Monday, April 30, 2012

Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward Seeks Executive Director

Executive Director, Youth Orchestra of the Lower Ninth Ward
Position Summary
The Youth Orchestra of the Lower Ninth Ward seeks an Executive Director to guide and enable the
growth of the organization through fundraising, curricular consultation and creating and managing a national presence.

Patrick D. McCoy to bid Takoma Park Baptist Church a fond farewell June 24, 2012

On March 11, 2012, Patrick D. McCoy tendered his resignation as Minister of Music of Washington, D. C.'s Takoma Park Baptist Church. McCoy assumed the position in October 2006 and is credited for revitalizing the church's music ministry.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

'Soul Music: Taking the Pulse of Race and Music' by Candace Allen

[Candace Allen]

Sergio Mims sends a press release for a non-fiction book by novelist Candace Allen:

Why has music got such a powerful hold over our thoughts, particularly when race is involved?

Veteran of (or foot soldier in) one of the many cultural wars of the late 20th century, Candace Allen finds grounds for hope in the, for her, unlikely realm of Western classical music.

After charting her progress into Black Cultural Nationalism and out again, Allen set out to find if the pitched battles between "our" music and "their" music persisted among young people engaged in serious music study in Palestine, Venezuela, Scotland, the streets of London and Kinshasa.

In all cases, the unexpected answer she discovered was no. Tribal multiculturalism is a 20th century artefact counter-productive to the global realities of the 21st century and that without the lingering prejudices of 20th century cultural warriors, coming generations would cross
boundaries and embrace others with unfettered curiosity and often abandon.

Candace Allen published her first novel, Valaida, with Virago (Little Brown). This is her first work of non-fiction. She has written for the Guardian and Independent and has appeared on various radio programmes such as the Today Programme in relation to her work for the Obama campaign. She was the first black female Assistant Director to join the Director's Guild of America, currently
she lives in Islington, London.

Roy Eaton: "I am inaugurating Bryant Park's annual 'Piano in the Park' series on my 82nd Birthday, Monday May 14"

Roy F. Eaton playing at Bryant Park in 2011 

Pianist Roy F. Eaton writes:

This year I am inaugurating Bryant Park's annual "Piano in the Park" series on my 82nd Birthday, Monday May 14.  That entire week, Monday to Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 I will be performing Joplin, Chopin, Gershwin, Mozart and some suprises from my latest album "I Play for Peace"..  Come enjoy the park, the sun, a good lunch and some joyful music making.  Hope you can make it.

SUNY Orange Symphonic Band to Feature World Premiere of Carlton L. Winston's 'Dionysian Mysteries' 8 PM May 12

[Kevin Scott, Conductor]

PHOTO: Carlton Winston
                                                       [Carlton Winston]

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- The SUNY Orange Symphonic Band will offer a collection of premieres of contemporary concert band compositions when it presents its annual Spring Concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 12 at Middletown’s historic Paramount Theatre.

Entitled “First Hearing ...”, the program will showcase several works receiving either their world or New York State premieres. The highlight of the program will be the world premiere of Carlton L. Winston’s “Dionysian Mysteries.”

Winston, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is a promising young composer whose “When the Great Owl Sings” was a highlight of the band’s 2010 summer concert series. The performance of “Dionysian Mysteries” will include a brief introductory narration written by Winston to complement the music and recorded by principal horn Christine Chase Sacchi under the direction of Kevin Scott, band director.

The evening’s musical slate will also feature the first New York State performance of Gary Powell Nash’s "Giovanna’s Song and Dance,” a festive dance celebrating the birth of his daughter and employing African rhythms alongside jazz and rhythm and blues riffs. 

Rounding out the concert are three concertos, including Persis Parshall Vehar’s “Bright Phoenix Ascending” for alto saxophone and wind ensemble, which will be receiving its first performance in Orange County. Featured soloist during this piece will be Tonie DePasquale, chair of the Middletown City Schools District’s music department and vocal/general music teacher at Maple Hill Elementary School.

The remaining concertos include Eric Joseph Richards’ “Dance of the Southern Lights” for piccolo and wind ensemble, and Aaron Copland’s “Quiet City” in an arrangement for wind ensemble by Donald Hunsberger. Stefanie Proulx (below), a senior at Monroe-Woodbury High School, will play a solo during the Richards piece while soloists for the Copland arrangement include Scott Suckling (the band’s principal trumpet player) and Natassia Velez (principal oboist/English Horn).

Rounding out the program will be Maurice C. Whitney’s “Dramatic Episode” and a Glenn Cliffe Bainum arrangement of Jaromir Weinberger’s “Polka and Fugue” from “Schwanda, the Bagpiper.”

The concert is sponsored by the College’s Arts and Communication Department. General admission is $5. SUNY Orange Students with a current ID and active military personnel will be admitted free. The Paramount Theatre, located at 17 South St. in Middletown, is universally accessible. For more information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787.  

Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington, Great American Composer Born April 29, 1899

Duke Ellington's Concert of Sacred Music; Duke Ellington Harlem on Chandos; Duke Ellington's My People on Contact;  Duke Ellington: Black, Brown, and Beige: A Tone Parallel to the History of the American Negro on RCA Victor.

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an African American composer, pianist and jazz band leader who is featured at  He was born into a middle-class family in Washington, D.C. on April 29, 1899.  When he died in 1974, he had global stature as an All-American musician. 
A prominent figure in the history of jazz, Ellington's music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death, the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowing a special posthumous honor in 1999.

Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category".

Chris Foley: 'I still have fond memories of playing Akin Euba's The Wanderer for cello and piano with Sue Round'

[Akin Euba]

On April 28, 2012 AfriClassical posted: “Akin Euba, Nigerian Composer & Ethnomusicologist, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Pittsburgh, is 77 Today.” Chris Foley, our friend in Toronto, added this comment the same day:

“I still have fond memories of playing Akin Euba's The Wanderer for cello and piano with Sue Round (and coaching it with Gyimah Labi) at a Vancouver New Music Concert 12 years ago. Such a richly textured work - I hope I get another chance to perform it one of these days.”

[The Akin Euba page at features a Works List and Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,]

John Malveaux: 'At midnight, January 1, 1863, Confederate slaves everywhere dropped to their knees and thanked God'

John Malveaux of writes:

Prior to 1862, New Year's Eve was a somber occasion for slaves. This was the day when plantation owners tallied up their business accounts for first day of each new year. Debts would need to be paid by the first of each year, so human property was sold, along with land and furnishings. It was a tragic time, when families were split apart forever.

But on Dec. 31, 1862, American slaves impatiently waited for the stroke of midnight, which would signify the adoption of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which he had signed on Sept. 22, 1862. This action legally guaranteed the freedom of slaves in all Confederate states. At midnight, January 1, 1863, Confederate slaves everywhere dropped to their knees and thanked God for their freedom. The occasion that year would come to be known as “Freedom’s Eve”.

Though we all know the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t take effect immediately in all states, the time-honored tradition of African-Americans gathering together to bring in the New Year under religious standards still lives during Watch Night. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012 Parents and Early Years of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, From Biography by Jeffrey Green

[African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. 1; Danse Nègre From African Suite (6:14); Petite Suite de Concert (13:36); Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman, Conductor; Cedille 90000 055 (2000)]

The English historian Jeffrey Green is author of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a Musical Life, published by Pickering & Chatto Publishers (2011). It has been favorably reviewed by Professor Dominique-René de Lerma: “This biography corrects errors of the past and reveals that which had been hidden. One comes away from this study with a new sense of the composer, his colleagues and supporters, and the social and political environment in which he lived.”

Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor was raised in Freetown, in the British colony of Sierra Leone, Jeffrey Green tells us on Page 6 of his biography. He writes: “Daniel Taylor attended the Church Missionary Society's grammar school.” The author explains: “...its curriculum included Greek and Latin.” He then tells us: “Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor was there for four years. His family then sent him to England.”

He began studies in 1870 at Wesley College in Taunton, in the West of England, the author says. Subsequently, “.....Taylor went to study medicine at King's College Hospital, London. In November 1874, aged twenty-five, he qualified as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS). Sometime during his years in London he met Alice, the woman who was to be the composer's mother.

"Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, MRCS took no part in his child's upbringing. Nothing survives on Taylor's time at King's College but documents at the Royal College of Surgeons show he registered in October 1871 after an examination in June.” The first biography of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor appeared in 1915. Green continues: “That biography states Dr. Taylor joined a medical practice in Croydon, taking on the sole running of it and suffering financial distress as patients did not trust a black doctor working without white supervision. So Taylor returned to Africa, leaving his wife and son behind.” The author says “...Daniel Taylor was back in Freetown before Alice's body started to swell with their child.”

Colonial records for the Gambia are cited by the author as evidence that Dr. Taylor served as "deputy coroner" starting in 1891, and as coroner from 1896. A fee would have been paid him for each autopsy.  Green writes Dr. Taylor died on August 25, 1904 at 57.  A gravestone was erected by his daughter, the author writes.  She is subsequently named as Rachel Taylor.

Jeffrey Green writes that Coleridge-Taylor's maternal grandfather was Benjamin Holmans, a blacksmith: “Holmans's relationship with a younger woman had led to the birth of their daughter on 17 September 1856 at 43 Castle Place, Dover (where the 1851 census placed the Holmans). When Emily Ann Martin registered the birth of her baby, Alice Hare, no father's name was recorded. Alice Hare Martin was to be the composer's mother. In the census of 1871 she was listed in the Holmans household at 15 Theobalds Road...”

Jeffrey Green writes of the birth of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor on August 15, 1875, which was registered on September 27, 1875: “Alice makes her third appearance in the documents of Victorian England when she registered the birth of her black baby in 1875. 'Samuel Coleridge Taylor [sic]' had been born at 15 Theobalds Road on 15 August 1875. Alice's nineteenth birthday was a few weeks later. Soon they moved 10 miles (16 km) south to Croydon. There the composer lived with his grandfather and mother into the 1890s.” Coleridge-Taylor was raised at 67 Waddon New Road, Croydon. The author says the block faced railroad tracks busy with coal-powered steam engines, and was downwind of a slaughter house.

Young Samuel was raised by his English mother and grandparents, the author tells us. On P. 12 he writes: “Benjamin Holmans played the violin and gave Coleridge-Taylor his first music lessons, the composer told the Musical Times in 1909.  Coleridge-Taylor's first biographer wrote that Holmans 'taught him the various elementary positions on the instrument', these lessons being 'of the most rudimentary type'.”

Census records confirm the makeup of the household of young Samuel, known to his family as Coleridge: “Benjamin Holmans provided the home for his wife, his daughter Alice and 'Coleridge Taylor': all listed at 67 Waddon New Road in the 1881 census.” Later on the same page we read: “...there was financial stability in the household as Coleridge - never called Samuel within the family - grew up.” The author continues: “This financial security plus the warmth and affection provided by his elders were important elements in the formation of Coleridge-Taylor's character. “So too was their house at 67 Waddon New Road for it sheltered the boy until the 1890s when he was established at the Royal College of Music.”

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,]

'Tales from the Bass Line' about the Nigerian/Irish classical double bassist, teacher and broadcaster Chi-chi Nwanoku

[Chi-chi Nwanoku]

Sergio Mims writes:

I wanted you and all your readers to know about a new documentary coming out soon called Tales from the Bass Line about the Nigerian/Irish classical double bassist, teacher and broadcaster Chi-chi Nwanoku:

She's a member of the British period instrument ensemble The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a chamber player and soloist as well, Chi-chi is world renowned in the classical music world. She also has her own website where you can find out more about her

Leo Brouwer Conducts Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Croatia, April 27, 2012 in Works of Brouwer and Albeniz

Leo Brouwer 

The Afro-Cuban guitarist and composer Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is profiled at

27. 04. 2012. 19:30  Concerts and Music Events
Concert and Congress Hall Vatroslav Lisinski
Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra; Conductor: Leo Brouwer; Soloist: Edin Karamazov, guitar; Programme: L. Brouwer, I. Albeniz/L. Brouwer

Akin Euba, Nigerian Composer, Ethnomusicologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, is 77 Today

[Akin Euba]

Akin Euba was born in Lagos, Nigeria on April 28, 1935. His life and works are honored on the Akin Euba page at, which features a Works List and Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, Prof. Euba's retirement celebration took place on March 15, 2011. Phil Thomson of the University of Pittsburgh posted a blog tribute on April 18, 2011. Here is an excerpt:

“Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music Akin Euba will retire at the end of the 2011 spring semester, so on March 15 colleagues, students, alumni, and family gathered together to celebrate and share good wishes as he enters the next phase in his career.
Akin Euba’s retirement celebration reflected all the elements of his storied career as a scholar, composer, and performer. During his 18 years with the Department of Music, he has fostered the field of creative musicology, led the Centre for Intercultural Musicology at Churchill College (Cambridge University) and mentored ethnomusicology students who have gone on to lead the field in their own rights.”

Akin Euba's intercultural activities have continued beyond his retirement from the University of Pittsburgh. Joyce Adewumi organized “Dialogue: Africa Meets North America in Harlem, October 30 – November 3, 2011, New York” with the authorization and participation of Prof. Euba. A recent example of his legacy of African culture and studies is the formation of the Fela Sowande Singers at the University of Pittsburgh. The group's Founder is Dr. Oyebade Dosunmu, who took part in Prof. Euba's retirement celebration and was recently profiled on AfriClassical.

Comment by email:
Dear Mr. Zick, Thank you very much for marking my birthday. I very much appreciate it and wish your web site every success.  Akin Euba.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cheryl Lynne Skinner Releases 'Derby Blues,' Second Contemporary Muse Project MP3

"Derby Blues" 2nd Contemporary Muse Project MP3

Release by Cheryl Lynne Skinner

Some say KY is known for our fast horses and wild women, or is it wild horses and fast women regardless, what would KY be without the Derby? Fondly called “the greatest two minutes in sports“ the 2012 KY Derby will be run May 5, 2012. As Composer/Musician Cheryl Lynne Skinner researched “Shades of Blue” her second CD release she discovered thatthe first five races were won by African American jockeys” according to Tapestry-A Visitors Guide to Kentucky’s African American Heritage”. She decided to write “Derby Blues” honoring the Run for the Roses as a tribute to Issac Murphy, Jimmy Winkfield and all the other Black jockeys who helped pave the way for this KY and now American tradition. Jimmy Winkfield was born in Lexington, Kentucky.

Skinner recalls playing the signature anthem “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster in a performance by the University of Louisville Marching Band at the KY Derby. “We were literally down at the winner’s circle next to the track. I will never forget the thunderous noise that the horses made. Watching it on television is one thing but it’s quite another to be that close to that kind of energy. It was amazing to see just how fast they are running!” Skinner expresses that energy in her new flute release.

Derby Blues” is the second release of the annual Contemporary Muse MP3 Project at where Elinez Music, Skinner’s independent label is excited to release an mp3 single each month April-July this summer. The April mp3 release “Heartbeats” , a flute instrumental dance track explored feelings of infatuation, attraction, “love at first sight” and new love that wants to dance. “Derby Blues” represents the heart racing pulsations and excitement of the thunder over Louisville’s Churchill Downs race track. Like on the race track this MP3 track naturally begins with the traditional bugle call and then there’re off! But the flute is the lead horse in this race all the way to the finish line. Give it a listen we think it’s a winner!

Listen to sound clips and/or the MP3’s can be downloaded for $.99 from the Marketplace Page at The cover art image for “Derby Blues” was created from the batik “Blue Thunder” designed by Kentucky visual artist Sandra Charles . You can check out her work at 'Noah Stewart becomes first black musician to top classical album chart' in UK

John Malveaux of provides this link:
Noah Stewart's debut album, Noah, is top of the classical album chart.
[Noah Stewart's debut album, Noah, is top of the classical album chart. Photograph: Katherine Rose for the Observer]

A tenor singer from Harlem, New York, who used to be a receptionist at the city's famous Carnegie Hall, has become the first black singer to top the UK classical album chart in its 25-year history, his record company has said. Noah Stewart, 31, who completed his debut run at London's Royal Opera House in Judith Weir's Miss Fortune last week, went straight to the No 1 slot with his debut album Noah.

The 31-year-old, who was supported financially as a young singer by the actor and producer Bill Cosby, said: "I'm very proud to be the first black musician to top the classical charts. It's both an honour and privilege."


At the age of 12, his choir teacher encouraged him to pursue a music career; he began doing voiceovers for Sesame Street and TV school specials and won first place in the New England music competition in Boston, before gaining a full scholarship to the Juilliard School in New York.

Surrey Opera: 'Open rehearsal working on Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Symphony in A minor op. 8 and Zara's Ear-rings op. 7,' 28 April 3 PM

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Symphony in A Minor; Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Bostock, Conductor; ClassicO 684 (2005) (36:44)]

Saturday 28 April, 3-6pm – Open rehearsal working on SC-T‟s Symphony in A minor op. 8 and Zara's Ear-rings op. 7 - Rhapsody for voice and orchestra. The rehearsal will be followed by tea and an informal performance of the two works at approximately 7.30pm.

Please contact Jonathan Butcher if you would like to take part etc. Venue – Clyde Hall, Clyde Rd. Croydon, CR0 6SZ.

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,
 The Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation has a website at:]

'22nd Annual Spring Benefit Concert' of The Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia of Metropolitan Atlanta, Sunday, May 6, 2012, 5 PM

David E. Robinson, III sends this news:
Greetings to All,

The Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia of Metropolitan Atlanta will be holding its 22nd Annual Spring Benefit Concert on Sunday, May 6, 2012, 5 PM at the Holiday Inn Capital Conference Center located at 450 Capital Ave., ATL 30312 (near Turner Field).  Tickets are $15 for adult and $10 for student.  We are doing an exciting musical Tribute to the Real Red Tails of the Tuskegee Airmen.  There will be a good number of them present (along with their families).  As a part of the Tribute, the "world premiere" of a selection composed by yours truly will make its debut.  The title is "Into the Wind, Into the Air."  A great history lesson will take place as some of the Red Tails will share some of their stories.

Sinfo-Nia, an historical organization is truly making history.  The story of Sinfo-Nia is somewhat similar to that of the Tuskegee Airmen.  Sinfo-Nia offers opportunities for talented students to become more proficient on their instruments, fine-tune their skills and learn new ones, prepare for auditions into other programs, perform in public, travel throughout the state, country, and abroad, perform a variety of multicultural music, perform for audiences that usually don't get to see live orchestras, encourage children to play musical instruments (especially strings), and so on in a nurturing environment without audition (except for level placement; and many move up through the ranks at a faster pace) where everyone is welcomed who wishes to take part.  Sinfo-Nia has trained many.  Some Sinfo-Nia alums are playing in professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and so on.  One is an ethnomusicologist with a doctorate degree.  Some have (and are) taking part in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program.  some current students are taking private lesson.  Some attend other orchestra camp (which we highly encourage).  Sinfo-Nia provides opportunities for students to become successful in the orchestral music world.
David E. Robinson, III
Founder and Artistic Director
Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc.

Please visit our new website at

Comment by email:
Hello Bill, Thanks for publishing our Spring Benefit Concert.  The students are working very hard to make this special for the Tuskegee Airmen "Red Tails" who will be at the performance.  Sincerely, David E. Robinson, III

'Music by Dolores White, Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Pat Morehead, Elizabeth Wilson, Ann Ward' & Regina Harris Baiocchi on April 29 at 2 PM

[Regina Harris Baiocchi]

Composer Regina Harris Baiocchi announces:

6 Degrees Composers Concert:
Sunday, 29 April, 2:00 PM

Church of the Good Shepherd, 5700 South Prairie, Chicago

New & Original music by

Dolores White
Janice Misurell-Mitchell
Pat Morehead
Elizabeth Wilson
Ann Ward
Regina Harris Baiocchi

RSVP: 312-253-7453

Concord Chorale: 'A Day in Paradise,' 'Traditional African-American Spirituals' and other works April 28 & 29

A Day in Paradise

Traditional African-American Spirituals and works by 

Norman Dello Joio, Eric Whitacre, Brian Holmes & others.

Featuring tenor Limmie Pulliam, pianist Molly Wood

and violinist Bozena O'Brien.

Saturday, April 28 at 8, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church 

Sunday, April 29 at 3, Concord Unitarian Universalist Church

Comment by email:
Hi Bill, Thanks very much for the email, and we're delighted to see our upcoming concert promoted.  Perhaps I'm hopelessly out of the loop, but how did you hear of the concert?  Warm regards, Peter Cram

Thursday, April 26, 2012

John Malveaux: Latonia Moore Featured in Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C Minor

[Latonia Moore]

John Malveaux of sends this news of soprano Latonia Moore:

Mahler Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection' (5th movement); featuring Latonia Moore, Nadja Michael; Vienna Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon)

Haitian Composer Julio Racine (b. 1945) Featured in International Journal of Bahamian Studies, Vol. I

[Julio Racine]

The Haitian composer, arranger and flutist Julio Racine (b. 1945) is profiled at Dr. Christine Gangelhoff provides a link to The International Journal of Bahamian Studies, Vol. I,

One of the Haitian composers featured in Vol. I is Julio Racine:
The works of Haitian composer Julio Racine clearly display a folk-inspired compositional style. Unlike other composers who incorporate folk elements in a melodic manner, Racine relies more on rhythmic aspects to develop themes.

“I use rhythmic development in my music, because Haitian music is essentially rhythmic. In fact most every instrument in folk is a one-pitch instrument, which tells you it's mainly rhythmic (J. Racine, personal communication, July 2011).

“In his work, Tangente au Yanvalou for flute and piano, Racine invokes the folkloric rhythms of the Yanvalou. He manipulates the meter to suggest the folk rhythm: sometimes it will miss one step, sometimes it will have one step too many, until it finally becomes the Yanvalou (Racine, 2011).”

The International Journal of Bahamian Studies, Vol. I: 'The Bahamas, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, and US Virgin Islands'

[Cleophas R.E. Adderley]

Dr. Christine Gangelhoff is Assistant Professor of Music, The College of The Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas. She writes with an update on a publication on Caribbean Art Music, The International Journal of Bahamian Studies:

Dear Bill, 
I hope this email finds you well. Thank you once again for promoting the first volume of our bibliography on Caribbean art music on your site. For any readers who have not seen the publication, it is the first stage of a comprehensive annotated bibliography of Caribbean classical music material: books, articles, scores, recordings, websites, and sound and video files.  Vol. 1 covers five countries: The Bahamas, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, and the US Virgin Islands.  You can view the publication on this site:

We are currently gathering material for the Volume 2, which will cover Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, BVI, Aruba, Curacao, Dominica, St. Kitts, Antigua and Barbuda, and any other countries for which information can be found.  The future Volume 3 will cover Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. 

We are also preparing updates for Volume 1 and would welcome leads to material that has come out since its publication in Fall 2011 (or, indeed, to material that we missed and failed to include). 

Readers who have any information on composers from this region can contact us at or

Best regards,

Dr. Christine Gangelhoff
Assistant Professor of Music
The College of The Bahamas
Nassau, Bahamas

Guest Book: 'I've admired Dawson's arrangements since the 1940s, when we sang them a great many times in the choirs'

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

William Levi Dawson (1899-1990) was an African American composer, arranger and choral director. He is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

The composer Ezra Sims,, has a number of recordings to his credit. He wrote this post in the Guest Book at

"Ezra Sims Wednesday, 4/25/12, 5:24 PM I've admired Dawson's arrangements since the 1940s, when we sang them a great many times in the choirs -- church and college -- of which I was a member. Some are, you might say, burned into my memory. From: Birmingham, Ala, originally"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

John Malveaux: Nokuthula Ngwenyama 'to perform during 150th Anniverary Emancipation Proclamation Concert'

[Nokuthula Ngwenyama]

The renowned violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama (b. 1976) is President of the American Viola Society and has long been featured at John Malveaux of writes: 

“Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama accepted invitation to perform during 150th Anniverary Emancipation Proclamation Concert”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daily Maverick, South Africa: 'Harlem Quartet: The soft power of two violins, a viola and a cello'

South Africa 
April 25, 2012
A small-scale but bursting-with-energy chamber ensemble, the quartet is the latest cultural exchange group visiting South Africa from America. J BROOKS SPECTOR spoke to the group after they performed for the students of Johannesburg’s National School for the Arts.

Visiting South Africa at the moment is a new chamber group from America, the Harlem Quartet. The Sphinx Organization, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the ethnic diversity in America’s classical music world, established the group in 2006. Bringing together four young, immaculately trained African American and Hispanic musicians, they play the standard classical chamber repertoire, as well as pieces like Joaquin Turina’s La Oracion del Toreo, compositions by contemporary jazz legends like Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, and classic pieces by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, now arranged for string quartet. 'Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran in Residence May 9-13' with 'BLEED'

[Rehearsing for the premiere of Slang (Other Minds Festival of New Music, San Francisco, 2011). Video stills from a forthcoming documentary on Jason Moran by Gregg Conde and Radiclani Clytus. © Gregg Conde and Radiclani Clytus; courtesy Gregg Conde]

2012 Biennial Residencies 

BLEED, 2012
Live music and mixed-media installation
Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, for the 2012 Whitney Biennial

For their Biennial residency, Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran present five days of live music, exploring the power of performance to cross barriers and challenge assumptions, as their title, BLEED, suggests. With a line-up of concerts and events spanning music, dance, theater, and literature, as well as an exhibition of past video collaborations with Glenn Ligon, Joan Jonas, Kara Walker, and Simone Leigh and Liz Magic Laser—and a new video by the cultural historian Maurice Berger—BLEED is a celebration of surprising synergy across the visual arts and music.

The Morans’ decade-long artistic partnership is perhaps the most poetic “sound bleed” of all. Alicia Hall Moran is a Broadway musical actress and classically trained mezzo-soprano of extraordinary warmth and eloquence; Jason Moran, a MacArthur Fellow and the artistic adviser for jazz at the Kennedy Center, is an acclaimed pianist/composer whose innovative style provides an influential vision of what jazz can be in the twenty-first century.
Free with Museum admission; no special ticketing required.

Patrick D. McCoy, 'Opera star, arts advocate, concert pianist and emerging artist honored in DC'

L to R: Angeli Ferrette, Terri Allen, Marquita Lister and Raymond Jackson were all honored by the Eastern Region of the National Association of Negro Musicians,Inc. Mayme Wilkins Holt, the mother of the late Ben Holt is seated.  Photo credit: Patrick D. McCoy

Music at St. Mary's with The Harlem Chamber Players: Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 3 PM

Music at St. Mary's with The Harlem Chamber Players 


Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 3 PM

Wilmer Wise, Trumpet; 
Philip Payton, Violin; 
Richard C. Alston, Piano

Comment by email:
Hi Bill, Thanks again so much for your support. We have both your sites listed in our program. Have a good night.  Liz [Liz Player]

Monday, April 23, 2012

John Malveaux: 'Congratulations to Richard Thompson' on 'The Mask in the Mirror' Performance August 4, 2012

[Richard Thompson]

On Sept. 14, 2009 AfriClassical posted: “'The Mask in the Mirror', Chamber Opera by British-Born Black Composer Richard Thompson, Sept. 19, 2009.” More recently, we wrote of selected scenes being presented by Empire Opera.

John Malveaux of writes:

Trilogy: An Opera Company has scheduled pianist-composer Richard Thompson's chamber opera 'The Mask In The Mirror' for August 4, 2012. The opera is based on the courtship and marriage of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore

Comment by email:
Hi Bill,  Thanks so much for the blog. Just one thing, the performance date is August 4, not 2. I am hoping that lots of people will come, of course. Right now the Trilogy Opera Co. website just lists the title and the date.  They will add more info nearer the time. The artistic director is Kevin Maynor, the well known African-American bass.  Do keep in touch.  Best Wishes, Richard Thompson

'Dr. William Banfield, composer, guitarist, author and educator' is Professor at Berklee College of Music

African Heritage Symphonic Series, Volume III;
William Banfield: Essay for Orchestra(10:33);
Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman, Conductor;
Cedille CDR 90000 066 (2002)

Musical Landscapes in Color:
Conversations With Black American Composers
William C. Banfield;
 Scarecrow Press (2003)

[William C. Banfield]

On April 20, 2012 AfriClassical posted: “Washington Times: NSO Concert was designed to frame the world premiere of William C. Banfield's 'Symphony No. 10: Affirmations for a New World.”  We have since exchanged messages with the composer, and we present his overview of his career in music:
William C. Banfield    
Dr. William Banfield, composer, guitarist, author and educator, currently serves as Professor of Africana Studies/Music and Society, director of the Africana Studies Center Berklee College of Music.
A native Detroiter, he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Michigan. Before coming to Berklee, he held the Endowed Chair of Humanities and Fine Arts, director of American Cultural Studies, University of St. Thomas, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Music, Indiana University, and served as a W.E.B. Dubois fellow, Harvard university.
Bill is currently chair of the Black Music Culture panels for the PopularCulture and American Culture Association conferences.
He is author of Landscapes in Color: Conversations With Black American Composers (2003), Black Notes: Essays of A Musician Writing In A Post Album Age, (2004), Cultural Codes: Makings Of A Black Music Philosophy (2010), Representing Black Music Culture), on Scarecrow Press. He serves as the consulting editor of Cultural Studies/Jazz Publications, Scarecrow Press, and has written regular columns for Downbeat and Diversity magazines.
Banfield served on the Pulitzer Prize composition panel, 2011, which awarded the first Chinese American prize to Madame White Snake by Zhou Long.
Dr. Banfield was recently hired by Quincy Jones (2010) to write a national music curriculum for schools learning about American popular music.
He hosted his own NPR and MPR shows interviewing and highlighting the music of composers and popular artists addressing connections between music and society.
Bill’s current recordings as a jazz guitarist are carried on the Innovalabel, and symphonic works on Tel Arc, Albany, Centaur and Collins Classics labels.
Banfield’s symphonic works have been performed and recorded by such symphonies as; the National Symphony, Atlanta, Dallas, Akron, Detroit, New York Virtuoso, Grand Rapids, Richmond, Toledo, Savannah, Indianapolis, Sacramento and San Diego symphonies.