Saturday, February 7, 2009

Harlem School of the Arts: 'The African Presence in Classical Music' Noon, Feb. 14

[Saint-George/Mozart Quatuors à cordes; Quatuor Antarès; Integral Classic INT 221.125/1 (2003)]

Melody Gross is a Communications & Marketing Associate on the staff of The Harlem School of the Arts. She submitted a comment about a Black History Month post: “This is great information. You may enjoy a workshop that is being held at The Harlem School of the Arts for our Black History Month celebration. It's entitled 'The African Presence In Classical Music' and is presented by Faculty member Mr. Fred Alston. It is Saturday, February 14 at 12 noon and its FREE!” The Faculty profile on Fred Alston reads: “Fred Alston Jr. (Piano, Accompanist, Theory, Children’s Choruses) choral director and bassoonist, is an Associate Musician at St. Mark’s Church. He has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts. Mr. Alston is an alumnus of Indiana University and the Curtis Institute of Music and was principal bassoon with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Alston can be heard on CTI Records.”

Harlem School of the Arts
Saturday, February 14
In contrast to popular belief, the music of Western Europe has always been open to absorbing influences from different parts of the world. However, little has been said about the persistent role Africa has played in the development of western music. HSA Faculty member Fred Alston will present a short overview of the ongoing contribution of African and African-American composers, performers and theorists in Western classical music tracing the North African roots of Gregorian chant, the role of black composer-performers in the 18th and 19th centuries as well as arrangers and producers of the jazz and popular music idioms.”

1 comment:

eric said...

This was a wonderful lecture by Maestro Fred Alston. Mr. Alston is also a brilliant scholar who has done important research in many diverse musical areas such as; the origins of musical language going back to ancient Egypt; the proper notation of jazz - utilizing septuplets; and of course "The African presence in Classical Music." Maestro Fred Alston is also a composer, pianist, an educator and vocalist as well a recognized virtuoso of the bassoon.