Friday, August 8, 2014

Colour of Music Festival, Charleston October 22-26, 2014: Black Professional Classical Musicians Festival with Marlon Daniel, Music Director

Charleston SC August 6, 2014 —The Second Annual Colour of Music Festival will usher in the fall arts season in Charleston October 22-26, 2014. Over twenty performances will showcase the breadth and influence of blacks on the classical music world past and present. The five-day festival features top black musicians, vocalists, and orchestra leaders from across the globe performing piano, organ, voice recitals, and chamber works. The Festival Chorus includes the host ensemble the CSO Spiritual Ensemble, the Colour of Music Chorale, Bennett College, Benedict College and Winton-Salem State University Choirs. The world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Morehouse Glee Club will also be featured in two pre-Festival performances October 17 and 23.

Showcasing acclaimed black chamber ensemble players and artists to form the Orchestra, the Festival will showcase some of the top black classical musicians in the US, trained at some of the most prestigious music schools, conservatories and universities in the world. This convergence of talent will  converge on a number of historic Charleston venues including the Charleston Museum, Memminger Auditorium, and Saint Stephens and Grace Episcopal Churches.

Maestro Marlon Daniel, Music Director of New York-based Ensemble Du Monde, Artistic Director of Festival International Saint-Georges and Principal Guest Conductor of the Sofia Sinfonietta in Bulgaria, will once again conduct the Festival orchestra in a performance highlighting black composers and George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess Concert Suite. The Festival Orchestra will also reintroduce Charleston’s ‘father of classical music’ Edmund Thornton Jenkin’s composition Charlestonia: A Folk Rhapsody. Dr. David Morrow, Director of the Morehouse Glee Club, will conduct the Festival’s finale performance—Verdi’s mammoth Messa di Requiem, an ode to Le Chevalier de St. Georges and the many black composers who for more than 300 years have received scant artistic recognition.

“Though limited in numbers on American concert stages, classically trained black artists have contributed significantly to classical music. Collectively the musicians are thrilled to carry forward the legacy of Saint Georges, Edmund Thornton Jenkins, and William Grant Still. The Festival hopes to inspire young black students to further their musical pursuits in the classical realm, including the pipe organ,” said Lee Pringle, Festival Founder and General Manager of the Festival.

“This one-of-its-kind festival, with professional black musicians coming together in one of American’s admired cities, Charleston, inspires me to contribute to this history-making effort,” says Maestro Daniel, Festival Music Director.

Four noted living composers’ works will be showcased, including Nigerian Nkeiru Okoye, London-based Dominique Le Gendre from Trinidad, Grammy-nominated Ghanaian composer Fred Onovwerosuoke and Trevor Weston, former College of Charleston professor now at Drew University.

Additional highlights include the Chamber Evening Recital series each evening featuring the Kaj Trio from Atlanta, the Colour of Music Virtuosi made up of 15 of the Festival’s finest musicians, Virginia-based Elliot Family Quartet featuring 15-year old child prodigy Sterling Elliot who will also debut with the Festival Orchestra in a performance of Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 2, and the Colour of Music Quartet made up of principal musicians from the Colour of Music Orchestra.

A four-day symposium each day at 8:30am will include a musical offering relevant to each day’s topic. Black female composers will be front and center with acclaimed violinist Mellasenah Edwards serving as Concertmaster and a special segment presented by Dr. Louise Toppin of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on black females composers’ contributions to classical music. Dr. Trevor Weston of Drew University will present a session on Charleston’s contribution to classical music. The College of Charleston’s Dr. Karen Chandler will discuss Edmund Thornton Jenkins, son of the founder of Jenkins Orphanage, and concluding with a keynote address Saturday, October 25 by Wayne S. Brown, former NEA Chairman and current President and CEO of Michigan Opera, who will speak on the small number of black symphony and opera arts administrators. 

The full schedule can be accessed from the COMF Brochure. Full schedule and tickets online: or by calling (866) 811-4111. Series packages with discounts up to 30% off are available. For all-inclusive packages for college professors and administrators and/or for groups of ten (10) or more use code: GR. Tickets are $7.00 for schools and church youth groups. Tickets also available at the door (credit card, cash or check) one hour before each performance.

COLOUR OF MUSIC FESTIVAL PROGRAM SCHEDULE October 22-26, 2014 Charleston, South Carolina
                Special Events ∙ 7:00pm
            Fri Oct 17              Fisk Jubilee Singers                                                                            
                Sun Oct 19            Colour of Music Virtuosi Debut                                                        
                Thu Oct 23            Morehouse Glee Club                                                                        
            Symposium Presentations ∙ 8:30am (10:30am musical offering included with ticket)
                Wed Oct 22          Dr. Trevor Weston, Charleston’s Contributions to Classical Music            
                Thu Oct 23            Dr. Louise Toppin, Black Female Composers                                 
                Fri Oct 24              Dr. Karen Chandler, Edmund Thornton Jenkins                                            
                Sat Oct 25             Wayne S. Brown, Keynote Address (NANM winner)                    
                High Noon Organ Recitals ∙ 12:00pm
                Wed Oct 22          Wayne A. Barr. Tuskegee University                                                               
                Thu Oct 23            Anthony Williams, Fisk University                                                    
                Fri Oct 24              Isaac Brunson, Talladega College                                                    
                Sat Oct 25             Nathaniel Gumbs, Friendship Missionary Baptist, Charlotte        

                Chamber Music Vocal Matinees ∙ 2:00pm
                Wed Oct 22          Valerie Francis, soprano, Wilfred Delphin, piano                         
                Thu Oct 23            Darnell Ishmell, baritone, Mikael Darmaine, piano                       
                Fri Oct 24              Icy Monroe, soprano, Artina McCaine, piano                                
                Sat Oct 25             Keven Bell Solomon, bass, Everett N. Jones, III, piano                  

                Ebony and Ivory Piano Recitals ∙ 4:00pm
                Wed Oct 22          Artina McCain                                                                                      
                Thu Oct 23            William H. Chapman Nyaho                                                               
                Fri Oct 24              Everett N. Jones, III                                                                             
                Sat Oct 25             Mikael Darmaine                                                                                 
                Chamber Evening Recital ∙ 6:00pm 
                Wed Oct 22          Colour of Music Virtousi                                                                                    
Thu Oct 23            KAJ Trio                                                                                                 
                Fri Oct 24              Elliott Family Quartet                                                                          
                Sat Oct 25             Colour of Music Quartet                                                                    
                Masterworks Series
                Fri Oct 24
                8:00pm                  Porgy and Bess Concert Suite                                                           
                                                Marlon Daniel, conductor
                                                Roberta Laws, soprano (Bess), Daniel A. Washington, bass (Porgy)
                                                Robert A. Mack, tenor (Sportin’ Life)
                                                Morehouse Glee Club, Bennett College Concert Choir,
                                                Benedict College Concert Choir and Winston-Salem State University Concert Choir

                Sat Oct 25
                8:00pm                  Charlestonia: An Ode to Black Composers                                                     
                                                Marlon Daniel, conductor
                Sun Oct 26
                3:00pm                  Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Mantinee                                             
                                                David Morrow, conductor

                                                Taylor Louise Johnson, soprano, Nicole J. Mitchell, contralto

                                                Robert A. Mack, tenor, Daniel A. Washington, bass
                                                CSO Spiritual Ensemble, Morehouse Glee Club, Bennett College Concert Choir,

                                                Benedict College Concert Choir and Winston-Salem State University Concert Choir

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