Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Piano Festival 'Music of the African Diaspora' in Laurel, Maryland Feb. 21

[Philippa Duke Schuyler (1931-1967) in 1951 photo]

Edwina E. Hunter is Chair of the Piano Festival of The Greater Laurel Music Teachers' Association. She says it will present "Music of the African Diaspora" on Saturday, February 21, 2009. 40 students, aged 5 to 18, will perform music of composers of African descent in two recitals: 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Laurel Presbyterian Church, 7610 Old Sandy Spring Road, Laurel, MD. The public is invited to these free recitals. Composers featured are: Margaret Bonds, Valerie Capers, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, R. Nathaniel Dett, Scott Joplin, Ulysses Kay, Robert Mawuena Kwami, Ruth Norman, Christian Onyeji, Florence B. Price, Hale Smith, Phillipa Schuyler, and Bangambula Vindu.

Known as 'the baby genius of the Harlem Renaissance,' Philippa Duke Schuyler was a child prodigy who became quite famous for her youthful accomplishments as a composer and pianist. By the time she was four years old, Schuyler was a skilled pianist; by five she was performing Mozart before audiences in concert halls. When she was six, she was touring to perform her own compositions; in 1940, at the age of eight, she performed for thousands of visitors at the New York World’s Fair. She was ten when she became the youngest member of the National Association of American Composers and Conductors. To satisfy popular interest, magazines and newspapers including the New Yorker, Time Magazine, and the New York Times, included lengthy features outlining her achievements.” [Full Post] [Margaret Bonds, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, R. Nathaniel Dett, Scott Joplin, Ulysses Kay, Florence B. Price and Hale Smith are profiled at AfriClassical.com]

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