Tuesday, August 11, 2020

International Florence Price Festival: This Week: Chamber Music, Price Awards, and More


Bridging The Gap: The Piano Quintet In A Minor

Friday, August 14, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Price’s Piano Quintet in A minor is virtually unknown and therefore requires attention to round out scholarship on Price’s total compositional output. Because there is very little information pertaining to this piece, scholar Emily Markwart examines the form of the quintet and the structures of the movements themselves.

Race And Gender In Music Criticism

Saturday, August 15, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
This moderated panel will bring together women and people of color who are working as music critics for a discussion about gender and racial diversity in the field.  The panel will include perspectives from outside classical music to demonstrate that certain issues cross professional divides.

Saturday, August 15, 2020
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET
Join the Board of Creative Directors of the International Florence Price Festival as we celebrate the accomplishments of leading Price performers, scholars, and more in the best tradition of Florence Price in The 2020 Price Awards for Outstanding Service to the Music and Legacy of Florence Beatrice Price. The 2020 Price Award winners will be announced publicly for the first time.

After the awards presentation, the festival Creative Directors and the 2020 award winners will participate in our key panel discussion, exploring the future of Price performance, study, and advocacy.

Eric Conway: Ten years since Morgan State University Choir performed at the Afro-Colombian Festival - Los Negros Noches!


Dr. Eric Conway writes:

It is hard to imagine, but it has been ten years since twenty members of the Morgan State University choir travelled to Medellín, Colombia to sing at the Afro-Colombian music festival entitled Los Negros Noches!  What an electric evening - August 1, 2010!   The city of Medellín is notorious because of the drug czar Pablo Escobar, however, we found the Colombians to be some of the most hospitable people in the world!  See link below to our televised concert and some photos from that evening! Over five thousand Colombians were out to hear our concert!  The concert was televised all over the country hosted by local celebrities.  We all felt like rock stars during the concert!   Enjoy!


Link to Los Negros Noches Concert:

John Malveaux: Lawrence Brownlee sat down with the INCREDIBLE soprano Pretty Yende for 'The Sitdown with LB' Sunday August 9, 2020

 Pretty Yende

John Malveaux of MusicUNTOLD.com writes:

Lawrence Brownlee sat down with the INCREDIBLE soprano Pretty Yende for 'The Sitdown with LB' Sunday August 9, 2020. See

Monday, August 10, 2020

Philadelphia Tribune: Penn Libraries digitizes Marian Anderson collection

 A photo of Marian Anderson in 1920. —Fowler Photography

Chanel Hill TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER Aug 8, 2020

Anyone who wants to learn more about Marian Anderson can read her personal diaries and letters, and listen to private recordings online through The University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

The university recently digitized more than 2,500 items of the Philadelphia-born contralto’s personal archives, which Anderson donated to the University of Pennsylvania before her death in 1993, as well as additional donations from her nephew James DePreist and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

“Penn is very fortunate to have Marian Anderson’s papers, which consist of over 500 cartons of archival materials, correspondence, sheet music, programs, scrapbooks, and notebooks,” said director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library David McKnight.

The collection includes: letters, diaries, journals, interviews, recital programs, and private recordings — spanning a six-decade career as a concert singer and advocate for social justice.

The digitization project was funded in 2018 by a $110,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources. The newly digitized materials complement a collection of 4,000 Marian Anderson photographs, which are also publicly accessible.

“Through Anderson’s digitized collection, scholars and students worldwide can discover and reflect on her life and career and further illuminate her social, cultural, and historical impact,” vice provost and director of Penn Libraries Constantia Constantinou said in a statement.

A world-renowned recitalist, Anderson was also a high-profile figure in the fight for civil rights.

After she was denied permission by the Daughters of the American Revolution to perform for an integrated audience in Constitution Hall, she famously performed a concert for 75,000 people on April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In 1955, she became the first Black singer to perform in a lead role of Ulrica on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in Verdi’s Un ballo en maschera.

She retired from the stage in 1965.

McKnight, who knew Anderson, DePreist and her niece Sandra Grymes, said that he hopes the collection will give individuals an opportunity “to see the kind of person she was.”

“Among my greatest professional and intellectual experiences was discovering the Marian Anderson Collection and knowing who Marian Anderson was,” McKnight said.

“Over the years, it seems she’s been forgotten to some extent, so I’m hoping individuals who come to the website will discover how wonderful and fascinating of a person she was,” he added.

The collection also features a research portal, Discovering Marian Anderson, that offers resources to researchers, teachers, and students.

The content will also be distributed through the University of Minnesota’s Umbra Search African American History, which links almost 800,000 digital items from over 1,000 archival resources.

“On ‘Discovering Marian Anderson’ you will find Anderson’s bio, the digitized materials, and you can also see the geographical span of her career,” said reader services librarian at Penn Libraries Kislak Center April James.

“This study portal will make it easier for people to access her legacy than ever before,” she added.

HBCU Alumni Alliance, Inc. Virtual College Tour September 19, 2020


It’s about that time! Time to learn about the nation’s black higher education experience. The HBCU Alumni Alliance Affiliates, Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington DC, have joined together to bring you the Fall 2020 Virtual HBCU College Tour. Join us Saturday, September 19th for a HBCU tour experience you will never forget!

More details coming soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Racism: The Real Public Health Crisis - The Wright Museum, Wayne State University, Erb Foundation & Detroit Public TV partner for an important conversation - Mon. 1 p.m.

Racism:The Real 
Public Health Crisis                                                       
A special event focuses 
on air pollution, lead 
poisoning and other 
public health risks 
threatening low-
income and 
minority communities

This important conversation 
is sponsored by the Erb 
Foundation, the Charles H. 
Wright Museum of African 
American History, Wayne 
State and Detroit Public TV
Watch on Monday, Aug. 10,
at 1 p.m.; register at


Violinist Ashley Horne to perform Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges G major concerto, op. 1, no. 1 with The Orchestra Now at Bard College September 5th

Violinist Ashley Horne writes:

I will be playing op. 2 no. 1, the G major Concerto on September 5th at Bard College with The Orchestra Now. I would love it if you could attend if you are in the area! Thanks so much for everything you do to further the music of Black Classical Musicians!

John Malveaux: Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Tenor Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter

 John Malveaux (L) and Lawrence Brownlee (R)

John Malveaux of MusicUNTOLD.com writes:

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Tenor Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8ozo9Bf2mE See pic John Malveaux & Lawrence Brownlee

Saturday, August 8, 2020

TheArtsDesk.com: "William Levi Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony was, briefly, a roaring success..."; Kay's "'Fantasy Variations' and 'Umbrian Scene' are fascinating"

 Dissonant but lyrical: composer and educator Ulysses Kay

Fantasy Variation - Umbrian Scene
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Arthur Fagen

The Arts Desk

August 8, 2020

William Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony, Ulysses Kay: Fantasy Variations, Umbrian Scene ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Arthur Fagen (Naxos)

William Levi Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony was, briefly, a roaring success after Leopold Stokowski gave the first performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1934, and it should have made Dawson a household name. Instead, he returned to his teaching post at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, heading its School of Music until retiring in 1955. Dawson continued to compose and arrange spirituals and achieving recognition as a choral conductor, and that he didn’t write more orchestral music is a huge shame, as this symphony is an impressive work. Its three movements share a recurring theme which Dawson described as representing “the link that was taken out of a human chain when the first African was taken from the shores of his native land and sent to slavery.” It’s heard at the outset, a brooding horn solo which sets the tone for much of the work. Dawson does use traditional melodies but they’re used as source material instead of being quoted directly. The music’s extroversion and rhythmic snap is tempered with a sense of continual unease: sample the slow movement’s brooding coda. 


Ulysses Kay was a pupil of Hindemith who became another prominent teacher, combining composing with a professorship in New York. His Fantasy Variations and Umbrian Scene are fascinating. Kay’s dissonant but lyrical idiom is compelling, and, as with Hindemith, the dense thickets of notes can unexpectedly rearrange themselves into juicy major chords. The Fantasy Variations’ theme only appears at the work’s close, the variations merely hinting at it. Kay spent several years studying in Rome, composing his Umbrian Scene in 1963 after a commission from industrialist and philanthropist Edward Benjamin, whose “Edward R. Benjamin Award for Restful Music” encouraged budding composers to write music which appealed to his perception of musical beauty.

John Malveaux: "On July 6, 1949 Florence B. Price composed a short and brilliant piece for piano solo titled Whim Wham." (Dr. Michael Cooper)

 Florence B. Price (1887-1953)
(University of Arkansas)

John Malveaux of MusicUNTOLD.com writes:

"On July 6, 1949 Florence B. Price composed a short and brilliant piece for piano solo titled Whim Wham. The title refers to a caprice or something gotten or bought on a whim, and the earliest autograph suggests that Price may have considered it a complement to the serenity of her recently published and recorded jewel Placid Lake". (Dr. Michael Cooper) G. Schirmer Publisher.  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=JnaUc7dmmYY&feature=emb_logo