Sunday, December 5, 2021 New York Repertory Orchestra performs William Grant Still's Symphony No. 2, "Song of a New Race"; ["an important American work"]

William Grant Still (1895-1978)
(Carl Van Vechten)

December 5, 2021

By George Grelia

The New York Repertory Orchestra is the kind of ensemble every classical music community needs. They’re not as polished as the New York Philharmonic or the orchestras that visit Carnegie Hall, and they give fewer than 10 concerts a season. 

But even in a city with eight million people, there is only one full-scale, full-time local professional orchestra—a sad state of affairs when one considers how cities in Europe publicly support multiple high-level ensembles.

But under music director David Leibowitz, the New York Repertory Orchestra brings to life terrific works from the classical tradition that one won’t hear in Carnegie Hall and like venues, because . . . well, who really knows? The advantage and value the NYRO delivers is that, freed from major influence of marketing departments, it can just play worthwhile music. 

Saturday night at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, that meant Norman Dello Joio’s Meditations on Ecclesiastes and the Symphony No. 2 by William Grant Still, along with a world premiere from composer Peri Mauer.


After intermission, concertmaster and assistant conductor Stephan Fillare took the podium to lead Still’s symphony, subtitled “Song of a New Race.” The last of a trilogy of symphonic works from the composer, the symphony expresses Still’s hope for a racially integrated America, and was premiered by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1937.

Even more neglected than the work of Dello Joio, this is a wonderful symphony on its own terms, and is an important American work. Still uses his own original conceptions of folk tunes, 19th-century dance steps, and blues and jazz in a well-made form, and thus shows how vital American classical music is when it builds out of the black music origins that are an essential part of this country’s culture.

The playing felt relaxed and assured, with the musicians making a meaningful statement. It was delightful to hear this sound of a grounded, witty, urbane modern culture brought to life by the orchestra.  

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Eric Conway: Morgan Choir sings for 50th anniversary of the lighting of the Mt. Vernon Monument


Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Hello Fine and Performing Arts Community,

After a hiatus last year due to COVID, the city of Baltimore was once again able to host their popular annual event - the lighting of the Mount Vernon Monument for the holiday season!  Compared to previous years, there was even more energy in the crowd of easily several thousand in attendance.  Everyone was so very pleased with the mild temperature for early December of low sixties during the lighting event!  

The Morgan choir, who has participated in at least the past ten years or so, was the finale act of a production that started at 5PM and ended at 8PM with the lighting of the Monument timed with the beginning of the fireworks display.  Given that Baltimore officials recently cancelled the New Year’s fireworks event at the Inner Harbor for the second straight year due to the pandemic, this may have possibly been the only opportunity for Baltimoreans to see a quality fireworks display this season.

See above a few photos from the evening and below links to the choir’s performance and the countdown to the lighting of the Christmas tree monument and fireworks.  What a treat for several of my new choir members who have never before experienced this local lighting tradition!  Happy holidays!


Link to choir performance at the monument:

Link to Monument lighting and fireworks display:

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
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Carl Murphy Fine Arts Center, Room 329C
Baltimore, MD 2125

Sergio A. Mims: Chineke! Junior Orchestra to open 2022 Lucerne Summer Music Festival

Gerald Aimontche

Sergio A. Mims writes:


The Lucerne Summer Festival which runs from August though September 2022 has announced that the opening concert for the festival on August 9 will be a performance by the Chineke! Junior Orchestra.

The concert which will be conducted by the rising young Afro-Venezuelan conductor Glass Marcano  will feature: 

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912)
Othello Suite, Op. 79
Stewart Goodyear (*1978)
Callaloo. Caribbean Suite for piano and orchestra
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36
Pianist Gerald Aimontche will be the featured soloist on the Goodyear work. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

John Malveaux: Levy Sekgapane is a South-African Bel canto tenor who sings the role of DON RAMIRO in Rossini's CINDERELLA performed by LA Opera Dec 4, 8, & 12

Levy Sekgapane

John Malveaux of writes:

Levy Sekgapane (born December 16, 1990) is a South-African Bel canto tenor who sing the role of DON RAMIRO in Gioachino Rossini CINDERELLA performed by Los Angeles Opera at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Dec 4, 8,  & 12.  See  photo (LA Opera) and


Bill Doggett: December 8th Chicago Midwest Premieres of Adolphus Hailstork "Tulsa 1921" and Daniel Roumain "Tulsa Art Song"

Bill Doggett writes: 

A Concert for Peace:"Out of The Ashes"

Fulcrum Point New Music Project presents its 23rd Annual Concert for Peace: "Out of The Ashes" on December 8th in Chicago.   

This is an in person concert that features important new music including works by Daniel Roumain, Adolphus Hailstork, Reena Esmail . 

The outstanding Chicago based Soprano, Joelle Lamarre will be featured in the Midwest premieres of Adolphus Hailstork's "Tulsa 1921" and Daniel Roumain's "They Still Want To Kill Us."  

Tickets and program details here

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 Cleveland Orchestra releases 2022 MLK Celebration Concert program, ticket details [Also on]

Vinay Parameswaran conducts the Cleveland Orchestra and the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus in "Lift Every Voice and Sing," with conductor William Henry Caldwell, left, and tenor Lawrence Brownlee at Severance Music Center in 2019. Parameswaran will conduct the event again in January 2022. Roger Mastroianni

December 1, 2021

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Get those dialing or mouse-clicking fingers ready. It’s almost time to reserve tickets for the Cleveland Orchestra’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert.

On Wednesday, the orchestra announced that free tickets will be available beginning 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8. Tickets typically run out within a few hours of their release.

To order, visit the Cleveland Orchestra box office in person at Severance Music Center (11001 Euclid Ave.), call 216-231-1111, or go to

The concert itself is at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16. Admission is free but tickets are required and limited to four per household. As at all Cleveland Orchestra concerts, guests must display proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test and wear a mask throughout the performance.

Also this year, the orchestra announced that in lieu of a digital livestream of the 2022 concert, as previously announced, it will re-broadcast the full event from 2018. That performance can be viewed for free on the orchestra’s digital platform,

Listeners unable to attend the live event in 2022 will still be able to hear it, by tuning into a live radio broadcast on WPCN-90.3 FM, WCLV-FM 104.9, and

As always, the 2022 concert will feature the Cleveland Orchestra and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Chorus, a specially-created group directed by William Henry Caldwell and composed of singers from Northeast Ohio church choirs. Also featured this year: guest soprano Jacqueline Echols.

John Malveaux: Lost American Story-The Colored American Opera Company. This post was prompted by Soprano Latonia Moore singing Ave Maria

John Malveaux of writes:

Lost American Story - The Colored American Opera Company. This post was prompted by Soprano Latonia Moore singing Ave Maria:

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

John Malveaux: Easter Eggs for Hitler

John Malveaux of writes:

Easter Eggs for Hitler 


Free In-Person & Livestream Celebration of Black Artistry : S A F I K A

What: Castle of our Skins, Boston’s Black Classical concert and education series, ends its immersive three-day residency at the Longy School of Music of Bard College with a portrait concert of strings and piano chamber works by South African composer Dr. Bongani Ndodana-Breen. The capstone performance comes after an engaging, hand-on residency complete with lectures, master classes, class visits, and a Black Student Union co-hosted meet and greet.

When: Friday, December 3, 2021 at 8:00pm

Where: Longy School of Music of Bard College (27 Garden Street, Cambridge 02138) AND virtual via livestream. Both viewing options are free with RSVP:

Who: Castle of our Skins musicians: Gabriela Díaz (violin), Mina Lavcheva (violin),
Ashleigh Gordon (viola), Francesca McNeeley (cello), and Sarah Bob (piano). Composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen has written a wide range of music encompassing symphonic work, opera, chamber music and vocal music. According to The New York Times his “delicately made music – airy, spacious, terribly complex but never convoluted – has much to teach the Western wizards of metric modulation and layered rhythms about grace and balance.” For more information, please visit;

About Castle of our Skins: Born out of the desire to foster cultural curiosity, Castle of our Skins is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, Castle of our Skins invites exploration into Black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present. For more information, please visit:

Why: Now in its ninth season, Castle of our Skins has been and remains deeply committed to fostering cultural curiosity through music and celebrating Black artistry. Highlighting Ndodana-Breen’s works for piano and strings, Safika centers around the piano quintet Safika: Three Tales of African Migration, which takes listeners on a journey of forced expulsion, dislocation, and the musical movement of a peoples from one space and culture to another.

For interviews contact Artistic & Executive Director Ashleigh Gordon:

---  ***  ---  ***  ---  ***  ---  ***  ---  
Anthony R. Green
Composer. Performer. Social Justice
Fellow, Universität der Künste, Graduiertenschule
Former McKnight Visiting Composer, American Composers Forum
NewMusicBox article: 

Monday, November 29, 2021

NOBLE: We need your continued support on #GivingTuesday so that we can continue to serve and empower our communities

 We need your continued support on #GivingTuesday so that we can continue to serve and empower our communities, law enforcement officers, and youth.