Thursday, November 4, 2010

Southern University: 'Charles Lloyd is a musician of diverse gifts and accomplishments'

[Charles Lloyd, Jr.]

Yesterday Josephine Gandolfi informed us of the career of Charles Lloyd, Jr. (b. 1948), who is on the faculty of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana: “I have an inquiry to make. I am trying to find contact information for the composer Charles Lloyd, Jr. (b. 1948,) as I have seen a listing of piano and vocal compositions by him, but have not been able to locate them. My group will be performing his exquisite song, "Compensation," from the Patterson anthology. I would like to locate more works for future performance, and also express our thanks to him for this exceptional song. If you could assist me with contact information, I would be most appreciative.
Sincerely, Josephine (Jodi) Gandolfi”

She subsequently told us that Charles Lloyd, Jr. is on the faculty of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma read the emails from Josephine Gandolfi, he told us of some of his own recollections of Charles Lloyd, Jr. They are excerpted here:

“Charles Lloyd is an enormous talent. I met him when he moved to Baltimore, serving for a while as pianist for soprano Veronica Tyler (I had arranged for her one-year appointment to the graduate voice faculty at Morgan State University). In 1982 Charles came to my home to record a series of spirituals with the magnificent mezzo Blanche Foreman, who needed the recording to complete her dissertation at Indiana University. Within the set were five spirituals set by Charles. These were totally original works of outstanding merit. Charles told me he had not known the spirituals as a student in an integrated high school in Virginia, and encountered them initially as an undergraduate at Norfolk State, perhaps meeting Blanche there (she was from the Tidewater area), but certainly at the U. of Michigan, which is where I first met Blanche and Eva Jessye. After the recording session, I found that Charles had made almost all of the settings that Jessye Norman had recorded in London with a local chorus which was beefed up by singers imported from Ann Arbor by Willis Patterson, who conducted the group, coaching it so that the performance seemed as if it were one from a HBCU school.

“It was confusing to me because the label and liner notes did not give clear credit to Charles. Somewhat later Charles came to see me, mentioning that he had to be home that afternoon because Jessye Norman was going to phone him. We got so involved in our meeting that he stayed on, missing the phone call. Later Ms Norman contacted him and Charles spent a week in London with her, preparing settings for a recording she made that has never been available in the U.S. to my knowledge. I was distressed all along to learn that none of these settings were published and were not registered with either BMI or ASCAP -- Charles was not getting proper credit for his work, nor was he getting payment for airplay.” “I understand he has since published, but I've not taken the time yet to explore his career in detail for inclusion in my forthcoming work. I did know that he had a faculty appointment in the South.”

Faculty Bio
“Charles Lloyd, Jr. (b. 1948)
Cinnabar Recordings:
In Recital [Ol' Time Religion, Cinnabar Records CNB 1402]
Charles Lloyd, Jr. is a musician of diverse gifts and accomplishments: composer, pianist, arranger, accompanist, and coach. A much loved professor, he teaches at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he has been acclaimed a 'living legend' by the music students there. A native of Toledo, Ohio, he received a B.S. in music education from Norfolk State University in Virginia, and a M.M. from the University of Michigan.

“Mr. Lloyd is much in demand as a composer and arranger. Two of his works were performed by Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman on Spirtuals in Concert, a 1990 broadcast conducted by James Levine and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon. His compositions and arrangements appear on Great Day in the Morning and Spirituals, recorded by Jessye Norman on Philips Records, and The Passion of Christ in Spirituals, recorded by Laura English-Robinson, soprano, and Carolyn Sebron, mezzo-soprano.

Comment by email:
To William Zick and Prof. de Lerma - thank you very much for your interest in my question about how to locate compositions by Prof. Lloyd and for all the information you have provided. Now that I have his contact information, I will inquire about compositions for piano and voice/piano. Gratefully, Josephine Gandolfi

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