.)]

By Nicole Rupersburg – February 19, 2009
Composer William Grant Still will be recognized posthumously as the 2009 Honoree for his contributions to the world of classical music as part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) 31st annual Classical Roots Concerts taking place Fri., Mar. 6 at 8 p.m.; Sat., Mar. 7 at 8:30 p.m.; and Sun., Mar. 8 at 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall. The 2009 concerts will be conducted by the DSO’s Resident Conductor Thomas Wilkins, who was the 2008 Honoree, and will feature guest artists Janice Chandler-Eteme (soprano), Jevetta Steele (mezzo-soprano), Kevin Deas (baritone), Taylor Gardner (child soprano) and the combined Rackham Symphony Choir and Brazeal Dennard Chorale directed by Suzanne Mallare Acton. The program begins with “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which has opened every Classical Roots concert since its inception in 1978, and continues with a cappella selections by the Brazeal Dennard chorale directed by Augustus Hill, Still’s Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American Symphony) and Dear Mrs. Parks by past Honoree Hannibal Lokumbe

The DSO will be recording Dear Mrs. Parks during the concerts for release at an undetermined date by Naxos. Additionally, Lokumbe will be in residence for the entire week during which he plans to speak at local schools, including a Mar. 4 visit to Detroit School of Arts where he will hold cross-departmental discussions with music students and children in other courses of study. Judith Anne Still, William Grant Still’s daughter, will accept the special recognition award on his behalf at the Saturday concert. In addition, Ms. Still will give a lecture in The Music Box at the Max M. Fisher Music Center on Thu., Mar. 5 at 6 p.m. about her father’s life and works co-sponsored by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is also found]

No comments: