Thursday, May 21, 2009

R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir Joins Singers' Club of Cleveland Under William B. Woods May 23

AfriClassical has interviewed Dr. William B. Woods concerning If My Song Had Wings, a program of The Singers' Club of Cleveland and the R. Nathaniel Dett Choir of the Cleveland School of the Arts, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 23. The location will be Waetjen Auditorium of Cleveland State University, 2001 Euclid Ave., according to, and the phone number for tickets is 216-556-4405. Dr. Woods is Chairman of the Music and Dance Departments of Cleveland School of the Arts. On Saturday he will also be Guest Conductor for The Singers' Club of Cleveland, a men's choir.

R. Nathaniel Dett was an African American composer, pianist and choral director.  The two choirs will combine forces for most of the evening's program: The Italian Street Song by Victor Herbert; Sence You Went Away, text by James Weldon Johnson and music by the Cleveland native H. Leslie Adams; the spiritual Ride On King Jesus; and Best of All Possible Worlds from Leonard Bernstein's Candide. The men's choir will sing A Gershwin Swing Set, a medley which includes such songs as: They Can't Take That Away From Me, Nice Work if You Can Get It and Fascinating Rhythm.

Dr. Woods says it is an honor to conduct the program. The Cleveland Institute of Music gives this description of his education and career: “William B. Woods is a native of Gadsden, Alabama and received his early training in music at Carver High School. He then studied organ and choral music with the late Walter Blodgett at Tennessee State and Western Reserve University. His musical impact at Cleveland School of the Arts is felt throughout the Greater Cleveland Community and beyond. The Dett Choir, which he directs, has enhanced the reputation of the school by establishing a model of excellence in performance.” [R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) and H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932) are profiled at]

No comments: