Friday, January 15, 2010

'19th Annual Black Heritage Concert Returns to Cleveland Institute of Music' Feb. 7, 2010

[ABOVE: The Collected Piano Works of R. Nathaniel Dett; Summy-Birchard (1973); BELOW: Dr. William B. Woods]

AfriClassical had the privilege of interviewing Dr. William B. Woods for a concert last May, and is happy to post news of the Black Heritage Concert he will conduct.
Cleveland Institute of Music
The 19TH ANNUAL BLACK HERITAGE CONCERT featuring ensembles from the Cleveland School of the Arts, is Sunday, February 7 at 4:00 p.m. in CIM’s Kulas Hall. The R. NATHANIEL DETT CONCERT CHOIR, with director WILLIAM B. WOODS and the CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, with director DIANA RICHARDSON, will perform in this annual favorite. Seating passes are required for this event and may be reserved by calling 216.791.5000 one week prior to the event.

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. He received an Honorary Doctorate from CIM in 1999. His musical impact at Cleveland School of the Arts is felt throughout the Greater Cleveland Community and beyond. The Dett Choir has enhanced the reputation of the school by establishing a model of excellence in performance. Among the most noted compositions of the Choir’s repertoire are Handel’s Messiah, Requiems by Mozart and Fauré, Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives, The Creation by Haydn, I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes and Four Spirituals by Adolphus Hailstork. However, the mission of his Dett Choir is validated by its devotion to the presentation and preservation of music and music idioms of the African American Culture.

DIANNA RICHARDSON is the orchestra director and head of the music department at the Cleveland School of the Arts. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from CIM. In 1998, Ms. Richardson received the Heidi Castleman Award for Excellence in Teaching and Performing Chamber Music. This award, presented by Chamber Music America, encourages and rewards the dedication, effort and success of educators who lead exceptional chamber music programs for students ages 6-18. Ms. Richardson is also the director of the string ensemble and string orchestra in the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music Preparatory department and principal bassist of the Grammy Award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony. [R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma is featured.]

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