Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mayport Mirror: 'Terrance Patterson continues to guide success of the African-American chamber music group'

[ABOVE: Provided by Ritz Chamber Players, Troy Stuart - Cello and Terrance Patterson - Clarinet for the Ritz Chamber Players BELOW: John Pemberton/The Times-Union, Terrance Patterson is a member of the Ritz Players. Patterson was photographed on Wednesday January 5, 2011, at the Times-Union Center, as the JSO practiced. The Ritz Players will perform its annual concert "In Remembrance of the Dream". (The Florida Times-Union, John Pemberton)]

January 16, 2011
By Charlie Patton
“The genesis of the Ritz Chamber Players can be traced to a fortuitous twist of the radio dial.
Terrance Patterson was fiddling with the dial in the Jacksonville home where he grew up when he stumbled upon a program of classical music on Jacksonville public radio station WJCT (89.9 FM). A passion was ignited. Eventually Patterson would train as a classical clarinetist and become a very rare creature, an African-American classical musician.

“Less than 2 percent of classical musicians are African-Americans, Patterson said. After graduating from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, a prestigious conservatory of music in Baltimore, Md., and studying for a master's at Temple University, Patterson, now 43, spent a decade supporting himself with teaching and with adjunct jobs with several orchestras, including the Nashville Symphony.

“By then he was seriously 'looking for a way to increase the participation of minorities' in classical music. He decided to found a chamber music society that would play a regular schedule of concerts using only African-American players. The group's first concert, on Feb. 22, 2002, was held at the Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum, which is why the organization Patterson leads as artistic director is named the Ritz Chamber Players.”

“It's in the Jacoby that the Ritz Chamber Players will perform their annual concert in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. 'In Remembrance of a Dream' will feature seven musicians, including soprano Alison Buchanan and Patterson. They will begin with a string quartet by Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges...” “The concert will also include compositions by Dmitri Shostakovich, Adolphus Hailstork and Sergei Prokofiev. [Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941) and Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) are profiled at]

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