Friday, August 31, 2012

Press Release: 'Two Wallen World Premieres In Opening Ceremony Of London 2012 Paralympic Games'

Comment by email:
Many many thanks, as always Bill,  It's such a shame you haven't got the coverage of the Paralympic Games that we have over here!  All best wishes,
Errollyn [Errollyn Wallen]

'Resurrecting Spirit, Reclaiming Community' Gala in Chicago, 7 PM Saturday, September 8, 2012

Barbara Wright-Pryor writes:

Dear CMA and NANM Members and Friends:
Please join us as eta Creative Arts Foundation honors Chicago Music Association along with four other distinguished honorees.

eta Creative Arts Foundation has been committed to providing performances featuring African American artists, directors, playwrights and technicians for 41 years.  eta also provides training and education in the performing and technical arts for both youth and adults.  With a shared legacy of supporting aspiring and professional African American artists, eta's Gala Committee is pleased to honor the Chicago Music Association, Branch #1, the founding branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians, this year.

Please visit the eta's website at  
for more information about the Foundation and the 2012 Annual Gala.
To  R.S.V.P. and ticket purchase please contact Nichelle Weathers eta at 773-752-3955 or email
 Please respond by Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Barbara Wright-Pryor
Chicago Music Association,
Branch No. 1, NANM Inc. (since 1919)
(A 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization)

(773) 721-3210, office phone and fax

VICE PRESIDENTAdvisory Council, South Shore Cultural Center
(A 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization)

7059 South Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60649 'Samuel Coleridge Taylor Sonata' Performed Sept. 2, 2012 in Harare, Zimbabwe

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)]

September 1, 2012 is the Centennial of the death of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor on September 1, 1912.  On the following day, a work of his will be performed in Zimbabwe:

Sep 02 at 04:00 PM - Sep 02 at 05:30 PM
Harare International School Theatre, Mt. Pleasant, Harare

Celebrity Subscription Concerts presents Andrew Sherwood (violin) and Jeanette Micklem (piano). Celebs’ third subscription concert  for 2012

Tickets are $10 for those who are not Celebs members, and are now available at The Spotlight booking office in the Reps Theatre foyer, or at the door from 3.30pm on the day of the concert. Many regulars will remember the excellent concert Andrew gave last time visited Zimbabwe, to adjudicate at the Eisteddfod in April last year. 

Andrew has returned again this time to conduct the National Musicamp, as well as to perform for us. Their  programme will be as follows: Mozart Sonata no 37 K379 in G, Samuel Coleridge Taylor Sonata, Copland – Hoe Down from Rodeo, D'Erlanger – Tarantella, Kreisler – the Doll's Waltz, Poliakin – the Canary

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, We are collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chairman of the NEA Featured Guest at the 2012 Sphinx Virtuosi Gala at Carnegie Hall

This year marks a landmark year for the Sphinx Organization as we celebrate the conclusion of our 15th anniversary and we are thrilled to welcome the Sphinx Virtuosi back to Carnegie Hall for a spectacular evening performance and celebration. 

The 2012 Sphinx Virtuosi Gala at Carnegie Hall, co-presented by Bloomberg and the Sander and Norma K. Buchman Fund, will take place on Tuesday, October 9th at 6 p.m at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall as part of the 5th annual Sphinx Virtuosi national tour. Sphinx is excited to announce that Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts will attend, signifying the national importance of our mission and work. 

"The Sphinx Organization serves as a much-needed, powerful voice for diversity and excellence in the arts," said Landesman. 

This year's Honorary Chair, word-renowned cellist and virtuoso, Yo-Yo Ma, shared "I am  just in awe of what Sphinx has accomplished, but even more excited about its future."

Comment by email:
Thank you so much, Bill! We know this will be a remarkable evening and thank you for sharing with your followers.  Happy Labor Day weekend!  Warmest regards, Alison [Alison Piech, Sphinx Organization]

Soprano Jammieca Mott to sing Paul Laurence Dunbar's 'Love's Apotheosis' to music composed by Richard Thompson at 150th Anniversary Concert

[Dr. Jammieca Mott]

John Malveaux of writes:

Soprano Jammieca Mottt is no longer teaching at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and has joined the faculty at Sam Houston State University. Ms. Mott's closing song during the 150th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation Concert is Paul Laurence Dunbar's LOVE'S APOTHEOSIS accompanied by the poem's music composer Richard Thompson on piano. see text 'Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), Britain's Foremost Black Classical Composer: The Centenary Legacy'

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) (Photo Emil Hoppe)]

Having collaborated with Hilary Burrage for the past year, AfriClassical is pleased to present her commemoration of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), as it appears on, in honor of the Centennial of his death on September 1, 1912.

Hilary Burrage
A consultant, board director, teacher, writer and sociologist with particular interests in knowledge ecology, sustainability, social policy and inclusion

30 August 2012
Huffpost Culture
United Kingdom
Just a few days after this year's Slavery Remembrance Day, on 23 August, we will mark also the centenary legacy of the black British music composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who died one hundred years ago, on 1 September 1912. 

Only 37 years old at his death, Coleridge-Taylor was at the height of his career, in the midst of plans to visit musicians he admired in Europe (he was learning German) alongside his never-ending duties as a teacher, conductor, festival adjudicator and composer. He had already travelled to the USA three times; he had twelve years previously, aged only 25, become a founder-supporter in 1900 of the new London-based Pan-African Conference (later, Congress); and already he had some 100 full musical works, many of them substantial, to his credit.

To modern observers, taking antibiotics for granted, it feels particularly sad that the cause of Coleridge-Taylor's death was simply a chest infection: he was always over-worked, and it's said a heavy smoker, and he caught a chill awaiting a train in his hometown of Croydon. With better health this unique man of music might well have lived into contemporary living memory. It would have been fascinating to see how his thinking developed, both in music and in respect of equality, the other field in which in his short life Coleridge-Taylor made an outstanding and compassionate contribution. 

Nonetheless, to most followers of classical music Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is known only as the creator of the Song of Hiawatha trilogy, that ever-present element of the annual calendar of the Royal Albert Hall and many other concert venues around Britain in the 1920s and 30s and well beyond. The image of native American squaws and head-dressed chieftains is embedded in our perception of Coleridge-Taylor the composer; and yet, whilst Hiawatha is indeed a fine addition to the repertoire, it is by no means his only potential contribution to the classical canon. 

As we demonstrate on the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation website - where a full list of works and recordings, generously donated by Dr Dominique Rene de Lerma, may be found - there is beyond Hiawatha some significant early chamber music, a whole range of vocal scores (some of them substantial) and even a violin concerto and some full symphonic works: impressive by any standards as the output for someone still in his thirties when he died.

But there are also other aspects of the life of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor which make him special and deserve much greater acknowledgement.

Born in London in 1875, illegitimate and of mixed race, the boy Samuel took courage to make the most of every opportunity to take his formidable talents forward. His complex extended family supported him as best they could and by his early teens Coleridge-Taylor's musical gifts were recognised by others too. He gained sponsorship to attend the newly-established Royal College of Music aged only 17, and, produced his first few opus-listed works the following year. (How withering to repute is time; received to acclaim when initially presented, we discovered Coleridge-Taylor's Opus 1 Piano Quintet, probably unperformed since 1895, buried deep in the RCM archive a full century later.)

But to return to the chronology. Just before the end of Victoria's reign, Coleridge-Taylor's concern for fairness and decency led him to engage in the increasingly urgent calls for racial equality. Whilst Victorian London was more varied of skin colour than some imagine, Coleridge-Taylor nonetheless knew at first hand both of discrimination by 'race', and of the shared objective by others of a more even playing field for all; and he had by then formed a friendship with the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who became a major influence on the composer's thinking. Hence also Coleridge-Taylor's involvement in the Pan-African Conference of 1900, held in Westminster Town Hall, London from July 23rd to the 25th, and timed to take place just before the Paris Exposition in order to allow tourists of African descent to attend both events, and focused on persuading world power governments to introduce legislation to abolish racial discrimination.

It was also at the Pan-African Conference of 1900 that Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (and his friend John Archer of Liverpool, who became the first black Mayor of Battersea) met the writer W.E.B. DuBois, who was during the next few years to prove a great influence on Samuel as his contacts with the United States developed. How, had Coleridge-Taylor lived longer, this collaboration would have influenced the later Pan-African Congresses we can only surmise.

And so, one hundred years after his death, the story and legacy of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the British child of mixed heritage born with little initial privilege but so much to offer, now unfolds.

There is much still to tell, as the AfriClassical website and other e-media report. This is a story told at all levels: local (Croydon and London), national (the UK), the USA and truly internationally. A considerable amount of Coleridge-Taylor's repertoire has recently become available, but much remains still to be explored. The legacy of his support for a fairer world will doubtless likewise continue to be a matter of interest for scholars and activists alike for decades to come.

For our part, having worked since the 1990s to bring unknown music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to public performance, the establishment two years ago of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation (a Community Interest Company of which I am the founding Executive Chair) has offered a new way forward. We have ensured there is room for exchange and debate between musicians, historians and scholars across the world, we seek always to achieve wider community engagement, and we have positioned to look forward as well as back - most recently by commissioning a new Nonet from the composer Richard Gordon-Smith (himself a son of Croydon) which embraces both the instrumentation and something of the essence of the work of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. 

What comes next remains to be seen. September 1st 2012 will pass as a day to reflect and remember, but it is also a milestone in the journey to a better understanding of a young man who died a century ago but leaves still the gifts of talents and ambitions pursued, decency and hope. That is why, as well as looking backwards to the past, we must look forward to the future.

More information...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Orlando Wells is violist in The Antara Ensemble and in the Broadway show 'Crybaby' among other roles

[Orlando Wells, Viola]

On August 25, 2012 AfriClassical posted:
"Antara Ensemble Presents an Evening of Mozart 8 PM Oct. 2, 2012, Saint Peter's Church, NYC."  The post noted that Orlando Wells would perform on viola at the concert.  We first learned of Orlando Wells as a violinist in the Ritz Chamber Players, but he is also active as a violist.  On Broadway, he currently plays viola in Crybaby.  He has been concertmaster with the Soulful Symphony and other groups, and has performed with the Emerald Trio, the Sweet Plantain String Quartet and numerous other musical ensembles.

Orlando Wells Bio at Ritz Chamber PlayersViolin

A native of Orange, NJ, Orlando Wells began studying the violin at the age of 9. While attending LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, he picked up the viola. Mostly self taught in High School, he graduated winning the Behrens Foundation and B’nai Brith scholarships.  Mr. Wells attended S.U.N.Y. Purchase and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers. His primary teachers have included Yuval Waldman and Michael Tree.  Equally proficient on both the violin and the viola, he has held the principal viola chair with the Antara Chamber Orchestra and the concertmaster chair with the Soulful Symphony in Baltimore, the Orchestra of the Bronx and the Bronx Opera. He has appeared as a soloist with Antara, the Manhattan Virtuosi and the St. Peter by the Sea Orchestra.  Mr. Wells also performs with The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, SONYC Chamber Orchestra, The Ritz Chamber Players, Allentown Symphony, Sweet Plantain String Quartet, The Emerald Trio and the Radio City Christmas Show Orchestra. Performing frequently on Broadway, he has played regularly with Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, Spamalot, Wicked and was the violist on the first national tour of the Broadway show, Little Women. Currently he is the violist on the new Broadway show Crybaby.  He has collaborated with musicians of many different genres and styles. Some of the artists he has worked with are John Legend, Mariah Carrey, Rihanna, Kanye West, Marvin Hamlish, the Akua Dixon Swing Quartet and Sojourner Strings.  

Surucua Art Productions on 'Frêvo Bajado': 'It's NOT an arrangement. Celso composed it!'

[Celso Machado and cover of his sheet music Frêvo Bajado; Editions Henry Lemoine, Paris]

On August 26, 2012 AfriClassical posted: "'Frevo' (arr. by Celso Machado) - Diablo Valley College Guitar Ensemble on YouTube."  The narration of the video states that the work is Brazilian folk music arranged by Celso Machado.  Jessica Machado of Surucua Art Productions writes:

Hi Bill
It's NOT an arrangement. Celso composed it!  Thanks for sending this on Celso has been trying to contact the performer.

Monday, August 27, 2012

'That Africans could and would have had written history should have been obvious.'

[Lost Libraries (]

On August 26, 2012 AfriClassical posted:
"John Malveaux: 'EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy.'"

Sisko24 commented this afternoon:

Thank you for this reminder of the spectacular find at Timbuktu. That Africans could and would have had written history should have been obvious. But I did have a teacher or two who said Africans didn't leave written history. Being that I was in junior high school at the time and unable to disprove them, I felt cowed into silence. But now I'm pleased to see that wrongful history corrected. 

Thank you.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins: 'Garth Newel Piano Quartet at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen'

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins recounts Music Kitchen's 59th Performance, Garth Newel Piano Quartet at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen:

This morning I was delighted to present the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for a Music Kitchen performance at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.  I originally met the quartet when they attended my performance at the 2010 Chamber Music America conference.  They have since invited me to play several concerts with them at the beautiful Garth Newel Music Center in Virginia, so it was my absolute pleasure to present them in a Music Kitchen concert while they are in New York for this year's CMA conference.  They are the embodiment of everything Music Kitchen seeks to accomplish:  The artists are friendly and approachable and their performance is at once spirited, warm, virtuosic, polished.  Even before they started playing, there were clients eagerly waiting- several people asking when the performance would begin.  "I don't want to miss it; I want to be sure to be here!" We had arrived early and there continued to be a steady stream of clients in eager anticipation, so I decided to have them just start 10 minutes early!  I quickly did my rounds to nearby tables, introducing myself and welcoming people to the concert.  One woman surprised me by recognizing me from the Olivieri Center for Homeless Women, where, due to their program shift, I have not presented a performance for 3 or 4 years.  From my photographer Greg Routt's marvelous photos of a past Music Kitchen performance,  I recognized a gentleman who eagerly sat down nearby, glued to the artists before they played a note.  As they dove into their first piece, the Schonfield Café Music, he smiled knowingly and said to me, “The roaring 20s!”  Though the piece was written in 1987 in Minnesota, he was absolutely right about the spirit of the work’s character.  Further, it was a perfectly chosen work for this environment- intended for a lively bustling environment of diners.  This was an amazing performance in every way and it captured many around the room in a more individual, though no less profound way.  I suddenly noticed another gentleman, this time a soup kitchen volunteer who had stopped his tasks to come closer to listen.  He was positively taken with the performance, his face in a dumbfounded stare until he finally turned to me, saying slowly and deliberately, voice dripping with awe- “Where- did-you-find-them??”  After I told him that the artists hail from Virginia, he melted onto the floor, drinking in the charms of the performance. After that, he continued, “I don’t even believe in God, but now, after this, I believe.  There must be a God!”
All four players were in now, playing the Brahms Piano Quartet, sure to charm any lover of chamber music.  Brahms is my favorite composer for chamber music and even if you don’t know the work specifically, his rich compositional style and voice-leading are unmistakable.  The same volunteer turned to me once again and said, “Pretty soon we are going to have to pay to volunteer!!”  Listeners sometimes identify with individual artists as they watch and listen, and this was one of those times.  A man got my attention to say, motioning to the violinist Teresa Ling, “I could stand here and listen to her play all day!”

For some, it’s not at all what they say with their words, but it’s their body language that tells all.  During a emotionally wrenching, sentimental and nostalgic passage in the Tchaikovsky Trio, a new client was entering the area with his meal tray.  He was so taken, so touched by the music, his face filled with awe and raw emotion as he stared from one player with the soaring melody to the next, he forgot himself and his tray tipped more and more towards the floor.  He kept walking closer, not believing his eyes and ears, his grip on the food tray slackening with each step.  He had obviously come for food, but something different now pulled at him.  Though his eyes looked as if he were weeping, they were filled with joy. Fortunately he did not drop the tray, but I was not too concerned about that- I too was taken with seeing his reaction. I will not soon forget that man and the effect the music had on him nor the soaring performance by the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and the effect it had on me!
Following are the notes from the listeners:
GREAT Never before have I heard this live, and seen it live, my first time.
Thank you. – Derrick
Liked it very much.  The concert was impeccable - from Guest
I like classical music and I like the music this group is playing.
A-OK, GREAT – Old Man
Thank you for your support of Music Kitchen Concerts!
Kelly Hall-Tompkins

Sunday, August 26, 2012

John Malveaux: 'EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy'

[Lost Libraries (]

John Malveaux of sends the above picture and this link:

EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). When roughly 1 MILLION manuscripts were found in Timbuktu/Mali covering, according to Reuters "all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine," IT DID NOT MAKE MAINSTREAM NEWS" 

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu 1 of 5 - BBC Travel Documentary

Uploaded by on Jan 30, 2011
The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu 1 of 5 - BBC Travel Documentary, recorded 17.04.2010 

Aminatta Forna tells the story of legendary Timbuktu and its long hidden legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts. With its university founded around the same time as Oxford, Timbuktu is proof that the reading and writing of books have long been as important to Africans as to Europeans.

'Frevo' (arr. by Celso Machado) - Diablo Valley College Guitar Ensemble on YouTube

[Celso Machado]

Celso Machado (b. 1953) is an Afro-Brazilian classical guitarist and composer who makes his home in Canada. His website is: He is also featured at
Published on Aug 25, 2012 by
Frevo (arr. by Celso Machado) (2:42)

Diablo Valley College Guitar Ensemble 
Pleasant Hill, CA

'Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Jamaica' - Mandeville 7:30 PM Sept. 13 & Kingston 7:30 PM Sept. 15

Guest Composers: Peter Ashbourne & Shirley Thompson

Solo Violinists: Steven Woodham & Naomi Reitzin

Mandeville, September 13
Northern Caribbean University, 7:30 PM

Kingston, September 15
Holy Trinity Cathedral, 7:30 PM

Sergio Mims of WHPK-FM in Chicago forwards a message from Shirley Thompson on The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Jamaica:

Dear Friends,
Hope all's well. Will be wonderful to see you at the concert if you can make it.
Look forward to seeing you there.
Warmest regards,

The Gleaner
Jamaica, West Indies

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in Jamaica
Published: Sunday | July 1, 2012 
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), one of the world's most prestigious orchestras, will perform in Jamaica under the distinguished patronage of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, on September 13 at the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, and on September 15 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston.

The RPO's visit and concerts are being organised by the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, with all proceeds in aid of its music for social change programme, providing free classical music lessons for at-risk youths, positively impacting self-esteem, values and aspirations.

The RPO will perform works by Mozart, Bach and Holst, as well as works by special guest composers Peter Ashbourne, the Jamaican classical visionary, and Shirley Thompson, the groundbreaking United Kingdom-based Jamaican composer, who will each conduct the RPO in their original scores.  In addition, foremost Jamaican classical violinist Steven Woodham will lead the RPO as a solo violinist and partner with young Jamaican violin sensation Naomi Reitzin.

During their weeklong visit to Jamaica, members of the RPO will hold creative classical workshops at high schools, private music centres and NYOJ training centres, as well as master classes at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Violinist Ashley Horne Performs With Antara Ensemble of NYC Oct. 2; Is Heard Often on WQXR Radio

[Ashley Horne]

Violinist Ashley Horne has many professional associations and performances to his credit.  On October 2, 2012 he will perform as a member of the Antara Ensemble, which Presents an Evening of Mozart on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York City.

Ashley Horne is Associate Director, Violin, My Music Garden, which presents his Bio: 
Ashley Horne, a native of Los Angeles, has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he is known for his "bright tone and fine overall sense of style" (Dennis Rooney of Strad Magazine). He performs regularly with American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Bard Festival Orchestra, Westchester Symphony, West-Park Chamber Society, Gateways Music Festival, Dance Theater of Harlem Orchestra and New York City Opera, as well as on Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Wild Party, Carousel, the smash hit The Producers, and Young Frankenstein.
He has been the featured soloist and concertmaster of numerous ensembles, including The New Black Repertory Ensemble, The Antara Ensemble of NY, Cascade Festival Orchestra, and Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. His recording of Henry Cowell's Fiddler's Jig with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra can be heard on Koch International.
Mr. Horne has been a recitalist at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Solo and chamber music performances have taken him to many interesting parts of the globe, such as Spain, Portugal, the Azores Islands, Odessa and Istanbul. Filmgoers can see Mr. Horne in Le Mozart Noir, the PBS documentary of violinist and composer Chevalier de Saint George, as well as in Eddie Murphy's Coming to America.

WQXR Radio, New York City, has played three of Ashley Horne's recorded works since July 15, 2012.  The composers are Simon Shaheen, William Grant Still and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson:

Ashley Horne

Last played Monday, August 20 2012 at 10:11 PM

Fantasie for Oud and String Quartet

Simon Shaheen

Ark21 Records 186850022
length: 06:55
Last played Friday, August 17 2012 at 11:47 AM

Mother and Child

William Grant Still

Newport 85596
length: 07:19
Last played Thursday, July 15 2010 at 08:58 PM

Louisiana Blues Strut (A Cakewalk)

Coleridge Taylor Perkinson

Cedille 087
length: 02:49


Antara Ensemble Presents an Evening of Mozart 8 PM Oct. 2, 2012, Saint Peter's Church, NYC

Antara Ensemble

Presents an Evening of Mozart
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Saint Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, NYC

The 14-member Antara Ensemble will present an evening of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, on Tuesday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m., at Saint Peter’s Church at Citicorp, 619 Lexington Avenue and 54th Street, New York City.  The program, led by Antara’s music director, conductor/flutist Harold Jones, will include the Concerto for Flute and Harp (Harold Jones, flute; Yeon Hwa Chung, harp); Sinfonia concertante in E flat for violin and viola (Ashley Horne, violin; Orlando Wells, viola); Concerto in A Major (Erasmia Voukelatos, piano); and Three Divertimenti for string orchestra.

Tickets are $25; seniors (62 and over) and students $20.  For information and reservations: (212) 866-2545.

The ANTARA ENSEMBLE, now in its 19th season, was formed by Harold Jones to bring quality classical music at affordable prices to the culturally diverse neighborhoods of New York.  The group performs a repertoire spanning centuries and including works by American, African-American, European and Third World composers.

A native of Chicago and a graduate of Juilliard, HAROLD JONES has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Tully Hall, CAMI Hall and other New York venues, Jordan Hall in Boston, and throughout the U.S., Europe and Taiwan.  He has performed as flute soloist with The Bach Aria Orchestra, American Symphony, New York Sinfonietta, Brooklyn Philharmonia, National Orchestral Association, and is on the faculties of the Westchester Conservatory of Music and Manhattanville College.  His recordings on the Antara label include two LPs and three CDs: “Let Us Break Bread Together”, “Just As I Am” and “Lil’ Lite O’ Mine”.

'Plenary Session Speakers 97th Annual ASALH Conference ~ September 26-30, 2012'

Please join us at what promises to be another hugely successful conference this September 26-30 in celebration of the 2012 national Black history theme of "Black Women in American Culture and History". There, some of the most renowned scholars and artists will be presenting at the 97th Annual Conference plenary sessions. 

Thursday 9/27 
We Need Your Hurricane Voices
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon, historian/activist
  • Sonia Sanchez, poet/professor
Friday 9/28 
Mightier than the Sword: Conversations on the Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells-Barnett
  • Mia Bay, Rutgers University
  • Crystal Feimster, Yale University
  • Paula J. Giddings, Smith College
  • Barbara D. Savage, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Patricia Schechter, Portland State University
Saturday 9/29
Changing the Odds for Others: 
The Legacy of Derrick Bell 
  • Anita Allen, University of Pennsylvania Law
  • Mary Frances Berry, University of Pennsylvania
  • William Carter Jr.,  University of Pittsburgh Law
  • Kimberle Crenshaw, UCLA & Columbia School of Law
For more information  CLICK HERE.

Registration is available now! Register online HERE.

See you in Pittsburgh!

Stephanie Evans
Academic Program Chair

Natanya Duncan
Cheryl Hicks
Academic Program, Co-Chairs

'The Start of Slavery in North America' From Lisa Vox, former Guide

[Femi Lewis] African-American History Guide Femi Lewis sends us this article by former Guide Lisa Vox:

The Arrival of the First Slaves
Historians normally date the start of slavery in the North American colonies to 1619. That year, a Dutch ship carrying African slaves docked at Point Comfort, which served as Jamestown's checkpoint for ships wanting to trade with the colonists.  The crew of the Dutch ship was starving, and as John Rolfe noted in a letter to the Virginia Company's treasurer Edwin Sandys, the Dutch traded 20 African slaves for food and supplies.

Indentured Servitude and Slavery
In fact, African slaves may have been present in England's North American colonies earlier than 1619, but Rolfe's letter is the earliest hard evidence of the presence of slaves. The British were reluctant to institute slavery in their new American colonies. They largely relied on indentured servants in the 17th century.

In 1625, there were only 23 Africans present in the colony of Virginia, according to historian Betty Wood. Thirty-five years later, this number had only increased to 950, or around three to four percent of the colony's population. The colony had many more indentured servants, and historians like Edmund Morgan argue that the living conditions and treatment of indentured servants were largely indistinguishable from that of slaves.

During this period, slaves of African descent and white indentured servants often worked, socialized and even ran away from their masters together. But by the end of the 17th century, the colony became more reliant on slave labor as the number of British and Europeans willing to indenture themselves declined and as the leaders of the colony feared uprisings among the poor, landless whites.

The Entrenchment of Slavery
The solution to the constant threat of rebellion from the landless poor? Raise the status of the poorest whites in the colony by instituting a system of racial slavery. Morgan sees the turning point in the rise of slavery in Virginia as coming in 1676 during Bacon's Rebellion, when Nathaniel Bacon led both white and black men against the leaders of the Virginia colony. Fearing this display of unity among poor whites and blacks, Virginia became a colony wholly dependent on slave labor and phased out indentured servitude.

  • Boles, John. Black Southerners, 1619-1869. University Press of Kentucky, 1984.
  • Morgan, Edmund. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. W. W. Norton & Company, 2003.
  • Wood, Betty. Slavery in Colonial America, 1619-1776. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

Friday, August 24, 2012

American Opera Project Presents Jorell Williams, Baritone, In September

[Jorell Williams]

Jorell Williams, Baritone

Other prize-winners who made a strong impression were…baritone JORELL WILLIAMS, who showed a solid vocal core and easy, natural production in "Lieben, Hassen," from Ariadne auf Naxos;” - Opera News, GERDA LISSNER INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION 

During the 2009-2010 season, Jorell sang as a guest artist with the Verein Opera in Zürich, performing in a Gala concert of Opera under the direction of international Tenor Francisco Araiza. He created the role of Tomás Cabral in the premiere of composer John David Earnest’s The Theory of Everything with Encompass New Opera Theater, performed as a guest artist at the Cathedral of St. John the Devine’s Concert for Peace with soprano’s Lauren Flanigan and Amy Burton under the baton of Maestro Glen Cortese, and created the role of the Presenter of the Church in a workshop reading of composer Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, which was a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Opera Theatre. He also had the honor of performing with the Chorale Le Chateau of New York in “A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA” in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the occasion of the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 19, 2009. 

He finishes the season with the Opera Company of Brooklyn as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus at the American Ballet Theater, lead by award-winning dancers Pierre Dulaine and Yvonne Marceau, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Aaron Copland School of Music, a concert series with the Career Bridges Foundation at the Gerhard Theater at the “Osterreicische Gesellschaft für Musik” in Vienna, and will participate as a Young Artist at the Caramoor International Music Festival performing the role of de Fiesque in Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan. 

Mr. Williams is a graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, where he sang the roles of le Directeur in Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias, the title roles in Robert Sirota’s The Tailor of Gloucester and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Tarquinnius in The Rape of Lucretia, Gabriel von Eisenstein (Cover) in Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Milord Arespighn in Cimarosa's rare comic opera L'italiana in Londra, Ronaldo Cabral in John Musto’s New York premiere of Later the same evening, and Robert Garner in a preview of Richard Danielpour's New York premiere of Margaret Garner with the production team of New York City Opera.

American Opera Projects and Opera on Tap present 

OPERAtion Brooklyn @ BEAT festival

Music by
Daniel Felsenfeld
One Ring Zero
Sidney Marquez Boquiren
Zach Redler

Yoon Jae Lee, conductor
Kayleigh Butcher, mezzo
Marcy Richardson, soprano
Delea Shand, soprano
Brandon Snook, tenor
Jorrell Williams, baritone
Jeanne-Minette Cilliers, piano
Mila Henry, piano

Tickets: $20 

More Info:

American Opera Project
AOP will present two scenes rooted in contemporary conflicts - "Stop and Frisk" by composer Sidney Marquez Boquiren and librettist Daniel Neer and "Male Identity" by composer Zach Redler and librettist Sara Cooper - featuring performances by tenor Brandon Snook (Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera) and baritone Jorell Williams (New York City Center Encores!, Caramoor International Music Festival, Ravinia Festival). Supporting on piano will be music directors Jeanne-Minette Cilliers and Mila Henry, with stage direction by Noah Himmelstein.


Thursday Sept. 13 - 7:30PM
Flatbush Reformed Church
890 Flatbush Avenue, Flatbush

Wednesday, Sept. 19 - 7:30PM
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 7th Avenue, Park Slope

Saturday, Sept. 22 - 7:30 PM
The Irondale Center
85 S. Oxford Street, Ft Greene

One Weekend... Two Amazing Events. Join The 105 For A Concert And A Health Walk / Run

MusiCB3 Blog: 'Where Coleridge-Taylor’s influence was greatest was in the United States.'

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Public Domain)]

MusiCB3 is a blog about the music collections at the Cambridge University Library and Pendlebury Library, as well as about wider issues which are on the minds of the music librarians here.

To celebrate, to commemorate : Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (September 1st)

Like many music librarians I subscribe to the IAML (International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation centres) lists. 
While browsing through some recent emails after a series of rather uninspiring requests I suddenly came across Hiawatha’s wedding feast  (available at the UL : item no. 3 in Mus.51.62) by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. “That’s unusual” I said to my colleagues, only to find another email requesting the same thing, and then a third looking this time for Coleridge-Taylor’s Sea drift  (also in the UL : no. 1076 in Novello’s Part-song book, second series – M289.b.41.25). Now I was puzzled – why this sudden enthusiasm for Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, very popular in his day, but now rarely performed? A quick bit of Googling told me that 1st September was the centenary of Coleridge-Taylor’s death, and some more research showed why we should all be celebrating the life of this extraordinary man.

Born on August 15th, 1875 Coleridge-Taylor was the son of a doctor from Sierra Leone. His father was unable to find work in London, probably owing to the colour of his skin, so returned to Africa unaware that his lover, Alice Hare Martin, was pregnant. Throughout his life Coleridge-Taylor would meet with prejudice, but he overcame it triumphantly.

He learned to play the violin (his mother’s family were musical), and studied at the Royal College of Music. Elgar’s friend, the influential editor and critic, August Jaeger, was very impressed by the young man and told Elgar that Coleridge-Taylor was a “genius”. Elgar agreed believing that the composer was “far and away the cleverest fellow amongst the young men” currently composing in England.

His most popular work was Hiawatha’s wedding feast composed in 1899. This was to be the first of a cycle of works setting Longfellow’s epic poem The song of HiawathaMalcolm Sargent loved the cycle and conducted the work annually in a semi-staged production at the Royal Albert Hall between 1928-1939. (Annual productions had started in 1924). Members of the public even travelled to the event fully costumed as Native Americans!

Where Coleridge-Taylor’s influence was greatest was in the United States. He became a focal point for black America in a period that still lay deep in the shadow of the Civil War. The Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society set up in Washington D.C. consisted of 200 African-American singers, who paid for Coleridge-Taylor’s visit to the States; while there he met President Theodore Roosevelt, a remarkable encounter for a person of colour in that period.

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, We are collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]