Tuesday, December 22, 2009

John Malveaux: 'Lost Symphony About Slavery Reaches World Wide Web'

[Chorale Director Zanaida Robles runs through practice at Cal State Long Beach for the West Coast premiere of the Bicentennial Symphony. (Steven Georges / Staff Photographer, Long Beach Press-Telegram)]

AfriClassical has received a press release from John Malveaux of Long Beach California. John frequently contributes to the blog:

John Malveaux, founder of MusicUntold,
http://www.MusicUNTOLD, tried for many years to convince a U.S. orchestra to perform Roy Harris' Symphony No. 14, also known as the "Bicentennial Symphony." The work is a powerful statement on U.S. History and slavery. It premiered at the Kennedy Center in 1976 in celebration of our nation's Bicentennial. The symphony was scheduled to be performed the next weekend in Dallas, Texas. The score was said to have been lost on a flight from Washington, DC to Dallas. No archival recording had been made at the Kennedy Center premiere.

John Malveaux concluded that the composition would never be performed again unless he reconstructed the score and organized a performance. Roy Harris believed the Emancipation was one of the great American achievements of our first 200 years and that was his inspiration for composing the "Bicentennial Symphony.” The chorus-driven composition includes passages from the Preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and the Emancipation Proclamation as well as original passages. The work celebrates overcoming a dark side of American history and walking into the light.
After 33 years without a performance, the West Coast premiere was staged as the centerpiece of the Long Beach JUNETEENTH Celebration co-sponsored by the City of Long Beach Parks, Recreation & Marine Department and the Long Beach Central Area Association, on Saturday June 13, 2009 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. The performance was endorsed by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, a federal agency in Washington, DC affiliated with the Smithsonian. The performance began with the singing of the National Anthem and may be viewed in its entirety at http://www.youtube.com/johnmalveauxtv.

Comment by email
Greetings: I continue to update/build a website. I have posted an interview of me about Roy Harris on the home page of http://www.musicuntold.com. Thanks, John Malveaux

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