Friday, November 27, 2020

Wallace M. Cheatham: "Racism: Opera's Unlisted Castmember," has now been published in the Ibadan Journal of Theater Arts

Wallace M. Cheatham

November 24, 2020

Wallace M. Cheatham writes:

The publication of my paper,  "Racism: Opera's Unlisted Castmember," has now been published in the Ibadan Journal of Theater Arts.

Wallace Cheatham Chineke!/Edusei review — defiance, rage, triumph and a seam of deep compassion

The programme was incisively conducted by Kevin John Edusei


November 24, 2020

When the Black Lives Matter protester Patrick Hutchinson was photographed in June rescuing an injured white counter-protester, the striking picture went viral. “I’ll stare at this image numerous times,” the poet Yomi Sode begins, “and then it will hit me . . . We have been here before.” His is a powerful critique, a response to current affairs that’s rooted in centuries of trauma. It forms the heart of a new piece by James B Wilson, Remnants, premiered in this Black Legacies streamed concert by Chineke!.

In truth, Wilson’s music is mostly a frame for Sode’s performance, anguished, urgent and eloquent. 

Eric Conway: Morgan State Choir sings "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Eric Conway writes on November 26, 2020:

Happy Thanksgiving all!  

On this national day of Thanksgiving, when we all take time to thank God for all He has given us, I would like to share a song the Morgan choir learned earlier in the semester: Simon and Garfunkel’s iconic song:  "Bridge Over Troubled Water”. 

Paul Simon believed this was perhaps his greatest single piece that he had ever written.  It has been said that the piece gives the flavor of a white gospel song.  This song was immediately accepted by the public with immediate resonance from citizens in this country as well as the UK.  This piece was first released fifty years ago in 1970, and found favor in performance by Elvin Presley, Peggy Lee, the Jackson 5, and the Supremes.  In 1971, Aretha Franklin claimed this piece as a staple of her repertoire, confirming the Gospel feel of the song.  In subsequent generations, the piece was used to help heal in times of need.  Paul Simon performed this song for the victims of 9/11 in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

In 2020, the Morgan choir offers this piece to encourage all during this very unsettled period in our nation's history given the world-wide coronavirus pandemic.  We hope you enjoy this arrangement of this timeless song.


Thursday, November 26, 2020 New York Choral Society presents second installment of "Our Voices" with the premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s "A Carol For All Children" Dec. 15

 The New York Choral Society (“NYCHORAL”) presents their second installment of Our Voices with the premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s A Carol For All Children on December 15.

A Carol for All Children, composed by Adolphus Hailstork in 1995, celebrates the simple idea that all children have value and are brought into the world with hopes that their future and their world will be bright and full of possibilities. Choreographed through the lens of a Queer artist of Kenyan and Indian descent, the work further highlights the need for agency and solidarity, giving all children the right to be valued, loved and nurtured regardless of race, creed or means in an equitable and loving world.

Composer Adolphus Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, various chamber ensembles, band, and orchestra. Among his early compositions are Celebration, and Out of the Depths (1977) and American Guernica (1983). New commissions include Earthrise, a large-scale choral work for James Conlon and the 2006 Cincinnati May Festival and We Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story for the Cincinnati Opera. Hailstork is currently working on a requiem for chorus and orchestra, A Knee on The Neck, in response to the murder of George Floyd.

Brendan Fernandes is an internationally recognized Canadian artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. Brendan’s projects address issues of race, queer culture, migration, protest and other forms of collective movement. Always looking to create new spaces and new forms of agency, Brendan’s projects take on hybrid forms: part Ballet, part queer dance hall, part political protest...always rooted in collaboration and fostering solidarity. He is currently artist-in-residency and faculty at Northwestern University and represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. Recent and upcoming projects include performances and solo presentations at the Noguchi Museum (New York); Monique Meloche Gallery (Chicago); the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto); and the Museo De Arte São Paulo (São Paulo).

A Carol for All Children will stream on NYCHORAL’s YouTube Channel and on our website.

Maria Thompson Corley: My domestic abuse-themed opera, The Sky Where You Are, will be available on the Decameron Opera Coalition site until Dec. 31

Maria Thompson Corley

Pianist Maria Thompson Corley writes:

Hi Bill,

It occurred to me to mention that my domestic abuse-themed opera, The Sky Where You Are, will be available on the Decameron Opera Coalition site until Dec. 31. KF Jacques is the other Black composer whose opera, The Corsair, is included. Several singers in other productions are Black, including Mr. Jacques. I am the pianist for my piece. 

All of the composers will be interviewed live on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. on the Decameron Opera Coalition Facebook page.

More information on the operas in general and mine in particular can be found below. An Opera Theatre commissioned my piece.

Very best wishes and warmest regards,

John Malveaux: Philadelphia Orchestra performs little-known symphony composed by African American female Florence Price

 Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

John Malveaux of writes:

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Bill Doggett: May I wish you and yours Happy Thanksgiving

Bill Doggett writes:

I give thanks for our friendship!

May I wish you and yours Happy Thanksgiving 

May we remember and honor those loved ones
who are not with us
and give thanks for the joy that they brought us.


American Composers Alliance in New York: Online release of "Variations" a film of vocal works by artists from the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles

Photo: YouTube: Brain Dead and Converse present Variations

November 25, 2020

American Composers Alliance in New York announces the online release of "Variations" a short film directed by Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange, featuring extraordinary performances of two ACA vocal works by artists from the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles,

The film opens with a hauntingly beautiful a cappella performance of  "For You There Is No Song" from Five Millay Songs by H. Leslie Adams, followed by a jazz ensemble, then followed by "Dream & Variation" from Songs From the Dark Tower by Dorothy Rudd Moore -- one of her evocative settings of poetry by Langston Hughes. 

Performers include Vocalist: Brandi Birdsong; Cellists: Hanna Innis and Christine Kivi; and Pianist: Amber Daughtry. 

The 14 minute promotional film also features music by Wayne Shorter, Hello Yello, and  Chevalier de Saint-Georges, performed by young musicians in Los Angeles. 

"Luminous Sound” is an initiative established by the clothing and shoe companies BrainDead and Converse to sell a limited edition batch of Converse tennis shoes to raise money and awareness for young musicians such as these around the world.

Read more about this project and view the entire film here:

John Malveaux: NPR speaks with composer Anthony Davis about his opera RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT featuring clarinetist Anthony McGill

Anthony Davis

John Malveaux of writes:

NPR speaks with composer Anthony Davis about his opera RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT featuring clarinetist Anthony McGill

The Fisk Jubilee Singers’® Album, Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album), Nominated for GRAMMY® Award in Best Roots Gospel Album Category

Curb Records

Nashville, Tenn. (November 24, 2020) — Curb Records is excited to announce the much-deserved GRAMMY® nomination of its June 2020 release of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’® album, Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album) in the Best Roots Gospel Album category. Listen to the album Here:

“I had many great experiences today, including the news of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’® GRAMMY® Nomination. This is VERY EXCITING!!!,” shares Dr. Paul Kwami, Musical Director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers® and Album Co-Producer. “It is the result of hard and diligent work put together by many great minds. As the Fisk Jubilee Singers® prepare to celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2021, this nomination gives us much inspiration to celebrate the anniversary in a grand way. This GRAMMY® nomination is a great honor for the Fisk Jubilee Singers® and me, and for this I am very grateful to everyone for their tremendous contributions.”

The album, which is more than 150 years in the making, is a collection of 12 songs that beautifully represents and communicates the powerful and vibrant history of Fisk University, Fisk Jubilee Singers®, and the city of Nashville. It features the group from the stage of Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, with guest appearances by Ruby Amanfu, Keb’ Mo’, Lee Ann Womack, The Fairfield Four, Rod McGaha, Derek Minor, Shannon Sanders, Rodney Atkins, Jimmy Hall and CeCe Winans.

“I am proud to be a part of this historic moment,” shares Shannon Sanders, Album Co-Producer. “I am beyond excited for the Fisk Jubilee Singers®, Dr. Paul T. Kwami, and Fisk University. I am grateful to Mike Curb, the team at Curb Records and all of their affiliates for their incredible belief and support. This is a big day for Music City.”

Mike Curb, Chairman of Curb Records, also shares, “We’ve worked for many years with the Fisk Jubilee Singers and we are very excited that they have such an important GRAMMY® nomination at this time.” 

Credit: Bill Steber

For more information, visit


  1. Wade In The Water
  2. Blessed Assurance (feat. CeCe Winans)
  3. I Believe (feat. Keb’ Mo’)
  4. Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right (feat. Lee Ann Womack)
  5. Rock My Soul (feat. The Fairfield Four)
  6. I Want Jesus To Walk With Me (feat. Ruby Amanfu)
  7. When The Saints Go Marching In (feat. Rod McGaha)
  8. ‘Way Over In Egypt Land
  9. Glory / Stranger (feat. Derek Minor & Shannon Sanders)
  10. Working On A Building (feat. Rodney Atkins)
  11. My Lord Is So High
  12. I Saw The Light (feat. Jimmy Hall)


About Fisk University   

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private, liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Consistently recognized for its brand of academic excellence, Fisk is ranked No. 6 on the Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report. Fisk also ranked No. 1 in the nation among HBCUs for social mobility and No. 3 in the nation for research expenditures among small liberal arts colleges. Fisk University is deeply committed to student leadership, success and service. Fisk excels at preparing our highly motivated student body for elite graduate schools and outstanding careers. From the classroom to the boardroom, a Fisk education gives students the tools to turn their passions into careers and prepares them to make a difference in the world. To learn more about Fisk University, please visit 


About Curb Records

Celebrating 56 years in business, Curb Records is one of the world’s leading independent music companies. Owned and operated by Mike Curb since 1964, Curb Records has achieved 435 number one records, over 1,500 hundred Top Ten records and charted over 4,500 total records. With over a half century in operation, Curb Records has been influential in the careers of some of the biggest names in music, including: Tim McGraw, Hank Williams, Jr., Rodney Atkins, Lee Brice, LeAnn Rimes, The Judds, Dylan Scott, Sawyer Brown, Wynonna, Lyle Lovett, JoDee Messina, Hal Ketchum and Desert Rose Band, among many others. Today’s roster includes some of the top names across multiple genres of music. For more information, visit