Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pianist Rebeca Omordia and Cellist Joseph Spooner perform Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Alton College, U.K. including John Ireland's Cello Sonata in G minor

Rebeca Omordia

Rebeca Omordia announces on her website:

Festival of Contemporary Music - Martin Read Foundation

  • Alton College
Recital with cellist Joseph Spooner
Programme to include John Ireland's Cello Sonata in G minor

Marlon Daniel conducts Bahamas National Orchestra Sunday, April 23, 2017, 5 PM, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk, Nassau, The Bahamas [Hear Violinist on YouTube]


End of Workshop Concert | St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk

Marlon Daniel, Conductor

Yanet Secades, Violin

Edward ELGAR (1857 – 1934)

Serenade in E Minor, Op. 20

   I. Allegro piacevole

   II. Larghetto

   III. Allegretto

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872 – 1958)

The Lark Ascending


Jean SIBELIUS (1865 – 1957)

Valse triste, Op. 44

Samuel BARBER (1910 – 1981)

Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Ástor PIAZZOLLA (1921 – 1992)

Two Tangos 

   I. Oblivion
   II. Libertango 

[YouTube video of violin soloist Yanet Secades:

NOBLE Region I Training Conference: Bridging The Gap Between The Community And The Police, April 27-29, 2017, Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel

Schomburg Center & Harlem Chamber Players: "A Hug for Harlem," An Evening of Music by African-American Composers, Still, Perkinson & Scott, 6:30 PM April 27

HBCU Weekend Friday-Saturday, June 23-24, 2017: Happy Hour Friday Night, Strive For Five 5K Run/2K Walk Saturday

Friday, April 21, 2017

John Malveaux: Misty Copeland Discusses New Book, "Ballerina Body," on C-Span

John Malveaux of 

[Misty Copeland is interviewed by Jeff Ballou of the National Press Club on C-Span 3]

Author And Entrepreneur William F. Pickard, Ph.D To Discuss His Book "MILLIONAIRE MOVES" At The Schomburg Center--Friday, April 28th, 2017

William F. Pickard, Ph.D.

(New York, NY--April 21, 2017) Millionaire Moves: Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship is an authentic and relatable account of how multimillionaire and generous philanthropist, William F. Pickard, Ph.D. navigated and flourished in the world of business. Pickard openly shares his business acumen, life experiences and common sense approach in an effort to help novice and entrenched entrepreneurs craft a blueprint to manage obstacles often associated with new business ventures. Pickard is confident that the seven self-prescribed principles (Vision & Attitude, Opportunity, Finance, Relationships, Talent & Skillset, Failure & Faith) detailed in his book will serve as a model for business aspirants all over the world.
Dr. Pickard is a generous philanthropist, educator and mentor as well as a frequent lecturer at a myriad of colleges and universities across the country.  Pickard continues to serve on numerous boards and his business endeavors have created thousands of jobs and opportunities for many.  In addition to being an avid volunteer and spirit to help others, Pickard created a company-wide internship program to recruit the next generation of minority employees in plastics processing.

WHO: William F. Pickard (Author, Business Expert, Entrepreneur)

           Sunny Hostin (Co-Host of ABC's "The View")               

                                    (Evening Moderator)

WHAT: Book Launch and Conversation

WHEN: Friday, April 28th, 2017

TIME: Program Begins 6PM

LOCATION: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

                      515 Malcolm X Boulevard (@ 135th Street)

MEDIA RSVP: Jalesa Tucker 
                          The Terrie Williams Agency


Please visit to learn about the "Millionaire Moves" 2017 Spring Book Tour, which will include scheduled events at selected HBCUs.
Millionaire Moves: Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship
 is published by Real Times Media and is on sale today at

OperaCréole presents US premiere of "La Flamenca" (1903), by Lucien Lambert in fully-staged production at Marigny Opera House, New Orleans, May 19-21, 2017

Kenya Lawrence Jackson and Tyrone Chambers

Givonna Joseph writes:

(April 20th, 2017 - New Orleans) OperaCréole is proud to announce its production: the US premiere of "La Flamenca" (1903), by Lucien Lambert, a New Orleans composer of Creole heritage. The fully-staged production will be presented at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans, May 19th-21st, 2017.

Sung in French, La Flamenca, is set in Cuba during the Spanish American War. It debuted at The Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris in 1903. Except for a few scenes previously presented in the past by OperaCréole, there is no record of the opera ever being performed in America.

The highly dramatic plot is typical of its time. It centers on La Flamenca, a Creole songstress of Cuba, who becomes embroiled through love in the conflict between the Spanish military and the American "Rough Riders." The opera contains extended ballet scenes featuring interpretations of the native dances of Cuba, Haiti and Africa.

The production will be directed by Givonna Joseph, Founder and Director of OperaCreole, Aria Mason, OperaCréole Co-Founder and Production Manager, and Dr. Wilfred Delphin, Pianist.

La Flamenca: Kenya Lawrence Jackson
Torres: Tyrone Chambers
Truxillo: Christian Patterson
Jackson: Terrance Brown
Tampico: Evan Hammond
Piquita: Ebonee Davis
Rosalia: Aria Mason
Leonor: Givonna Joseph
Morelos: Barry Robinson
Mazaquil: Tyrone Hayes

About OperaCréole
OperaCréole is dedicated to researching and performing lost or rarely performed music, and sharing with the community the contributions of our people to this musical art form, not only in New Orleans, but around the world.

Since its inaugural concert on May 22, 2011, they have performed with The Louisiana Creole Research Association (LA Creole), Trinity Artist Series, John Boutte, Illinois State University, Bloomington, IL (Artist Residency), Consulat Général de France á la Nouvelle-Orléans, New Orleans Film Society (French Film Festival, 12 Years A Slave Premiere), The Creole Heritage Center, Natchitoches, LA, The Whitney Plantation/Slavery Museum, The Historic New Orleans Collection, The New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park (U.S. National Park Service), French Quarter Festivals Inc., New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Chevron Corporation, Positive Vibrations Foundation, Young Audiences of Louisiana, Edgar "Dooky" and Leah Chase Family Foundation, and Terrance Blanchard.

WHAT: The American premiere of "La Flamenca" (1903)
WHEN: May 19th-21st at 7:00pm

Canadian Pianist Luke Welch performs May 7 in Belgium at the Muziekschuur, then gives recitals in Canada, The Netherlands and 3 cities in South Africa

Crossing Borders

Luke Welch, Piano

Luke Welch is a Canadian pianist who recently announced his new CD, comprised of Sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti, called Crossing Borders.  He writes from his current base in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and tells us his schedule of one recent performance and several upcoming appearances:

Luke Welch writes:
As for my concert schedule, I just played in Bonn, Germany at the beginning of the month at the Gabriele Paque Musikstudio und Galerie - and next I will be giving a recital on May 7 in Belgium at the Muziekschuur.  This performance will actually be my first official recital in Belgium, which is quite exciting.  About a week after that I will be flying back to Canada for a few weeks to give seven recitals - in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Brampton, Guelph, and Ottawa. 

Shortly after I get back to the Netherlands I will have a few performances here, before heading off to South Africa for the first time.  I'm really excited for that trip since it will be my first visit to that continent, and will get to play in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Sandton - the last performance of that tour will be at the Nelson Mandela Square! 
With all best wishes,

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rebeca Omordia and Mark Bebbington have enjoyed extraordinary critical and sales success with "The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams" on Somm

SOMM CD 0164

Rebeca Omordia and Mark Bebbington

The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams

The liner notes of this recording present a brief biography of pianist Rebeca Omordia, "Born in Romania to a Romanian mother and a Nigerian father, Rebeca Omordia graduated from the National Music University in Bucharest in 2006 when she was awarded a full scholarship to study at Birmingham Conservatoire and later at Trinity College of Music in London.

"Winning the Delius Prize in 2009 opened a collaboration with the world-renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.  They formed a three-year partnership performing in well-known venues including Wigmore Hall and Kings Place in London, Highgrove for the Prince's Trust and giving several live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3.


"Rebeca is a great advocate of Nigerian classical music.  In 2013 she formed a partnership with his Excellency Nigeria High Commissioner in London to promote Nigerian classical music to the UK audience."

The Classical composers of Continental Europe generally came to our attention before those of the United Kingdom.  The U.K. website MusicWeb International,  the U.K.-based blog On An Overgrown Path and research into the Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), who is featured at, all contributed to a gradually increasing awareness of the wealth of U.K. Classical composition in the 19th and 20th centuries.                                                                                     

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) is one of a number of British composers we think of as being influenced by folk music.  Everyman's Dictionary of Music by Eric Blom (1973) says of the composer: "In 1904 he joined the Folk-Song Society and began to take an active share in the recovery and study of old country tunes, collecting some in Norfolk."

The principal liner notes of the recording are written and copyrighted by Robert Matthew-Walker.  They begin: "Although Vaughan Williams composed prolifically for over sixty years, producing around 200 works, he wrote comparatively little for the piano.  Because of his major achievements in symphony, opera, folk-song and choral music, many commentators have tended to dismiss his piano music as insignificant, but his compositions for the instrument contain two absolute masterpieces for solo piano, The Lake in the Mountains and the Choral and Choral Prelude, with the Hymn Tune Prelude on Song XIII and the Suite of Six Short Pieces being only just below this exceptional standard.  Vaughan Williams's music for duo pianists is even smaller in output, but contains one demonstrably great work - the Introduction and Fugue for two pianos."

Mark Bebbington plays the solo piano works which occupy a major portion of this recording.  Rebeca Omordia joins in on Introduction and Fugue for two pianos (17:22), which receives its premiere recording on this disc.  The next work in which she participates is Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (12:29).  The piece is arranged for two pianos by Maurice Jacobson and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Finally, Rebeca takes part in the piano duet for Fantasia on Greensleeves, which is adapted from the opera Sir John in Love. 

In the first week of April, 2017, James Inverne Music reported on the sales and critical success of The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams:

Bebbington's "The Piano Music of Vaughan Williams", with Rebeca Omordia and Somm Recordings, has spent seven weeks in the charts, reached number three, and notched up a second “Recording of the Month” in a row for the English pianist.

Since Vaughan Williams fans tend to be passionate about the English composer's music to the point of devotion, there will have been many glasses raised to the extraordinary sales success of Mark Bebbington's newest album, "The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams". Released by Somm Recordings and also featuring fellow pianist Rebeca Omordia, the album has so far featured in the UK Specialist Classical Charts for an astonishing seven weeks, reaching as high as number three.

For a release that might be regarded as niche - Vaughan Williams is not best-known for his piano music, which has tended to be overlooked - this is a remarkable success. Reviewers have also welcomed the release. Writes Andrew Achenbach in Gramophone, "(Amazingly the first CD recording of Introduction and Fugue)...and a superb one it is too, Mark Bebbington and Rebeca Omordia finding an unremitting logic, sweep and concentration that thrill to the for the solo items, Bebbington gives ideally lofty and serene renderings...Bebbington's disarmingly deft touch likewise works wonders in the two sets of teaching pieces that close proceedings..."

Similarly Music Web International, which named the album its "Recording Of The Month", noted that Bebbington's and Omordia's "deft and dedicated reading shows (Introduction and Fugue) off in all its glory." The Guardian called it "enjoyable, Classical Ear "essential", The Arts Desk "A winner!". The album has also had success in the wide-ranging Classic FM Chart. [End]

We agree with the critics and classical music purchasers who have launched the recording of Rebeca Omordia and Mark Bebbington on an extraordinary trajectory,
and add our own endorsement based on our experience of intense listening enjoyment. 

By Simon Brackenborough (@sbrackenborough) 

Comment by email:
Thank you very much for all your support, Bill! Very best wishes, Rebeca [Rebeca Omordia]

HuffPost Black Voices: Oprah Wants The World To Know Henrietta Lacks Is A Hidden Figure No More

Katie Maguire of Huffington Post writes:
Good afternoon, 

Lilly Workneh, HuffPost's Senior Editor of Black Voices, joined a group of all black female reporters on Tuesday to interview Oprah Winfrey about her role in bringing to life the story of Henrietta Lacks in the upcoming HBO film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” 

At the event, which Oprah live-streamed via her Facebook page, she explained why she felt compelled to bring this hiddden figure to light. “When I first read her story in 2010, I wanted to tell the story,” Oprah said. “It is my nature to share everything. I wanted as many people to know about the story as possible ... and so now you do.”

“I worked in Baltimore as a young reporter from the time I was 22 to 30. I lived there, I went to church every Sunday,” Oprah explained. “I am a student of the African American culture ... I have never, in all of my readings, in all of my stories, heard of HeLa or Henrietta Lacks. I could not believe that, how could I have been in this town all this time and never seen one thing about her?”

Read Lilly's full story here.


By Othalie Graham (@OthalieGraham

Sergio A. Mims: Prom 62: Chineke! 22:15 Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 Royal Albert Hall; Works of Hannah Kendall and George Walker

Kevin John Edusei 
(© Marco Borggreve)

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Cello

Hannah Kendall, Composer
(London Music Masters)

 George Walker, Composer

Sergio A. Mims writes:

This is very exciting news. The Chineke! Orchestra will perform at the BBC Proms Music Festival at Royal Albert Hall, the biggest classical music event in the world, held every summer in London.

Hailed by critics as ‘fresh’ and ‘brilliant’, the UK’s first BME orchestra Chineke! makes its Proms debut in a programme including works by Pulitzer Prize-winning George Walker and young British composer Hannah Kendall, whose The Spark Catchers takes inspiration from the urgent energy of Lemn Sissay’s poem of the same name.

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, also makes his Proms debut here as soloist in music by Dvořák and David Popper.