Thursday, January 27, 2022

Kelly Hall-Tompkins: Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto at Overture Hall

 Photo: Patricia Johnson

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins writes:

I hope this email finds you well.  I just returned from an incredibly exciting weekend performing for my first time out the Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto with the Madison Symphony in their stunning Overture Hall.  This wonderful masterpiece is enormous in scope, with a Mahler-sized orchestra and it draws from so many aspects of my musical life - classical, jazz and roots-style fiddling.  And as my husband Joe is a percussionist, yet another point of connection for me is that part of one of the 3 cadenzas features a bit of a jam with the principal percussionist.  I was thrilled to hear the score come to life around me, to be the first violinist to perform the work after the original dedicatee, the wonderful violinist Nicola Benedetti, and to receive standing ovations at each of the 3 performances at Overture Hall.  I play this piece not only from memory, but from a deep love of the score. Fingers crossed that I may be able to share the recording with you, but in any case, I look forward to performing it again soon- stay tuned!  In the mean time, I'm happy to share with you here the reviews, some concert photos, a conversation about the piece with conductor John DeMain and a great media piece from NBC15 of Madison.
I'm also thrilled that the Madison Symphony took a deep interest in my Music Kitchen Forgotten Voices World Premiere at Carnegie Hall.  Not only did they invite me to speak about it with members of the board and the media, but we just might see some of my new friends from Madison at Carnegie Hall!
Thank you so much for your interest in my work.  I look forward to seeing you soon.
Warm regards,


The Reviews Are In:

“The shining star of this weekend’s program is Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto, an unparalleled piece that reflects the composer’s diverse expertise in both jazz and classical idioms…Kelly Hall-Tompkins effortlessly synthesized the various musical traditions — folk, jazz, classical —  Along with breadth, this concerto demands depth, and Hall-Tompkins’s virtuosity was on display from the first to the final note…gorgeous ...a thrilling musical conversation… great expertise transitioning from lusciously sweet tones to wonderfully sour dissonances...”

      -The Cap Times, Matt Ambosio

"Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is one of the world's great musicians and his “Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra” is probably going to go down as a masterpiece of 21st century music...violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins...did a wonderful job and the presentation was a big success...Hall-Tompkins played brilliantly."
-Channel 3000, Bill Wineke 

Media: NBC15 with John Stofflet

Conversation with Conductor John DeMain

About the Marsalis Concerto and More

Photos: Peter Rodgers, courtesy of Madison Symphony

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Prairie View A&M University Selected as Recipient of Getty Images Grant to Uncover and Digitize Rarely Seen Imagery from its Archival Photographic Library

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (January 25, 2022) – Prairie View A&M University today announced it is one four recipients of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an initiative aimed at preserving and amplifying the invaluable visual history of HBCUs.

Funding from the grant will support the digitization of roughly 50,000 rarely seen archival photographs from Prairie View A&M’s library. Including stories of migration movements, voting rights, housing displacement, injustices, Black women in politics, and Black family life within Texas communities. It also includes the legacy of Elnora Teal and the Teal Portrait Studio, a rare look into the work of a Black female photographer. Claflin University, Jackson State University and North Carolina Central University were also selected as recipients of the grant.

Launching today on, the “HBCU Photo Collection” will house the HBCU content and will see thousands of images added throughout 2022. Archivists and librarians from Prairie View A&M University will work alongside Getty Images’ team of archivists and Adnet Global, a renowned post-production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries, in the photo digitization process. 

“The applications submitted for the Getty Images HBCU Photo Archive Grant prove the wealth of American history which has yet to be explored,” said Cassandra Illidge, VP of Partnerships at Getty Images. “Getty Images is proud to partner with archivists at each of the four HBCUs to uncover rarely seen photographs of Black culture and ensure these historical artifacts are preserved and accessible to storytellers around the world.  This year’s Grant is just the beginning of our work helping to preserve HBCUs history and our commitment to the HBCU community.”

Grant recipients will retain all copyright of their photos and once digitized, the historical content will be placed in a newly created stand-alone photo collection dubbed the “HBCU Photo Collection,” which will be made available for licensing in early 2022.

All revenue generated from the images that are preserved through the Grants will be funneled back into impact programs: 50 percent will go to grant recipients; 30 percent of revenue will be used for a financial donation to a scholarship fund focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs; and 20 percent will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year.

The applications were judged by an esteemed panel which included:

• Dr. Deborah Willis, Academic Director, Professor & Chair at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

• Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at NAACP

• Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Professor of Sociology – The Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations at University of Pennsylvania

• Renata Cherlise, Founder of

• Raina Kelley, Vice President and Editor in Chief of The Undefeated

• Mercedes Cooper, Vice President, Public Programming at ARRAY

The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is part of Getty Images’ commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, and dismantling discrimination, including bringing to market unseen historical content and creating revenue streams for organizations working to build a more inclusive society. It is part of the company’s wider grants program, which has donated over US$1.8 million to photographers and videographers around the world since its inception.                                                                                                                                                            About Getty Images:

Getty Images is a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace that offers a full range of content solutions to meet the needs of any customer around the globe, no matter their size. Through its Getty Images, iStock and Unsplash brands, websites and APIs, Getty Images serves over 1 million customers in almost every country in the world and is the first-place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful visual content from the world’s best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 450,000 contributors and more than 300 content partners to deliver this powerful and comprehensive content. Each year Getty Images covers more than 160,000 newssport and entertainment events providing depth and breadth of coverage that is unmatched. Getty Images maintains one of the largest and best privately-owned photographic archives in the world with over 135 million images dating back to the beginning of photography.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

ASALH Kicks Off Black History Month with its Second Black History Month Virtual Festival

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is proud to announce the 2022 National Black History Theme Black Health and Wellness.” We observe this theme in the midst of a worldwide pandemic in which racism has been labeled a “public health crisis” and 
during an ever-growing awareness about the ways in which African Americans have been disproportionately affected by health concerns.

The theme will be unveiled officially on February 1st by our new President Dr. W. Marvin DulaneyAssociate Professor Emeritus and former Interim Director of the Center for African American Studies at the University of Texas, Arlington, and former Deputy Director and COO of the African American Museum in Dallas, Texas.

This year’s Black History Month Virtual Festival includes the marquee event, Black Bodies: From Exploitation to Excellence, a two part-series exploring the historic exploitation of African Americans for the advancement of scientific and medical discovery. Both sessions will illuminate how these challenges and practices were used to leverage change in the medical profession, and foster resilience and excellence in our communities.

Black Bodies Part I: Exploitation in Medicine, takes place on February 12, 2022, from 12:00 2:00 P.M. EST, and will include panelists who will speak on race, gender and the origins of American gynecology, Henrietta Lacks HeLa cells and the Lyles Station radiation experiments. It features panelists: Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens, author of Medical Bondage; Wilbert Smith, Author and Film Producer; Dr. Roland Pattillo, Vice President of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation; Dr. Clyde Yancy, also with the Henrietta Lacks Foundation; and Ms. Lisa Villarosa as Moderator. Black Bodies Part II: Race Norming in the National Football League (NFL), will feature a round table discussion among former NFL players and sports medicine professionals including, Robert Moore, former Atlanta Falcon; Tim Watson, former Green Bay Packer; Roger Jackson and Rubin Carter both former Denver Broncos. Ryan Heathcock, former Howard University Bison football player, will moderate this critical discussion on issues of race norming, injury, mental health, and other relevant topics affecting the health and well-being of Black athletes on February 27, 2022, 5:00 - 6:30 PM EST. Registration ranges between $65 to $150 and is available through

Be sure to participate in our other fascinating events that analyze and illuminate the theme and importance of Black Health and Wellness in the African American experience including a forum on the “Psychological Legacy of Slavery,” in partnership with the National Park Service; several stimulating book talks co-sponsored with PBS Books featuring Harriet A. Washington and Dr. Sandro Galea; our Second Annual ASALH Book Prize Award; and special programming from the ASALH Manhattan Branch. The Black History Month Virtual Festival is our major Black History Month event of the year, and we would be honored to have you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Princeton Symphony Orchestra: Kenneth Bean conducts Alexi Kenney in Sibelius Violin Concerto 8 PM Sat., Feb. 5, 2022 & 4 PM Sun., Feb. 6, 2022

Kenneth Bean
Georg and Joyce Albers-Schonberg 
Assistant Conductor
Endowed in Perpetuity

KENNETH BEAN is an instructor and conductor in the Philadelphia area, as well as an active freelance trumpeter. He earned a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music Education from Jackson State University. He has taught at many festivals and schools, including the School District of Philadelphia, Settlement Music School, the Premier Orchestral Institute of the Mississippi Symphony, and Play On Philly.

Although he enjoys teaching and performing, Kenneth’s passion is on the podium. He has appeared as a guest conductor for the Marywood String Festival, Berks County Orchestra Festival, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His past music director/ conductor appointments include the Junior String Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley, the Young People’s Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley, and Luzerne Music Center.

Kenneth currently serves as assistant conductor of Symphony in C, conductor of the Symphony in C Youth Orchestra in Collingswood, NJ, and director/conductor of the Young Musicians Debut Orchestra, the newest full orchestra within the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute. In the summers, he serves as co-director of the Symphony in C Summer Camp and conductor at Kinhaven Music School Junior Session in Weston, VT. Colour of Music Festival returns to Charleston for 9th annual series [Downtown February 2-5, 2022]

Courtesy of Colour of Music Festival.

Charleston City Paper

January 25, 2022

Charleston’s ninth annual Colour of Music Festival takes place at various locations downtown Feb. 2-5, showcasing leading Black classical artists from the U.S., France and Colombia.

The performances across the four-day festival encompass a variety of compositions from noted Black composers as well as standard canon works, and the concerts will feature African instruments from the marimba (similar to a xylophone) to the harpsichord.

Local violinist La Toya Patterson is the sole Charlestonian in a slate of classical musicians this year, having been a part of the festival since its 2014 inception. Originally from Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago, Patterson moved to Charleston after completing her music studies at South Carolina State and Berklee College of Music.

“It’s a great way for folks to learn about composers that are outside of the European tradition and bring awareness to the fact that these pieces exist,” Patterson said of the collective learning experience between musicians and audience members alike. 

The Colour Festival highlights musicians and composers of color, while breaking down barriers to classical music itself, Patterson said.

“It’s not usually the type of music that people gravitate to naturally,” she said, “but this brings it back to the forefront and puts it out there for everyone to experience.”

Tickets information can be found at

The festival schedule is as follows: [Partial list]

Piano and Voice Recital
Murray Center Salon (14 George St.)
Feb. 2, 2 p.m.
Elizabeth G. Hill, piano, and Manna K. Jones, soprano
Works by Frédéric Chopin, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Undine Smith-Moore

Chamber Music
Murray Center Salon (14 George St.)
Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Michael Jorgensen and Romuald Grimbert-Barré, violin, Basil Vendryes, viola, Kenneth Law, cello, Mark Allen, Jr., clarinet, Elizabeth Hill and Lawrence Quinnett, piano, Shanelle Woods, mezzo soprano
Works by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Johannes Brahms, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Chamber Music
Murray Center Salon (14 George St.)
Feb. 3, 2 p.m.
Elizabeth G. Sean Daniels percussion and marimba, Courtney Jones and Herb Smith, trumpet, Lawrence Quinnett, piano
Works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Toshiro Mayuzumi, and Sean Daniels

Chamber Music
Edmondston Alston House (21 East Bay St.)
Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Michael Jorgensen and James Keene, violin, Keith Lawrence, viola, Ismael Guerrero, cello, Mark Allen, Jr., clarinet, Lawrence Quinnett, piano
Works by Jessie Montgomery, Florence Price, and Alexander Arutiunian