Thursday, November 14, 2019

Benjamin Bradham Concert at Lincoln Center Library 2:30 PM Nov. 30

Benjamin Bradham, Pianist
 November 30, 2019                                                                                                                                             

Thirty-two Variations in C minor, WoO 80                                                                       
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonata in A-flat major, Op.110                                  Ludwig van Beethoven
      Moderato cantabile, molto espressivo
      Molto allegro
      Adagio, ma non troppo; Fuga: Allegro ma non troppo

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) 
Images, Series I                                                                                                                                  
      Reflets dans l’eau (Reflections in the Water)                                                                     
      Hommage à Rameau

Six Pieces                                                                                                                                     
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
       Prelude in C minor, Op.23, No.7                                                                                                     
       Prelude in G major, Op.32, No.5
       Prelude in A major, Op.32, No.9
       Etude-Tableau in E-flat minor, Op. 39, No.5
       Etude-Tableau in A minor, Op.39, No.6, “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf”
       Etude-Tableau in D major, Op. 39, No.9

Benjamin Bradham writes:

Dear friends, 

I will be playing a concert at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts on Saturday, November 30. Thanksgiving weekend.  Please see the attached flyer for details. 

As the auditorium usually fills quickly, they now give out tickets an hour before they open the doors (doors open at 2 PM). This guarantees a seat, and you can go for snacks, drinks, or view exhibits at the library until doors open.  I hope to see you there.

All the best,

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Eric Conway: Opera @ Morgan presents: Three One-Act Operas


Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Hello all,

This week, Morgan’s Opera program will present THREE ONE-ACT OPERAS:  

GALLANTRY by Douglas Moore
BLUE MONDAY by George Gershwin
A HAND OF BRIDGE by Samuel Barber

We only have four performances:

Thursday, November 14th at 7:30PM
Friday, November 15th at 7:30
Saturday, November 16th at 3PM and 7:30 PM.

Those who have attended our opera productions in the past always marvel at the quality of the voices of our program.  

If your schedule is free, please try to attend any of these performances.  

Tickets are only $15 General Admission and $5 for Faculty and Students.

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Red Clay Dance founder named Harvard Community Impact Scholar

Vershawn Sanders-Ward

The HBS Club of Chicago – Nonprofit Leadership Fund, Community Impact Scholars Pilot Program has sent its first participant to the Harvard Extension School (HES) for leadership development.  This program works along-side our flagship SPNM program. 

Founding Artistic Director and CEO of the Red Clay Dance Company, Vershawn Sanders-Ward, has been selected to participate in the prestigious Community Impact Scholars Program (CISP) of the Non-Profit Leadership Fund’s (NPLF) Community Impact Committee of the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago (HBSCC). Advancing the Harvard Business School’s mission, the HBS Club of Chicago looks to inspire, educate, and support leaders who make difference in the Chicago area and provide channels for the club’s members to make a positive impact in the community.

Sanders-Ward, a native of Chicago who earned a master’s degree in Fine Arts in Dance from New York University, is the first recipient of the BFA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago (Gates Millennium Scholar) and is currently a candidate for Dunham Technique Certification. Her work has been represented in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, and internationally in Toronto, Dakar, and Kampala.

The Red Clay Dance Company’s goal is to awaken “global” change through creating, performing, and teaching dances of the African Diaspora with the hope of transforming cultural and socio-economic inequities in local and global communities through:

  • Artistic collaboration through research, investigation, and refinement
  • Employing dance “artivism” as the vehicle to shift cultural and socio-economic imbalances
  • Nurturing “artivists” from novice to professional by providing an authentic pipeline
  • Building global community through strategic partnerships
  • Inspiring audiences to strengthen community through “artivism (art + activism).

“Effective leadership and community engagement should live at the core of an Executive Director/CEO’s work,” said Sanders-Ward. “I believe that this course will provide me with additional tools to serve my organization as an effective leader and will also strengthen our community engagement efforts. I am also most excited about putting the theories around leadership and community engagement into practice and witness how this will impact my organization and the communities we serve.”

The Community Impact Scholar Program provides arts and cultural leaders of nonprofit organizations an exceptional professional experience through fully funded coursework at the Harvard Extension School. In addition to being enrolled in courses offered in the Management Certificate Program at the Harvard Extension School for the Fall 2019 semester, the participants are matched with a peer tutor from the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago and enjoy a weekend on-campus immersion experience at Harvard University in Cambridge.

“The coursework up to the visit was very dense and academic,” added Sanders-Ward, “but meeting my instructors in person and having time to discuss the core topics to the class really helped me frame the practical application of these ideas in to my work with the Red Clay Dance Company. There is an air of deep scholarship floating around Harvard’s campus, but there also appears to be a strong sense that they are shaping the next world leaders. I have attended two very prestigious universities in my educational journey, and I am elated to add Harvard to this list.”

A 2017 Dance/USA Leadership Fellow and a 2013 3Arts awardee, Sanders-Ward earned a 2009 Choreography Award from Harlem Stage NYC. In 2015 and 2018, NewCity Magazine selected her as one of the “50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago.” Sanders-Ward has served as an adjunct faculty member and received choreographic commissions from Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, Knox College, City College of Chicago, AS220, and the National Theatre in Uganda. She is a board member of Enrich Chicago and was selected to attend the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit for Emerging Global Leaders. Sanders-Ward has had the pleasure of gracing the cover of DEMO, Columbia College Chicago’s Alumni magazine. 

John Malveaux: Listen to Howard Swanson Suite for Cello and Piano Prelude

John Malveaux of 

Cellist Kristen Yeon-Ji Yun (Colorado Mesa University) and pianist Phoenix Park-Kim (Indiana Wesleyan University) have collaborated to develop a program of classical music by composers of African descent to record, tour and heighten awareness of diversity in the European founded genre. MusicUNTOLD will schedule performance dates for the duo in the Los Angeles market May 2020. The program will include cello/piano and solo works by William Grant Still, Howard Swanson,  Michael Abels, Adolphus Hailstork, and T.J. Anderson.  Please see/listen Howard Swanson Suite for Cello and Piano Prelude

John Malveaux: NPR: Gabriela Ortiz's 'Yanga' Makes Its Debut With The LA Philharmonic

                 "Gabriela [Ortiz] is one of the most talented composers in the world," Gustavo Dudamel says. "Not only in Mexico, not only in our continent — in the world."

Courtesy of the artist

El Yanga

John Malveaux of 

Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned and premiered work by Gabriela Ortiz about "Yanga"- African liberator in Mexico who founded the first FREE town for people of African descent in North America.  

Wallace M. Cheatham: New Jubilee Choir Nov. 24, St. Mark A.M.E. Church, Milwaukee

Wallace M. Cheatham writes:

The afternoon will program music by Melville Charlton, William Levi Dawson, Ulysses Kay, and Adolphus Hailstork.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Hyde Park School of Dance: Hip Hop, Ballet & Modern Dance in The Nutcracker Dec. 13–15



Hyde Park School of Dance (HPSD) brings together fans of ballet, modern, and hip hop with its annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, with more than 175 dancers—primarily children ages 7 to 18. The cast includes weekly students and members of the school’s pre-professional Studio Company and features high school seniors who have grown up at the school, all supported by hundreds of volunteers. Performances are December 13–15 at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus, 1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago. 
Staged by HPSD’s founding Artistic Director August Tye, longtime ballet mistress for Lyric Opera of Chicago, the 90-minute narrated production follows Clara, Fritz, and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer from the family holiday party and a midnight battle between the Nutcracker’s toy soldiers and the Mouse Queen’s squeaky troops through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. 

Unlike other versions of this holiday classic, HPSD includes a breakdance battle to showcase the range of dance genres the school offers while sending a message of peace—instead of battling with swords, mice and soldiers tap into the power of hip hop to work out their differences through creative self-expression.
Prior to each performance, the Pre-Ballet Holiday Show showcases some of the school’s younger ballet students in performance. Dancers ages 4 to 7 from HPSD’s Pre-Ballet classes will warm up the stage in what is for many of them their first-ever performance. 
The production also features surprise cameos by local VIPs in the larger-than-life role of Mother Ginger. This year’s Mother Gingers include longtime HPSD parent and past board member Jana French and founding/honorary board member Marilyn Sheperd, whose daughters, Allyson and Gayle Ratliff, are on HPSD’s faculty. Previous guest performers have included Hyde Park Herald Editor Daschell Phillips, Montgomery Place board chair Mike McGarry, former Kenwood Academy High School Principal Dr. Gregory Jones, 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, former State Representative Kimberly DuBuclet, and Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell.

On Friday, December 13, HPSD performs a sold-out abridged version for hundreds of school children, many seeing their first ballet, and senior center residents. The performance is made possible by Hyde Park School of Dance’s Community Engagement program, which also serves the public by offering quality dance instruction in schools, community centers, and park district programs citywide.

Adding a special element to the performance experience, HPSD’s Holiday Bazaar, taking place on site during select performances, offers audience members the opportunity to meet characters from The Nutcracker, finish up their holiday shopping with a wide variety of local vendors, and indulge in hot chocolate and other festive treats. The Holiday Bazaar takes place Saturday, December 14 from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 from noon to 5 p.m.
The Nutcracker takes place Friday, December 13 at 7 p.m.;
Saturday, December 14 at 1 and 6 p.m.; 
and Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m.
at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street, in Chicago. 

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (65+), $10 for children ages 6-18 
and for students with school ID, and free for children 5 and younger.
Special $40 reserved tickets are available for audience members of all ages. 
Tickets and more information are available at 773-493-8498 
Hyde Park School of Dance
Founded in 1993 as the Hyde Park School of Ballet, Hyde Park School of Dance is a 501(c)3 non-profit providing opportunities for students of all ages and abilities to study, perform, and create classical and contemporary dance at the highest levels of discipline and artistry within a community dedicated to the welcoming inclusion of dancers of all races, religions, body types, genders, sexual orientations, and family income backgrounds. Led by Founding Artistic Director August Tye, Hyde Park School of Dance is committed to offering children the chance to experience the empowering rewards of self-discipline, hard work, and collaboration in a diverse and supportive environment, cultivating a love of dance and a strength of body, mind, and character that will benefit students throughout their lives.

Photos by Marc Monaghan.
Top: Valerie Lowder as Clara
Middle: Delaney Peet doing the splits
Bottom: Rohana Weaver as the Mouse Queen

Kelly Hall-Tompkins’ Music Kitchen Makes Carnegie Hall Debut on May 21, 2020

World premiere of Forgotten Voices celebrates Music Kitchen’s 15th Season

15 noted composers set words of homeless men and women to create a unique song cycle

Presented in Association with Carnegie Hall

"The [Music Kitchen] concerts have an air of authenticity and directness that sometimes does not exist in concert halls." - The New York Times

Music Kitchen , an organization founded and led by concert violinist and entrepreneur Kelly Hall-Tompkins, will make its debut at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m . The program, presented in association with Carnegie Hall, features the world premiere of Forgotten Voices, a song cycle created by 15 noted composers. The text consists of words written by the audience at homeless shelters coast to coast in reaction to the Music Kitchen concerts they experienced. Tickets are $35, available at; details are below.

The composers contributing works to this unique song cycle represent a diversity of genders, cultures and backgrounds. The list includes Pulitzer Prize winners and internationally renowned figures alongside emerging artists and Ms. Hall-Tompkins herself: Courtney Bryan, Jon Grier, Gabriel Kahane, James Lee III, Tania León, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Angélica Negrón, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, Jeff Scott, Carlos Simon, Errollyn Wallen, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

In addition to the violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, the featured performers include Allison Charney, soprano; Adrienne Danrich, mezzo soprano; Jesse Blumberg, baritone; Mark Risinger, bass; Ling Ling Huang, violin; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Alexis Gerlach and Peter Seidenberg, cellos; with additional artists to be announced at a later date.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins founded Music Kitchen in 2005, seeing a need to bring the joy of live music to people in homeless shelters. Hall-Tompkins and her Music Kitchen colleagues – top-notch international concert performers – have given over 100 concerts at homeless shelters around the world. At each performance, members of the audience are invited to write down their comments and emotions, and these words, collected over 14 years now form the text of the 15 songs in Forgotten Voices .

“By setting the life experiences and hardships of homeless men and women to music by some of the world’s greatest composers, we bring voice to the voiceless in an unprecedented way, and share the triumphs, hopes and humanity that exists in us all,” says Ms. Hall-Tompkins. Through the Forgotten Voices project, we hope to inspire concert-goers to learn more about the forgotten people they may overlook in their own communities.”

Some of Kelly Hall-Tompkins' inspiration comes from a particularly tragic story that touched her deeply. Just a day before Music Kitchen’s concert at a shelter in Los Angeles, news arrived that a homeless woman well known to many in that community had passed away. Ms. Hall-Tompkins said, “When we decided to dedicate that day’s performance to this woman, the clients were deeply moved by the gesture. The director of the shelter told me that one of the biggest fears among the people they work with is living and dying in the shadows of an uncaring society.”   

The featured cycle is comprised of songs that have been premiered in shelters each month since the beginning of 2019. The world premiere of the complete work, entitled Forgotten Voices , will be performed by an ensemble of outstanding string players and vocalists. Forgotten Voices is commissioned by Music Kitchen with support from Carnegie Hall. The evening will include also include Q&A from the stage led by NBC senior correspondent Harry Smith. Full program information is listed below.

Music Kitchen-Food For the Soul presents in association with Carnegie Hall:

World Premiere of Forgotten Voices
Thursday, May 21, 2020 | 7:30pm
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
Tickets: $35
Featured Artists
Allison Charney, soprano, Adrienne Danrich, soprano/mezzo soprano, Jesse Blumberg, baritone, Mark Risinger, bass
Kelly Hall-Tompkins and Ling Ling Huang, violins; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Alexis Gerlach and Peter Seidenberg, cellos

Performing music by
Courtney Bryan, Jon Grier, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Gabriel Kahane, James Lee III, Tania León, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Angélica Negrón, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, Jeff Scott, Carlos Simon, Errollyn Wallen, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

With texts by
audiences at Music Kitchen concerts at homeless shelters compiled over 14 years of concerts
Tickets are available at , by phone at 212-247-7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall Box Office

For more information, visit

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins
Founder, Executive/Artistic Director, Music Kitchen

Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, an Honorary Doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music, and featured in the Smithsonian Museum for African-American History, Ms. Hall-Tompkins has been acclaimed by The New York Times as "the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive," featured as a New York Times New Yorker of the Year (2017) for her "tonal mastery" ( BBC Music Magazine ) and by Forbes as “an amazing philanthropist and business woman.” 

She appeared in spring 2019 as co-soloist in Carnegie Hall with violinist Glenn Dicterow and Leonard Slatkin conducting, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and for “Forgotten Voices” a United Nations Concert at Lincoln Center. She has appeared as soloist live on BBC Radio in London, and with the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Jacksonville, Tulsa, Oakland, Brevard Festival, Uruguay, as well as in recitals in cities including Paris, New York, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Baltimore, as inaugural guest artist in residence of the Cincinnati Symphony, and at festivals in France, Germany and Italy. Ms. Hall-Tompkins was “Fiddler”/Violin Soloist of the Grammy and Tony Award nominated Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. Her subsequent solo disc “The Fiddler Expanding Tradition” emerged as a ground-breaking first ever Fiddler solo CD. The disc and her live performances in Kiev are featured in “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles,” the new documentary on the 50-year history of  Fiddler on the Roof . Collaborator with Mark O’Connor and member of the Ritz Chamber players, she has appeared at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Santa Fe and Lincoln Center.

As a trailblazing social justice entrepreneur, Ms. Hall-Tompkins is Founder of Music Kitchen– Food for the Soul, which has brought over 100 concerts to an estimated 18,000 homeless shelter clients nationwide from New York to Los Angeles and in Paris, France and has featured over 150 artists including Emanuel Ax, Glenn Dicterow, Albrecht Mayer, Jeff Ziegler, and Rene Marie. Kelly and Music Kitchen have been featured in The New York Times, on and, plus Strings Magazine, Chamber Music America Magazine, Spirituality and Health Magazine , Columbia University Radio and cable’s Hallmark Channel.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Midori Samson in Wisconsin Premiere of Godwin Sadoh's Ola Ilu for Bassoon solo

Godwin Sadoh

Midori Samson

Godwin Sadoh writes:

Hello Bill,
Midori Samson performed the Wisconsin Premiere of Godwin Sadoh's Ola Ilu for Bassoon solo, on Friday November 1, 2019, at the Michelsen Hall, Noel Fine Arts Center, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

Godwin Sadoh

Harlem Chamber Players Annual Bach Concert Friday, November 22, 2019, 7 PM

"The Harlem Bach Project" continues with an evening of concerti by the master, J.S. Bach.

“The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit.”—J.S. Bach

Annual Bach Concert
Friday, November 22, 2019 at 7 PM

Broadway Presbyterian Church
601 West 114th Street
New York, NY 10025
114th Street and Broadway

This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
Click here for directions.
Click here to view and print a flyer.

$15 online | $20 at the door the day of the concert. Cash or checks only at the door.
Purchase online now for discounted pricing and to avoid lines at the door on the day of the concert.

Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G major, BWV 1049 for 2 Flutes and Violin
"Ach, bleibe doch, mein liebstes Leben," BWV 11 for Mezzo-Soprano
"Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust," BWV 170 for Mezzo-Soprano
"Bete aber auch dabei," BWV 115 for Soprano
"Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben," (from St. Matthew Passion) BWV 244 for Soprano
"Vergnügen und Lust," BWV 190 for Soprano
"Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt," BWV 4 for Soprano and Mezzo-Soprano
"Nimm dich mir," BWV 163 for Soprano and Mezzo-Soprano
Concerto for 3 Violins in D major, BWV 1064R

Brandie Sutton, Soprano
Lucia Bradford, Mezzo-Soprano
Ashley Horne, Violin
Claire Chan, Violin
Suzanne Gilman, Violin (Photo: Courtesy of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts)
Chala Yancy, Violin
With a chamber orchestra comprising members of The Harlem Chamber Players

Eric K. Washington
Independent historian whose upcoming book, Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal, published by Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton, in October 2019.

The Harlem School of the Arts and
The Harlem Chamber Players

From the Page to the Stage:
An Exploration into How Music Gets Made
Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 3 PM

Miller Theatre at Columbia University
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street)
New York, NY 10027

This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
Click here for directions.

Tickets are $10 for general admission. Cash or checks only at the door.
Purchase online now to avoid lines at the door on the day of the concert.

Music by Poulenc, Miguel del Águila, and Chevalier de Saint-Georges
with Lectures and Demonstrations by the Artists
Curated by Hassan Anderson

Monica Ellis, Bassoon
Amadi Azikiwe, Viola
Thank you to all who have supported us in the past.
Donations of any amount are much appreciated.

You may also donate by check:
The Harlem Chamber Players, Inc.
191 Claremont Avenue #25
New York, NY 10027