Thursday, July 14, 2011

NANM (The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc.) will celebrate its 92nd anniversary in Philadelphia July 24-27, 2011

[From TOP: Mark Rucker, Donnie Ray Albert, Marietta Simpson, Louise Toppin, Darryl Taylor]

Philadelphia hosts NANM 2011
Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love will host the 2011 92nd annual meeting of the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM, Inc.) beginning July 24 through July 27. Members of NANM branches throughout the country will convene at the Doubletree Hotel, 237 S. Broad St. in downtown Philadelphia for the four-day long conference titled “Our Music, Our Heritage, Our Future.”

The Sunday, July 24 opening session will be held at 2:30 pm at Bright Hope Baptist Church, 12th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. This mass meeting is the official welcome to the city and will feature performing artists from each of the five regions of NANM in concert. The host branch, the W. Russell Johnson Music Guild and various elected officials will offer greetings to out-of-towners who have traveled from as far away as California, Nevada, Texas and Florida to attend this conference celebrating the 92nd anniversary of the historic organization. Illinois will be represented by Chicago’s two local branches, the R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and Allied Arts, Sharon Hamilton, President, and Chicago Music Association, Branch No. 1, NANM, the founding branch of NANM in 1919 of which this writer is president. The opening session is open to the public and is free of charge.

The 2011 Vocal Scholarship Contest under the direction of National Scholarship Chairperson Dr. Marvin Curtis will see five classically-trained young singers between the ages of 18 and 30 competing for scholarship awards totaling $6250.00 at 7:00 pm.

Business sessions, convention chorus rehearsals, regional meetings, a series of workshops (Music of African-American and Black composers; a Sylvia Olden Lee roundtable discussion), master classes, and vocal and instrumental noontime and nighttime concerts performed by adult, collegiate and youth members will be held throughout the remaining three days.

Performances include the Monday evening, July 25 Gala Concert, (back by popular demand from NANM 2009 in Chicago) “A Grand Night for Singing,” featuring some of the most sought-after artists on today’s classical music scene: sopranos Marquita Lister, Osceola Davis and Louise Toppin; Mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson; tenors Robert Mack and Phumzile Sojola; counter-tenor Darryl Taylor; and baritones Mark Rucker and Donnie Ray Albert. The concert will be held at Bright Hope Baptist Church and is a ticketed event.

International artist, baritone Mark Rucker, a graduate of Chicago’s Kenwood Academy where he studied with the renowned Lena J. McLin, will lead the William Warfield Vocal Master Class and Chicago native and classical cellist Elaine Mack will present a workshop based on her recent publication, “Black Classical Musicians of Philadelphia” on Tuesday, July 26. Later that evening, an Awards Banquet will recognize outstanding local citizens who have contributed to the rich musical heritage of Philadelphia.
Wednesday July 27 will bring the conference to a close with the Convention Chorus Concert, Youth Concert, Life Member recognition, installation of officers and closing luncheon.

The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM) was established in 1919 in Chicago by musicians from around the country under the leadership of Nora Douglas Holt, President of Chicago Music Association in order to provide performance venues for classically-trained Black musicians who were denied opportunities to perform in concert halls and opera houses. NANM is an EOE organization. Membership is open to musicians and music lovers regardless of race, religion, ethnic background or gender. For more information, visit [Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,, has compiled the complete works of R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943), which are featured at]

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