Thursday, January 28, 2010

Julius P. Williams, Serena Creary & Jonathan Holland Premiere Black History Works, Winchester, MA

[TOP: Jonathan Bailey Holland; CENTER: Serena Creary; BOTTOM: Julius Penson Williams]

The Taunton Gazette
Taunton, Massachusetts
Black History Month: Winchester's Alcyon Chamber Ensemble pays tribute to civil rights strides
By Staff reports
GateHouse News Service

Posted Jan 28, 2010
Winchester, MA

Winchester’s Alcyon Chamber Ensemble ushers in Black History Month with a children’s concert of music for string quartet. The concert, titled 'Making History,' will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31, at Parish of the Epiphany, 70 Church St., Winchester. The program features premiere performances by three area African-American composers, Julius P. Williams, Jonathan Holland and Serena Creary.

Williams, noted conductor, composer, recording artist, educator and author is a professor at Berklee College of Music. He was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and graduated from the High School for the performing arts in New York City. He began playing the drums when he was eight years old, adding violin, clarinet and keyboards as he became older. By the time he was 20, he was recording with Fifth Dimension. His composition, written for the Alcyon String Quartet’s celebration of Black History Month 2010, is titled 'Black Symbols in the Sand.' Williams likens it to 'writings in the sand of life.'

Holland’s work, 'Meditation,' is a newly created arrangement of his 'Etudes for Brass and Strings,' originally written for Cleveland Orchestra youth concerts. He describes it as 'representing calmness' and 'floating,' manifested by constantly rising notes with slowly shifting chords above them. Holland is a prolific composer, with commissions from diverse performing organizations and residencies throughout the country.

Creary is currently a student at Natick’s Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Also a prolific composer, her latest piece is for string quartet and narrator. The piece is titled 'Thomas and His Imagination,' and is a charming story about a young lad who learns to trust his imaginings. Performers will include Shufang Du and Randy Hiller, violins; Joan Ellersick, viola; Shannon Snapp, cello; and Serena Creary, narrator. The concert will be repeated on Feb. 6 at 10:30 a.m., at the Class of 1959 Chapel on the Harvard Business School campus in Boston, and on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. at Creative Arts in Reading.” [Julius Penson Williams (b. 1954) is profiled at]

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