Thursday, May 31, 2012

Flutronix & Friends Saturday, June 2 at 9 PM, Free Candy, Brooklyn, NY


Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull are Flutronix, They tell AfriClassical:

Our collaborative music series, Flutronix and Friends, is back
June 2nd Doors Open at 9pm $10
Free Candy
905 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, NY
(C to Clinton-Washington. 2, 3 to Eastern Parkway)” Charlotte Civic Orchestra seeks 'African-American church' for 'tribute to the likes of William Grant Still'

[William Grant Still (Photo is the sole property of William Grant Still Music, and is used with permission]

This Charlotte Civic Orchestra conductor spreads the joys of the classics around town
By Lawrence Toppman
Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You would expect a guy who came to Charlotte from Australia (via Indiana) to be cosmopolitan. You’d also expect a pedagogue who wrote a book called “A College Level Tuba Curriculum” to be knowledgeable. And you’d expect a fellow who likes to buy the complete recorded works of composers on CD – even composers he doesn’t especially enjoy – to be passionate about the music he plays and conducts. You’d be right on all three counts.”

Most maestros wouldn’t be expected to chase around the city looking for venues, either, but that’s part of Whitehead’s job: He’s still searching for an African-American church to hold the fall 2012 concert, a tribute to the likes of William Grant Still.”

[William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,]

Morgan Museum Presents The Chamber Orchestra of New York 'From Olden Venice,' Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Soloist, May 31, 7:30 PM

The Morgan Museum
Lehrman Hall

The Chamber Orchestra of New York
"From Olden Venice" Concert

Vivaldi "Tempesta di mare" Concerto

Thursday May 31 at 7:30pm
(Almost Sold Out- Fewer than 5 tickets remaining)

Sedalia Democrat: 'Scott Joplin selected for Missouri Music Hall of Fame'

[Scott Joplin]

May 30, 2012 11:25 PM
Bob Satnan
Sedalia Democrat

Joplin will be inducted into the Missouri Music Hall of Fame in August.” “Robert Schulz, president of the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, said he is pleased about Joplin’s induction into the 2-year-old hall.” “The Missouri Music Hall of Fame is based in St. Joseph and is a nonprofit group under the umbrella of the St. Joseph Music Foundation.”

“Joplin’s induction will be part of the third annual Joestock music festival Aug. 31 in St. Joseph. Greg Filardo, a St. Joseph-area collector who was featured on an episode of “American Pickers,” owns piano rolls that were recorded by Joplin; a player piano will be brought out to play them during the ceremony.” [Scott Joplin (c.1867-1917) is featured at]

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

'Pilgrim Voices' Directed by Fred Onovwerosuoke With Will Robinson & Sons of Africa Ensemble 10:30 AM June 3, St. Louis, MO

Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke is composer of AFRO CARIBBEAN MASS for Mixed Choir, Soloist and Piano, published by African Music Publishers  of St. Louis, Missouri in 2011.  He will direct Pilgrim Voices at Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC, whose Pastor is Rev. Dr. Allen Grothe.  The service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 826 Union Blvd., St. Louis, MO.

Music of Adolphus Hailstork on CD 'An American Port of Call' Recorded by Virginia Symphony, Released Internationally by Naxos

Virginia Symphony Announces International Recording Release on Naxos
Music by Local Composer Adolphus Hailstork Featured

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA (May 29, 2012) - The Virginia Symphony is pleased to announce the international release of a new recording featuring the music of Virginia composer Adolphus Hailstork.  The CD, titled An American Port of Call, was recorded live at the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center on May 18, 2011.  For the live recording, the Virginia Symphony, led by JoAnn Falletta, was joined by the Virginia Symphony Chorus and baritone, Kevin Deas for performances of five works by Hailstork:  his Symphony No. 1, Three Spirituals, An American Port of Call, Fanfare on Amazing Grace and Whitman’s Journey, Part One:  Launch Out on Endless Seas.  "It is an honor for any American composer to have an entire disc released devoted to his/her music, especially by an orchestra as fine as our own Virginia Symphony Orchestra,” stated Hailstork.  “I am truly grateful to JoAnn Falletta, the musicians of VSO, and Naxos."
The recording will be distributed on the Naxos label, the world’s leading classical music recording group."

An American Port of Call is the Virginia Symphony’s first international recording release, and the project, a co-presentation with the Virginia Arts Festival, was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.   “The Virginia Symphony is extraordinarily proud to consider Dr. Adolphus Hailstork a brilliant and beloved part of our family, and our community,” stated Falletta.  “Internationally renowned as a composer and played by musicians across the globe, Dolph has written many of his pieces for the Virginia Symphony, and it has been our privilege to premier a number of his works.  We are very happy that our first recording on the international Naxos label is a CD of his music.”

Award-winning composer Adolphus Hailstork is a vibrant communicator whose music speaks directly and subtly. His Symphony No. 1 was commissioned for festival performance and is imbued with the engaging, lyrical and vivid qualities of which he is a master. The Three Spirituals are richly affecting orchestral settings originally written for pipe organ.  Amazing Grace: Fanfare is nobly conceived and An American Port of Call, written for the Virginia Symphony, evokes the bustle inspired by Norfolk, Virginia. Whitman’s Journey is a hymn of hope for those setting out on ‘the seas of life’.

Eric Conway, Director, Morgan State University Choir: 'Never have we had such an exchange in culture as here in Brazil!'

Dr. Eric Conway, Director, Morgan State University Choir,, writes from Brazil:
Unfortunately, we have come to our last day in Brazil.
Yesterday, we performed an outreach concert for the Rochina School in the absolute poorest area of Rio. The concert was held in a local area church. Their school choir opened up our concert. After we sang our portion of the program, we all joined forces again for that popular Brazilian American gospel selection, Oh Happy day! Please see pics attached!
This has been perhaps the best exchange opportunity that we have ever had here at Morgan. Never have we had such an exchange in culture as here in Brazil! We have already been asked to return in the fall for a celebration for the Zumbi de Palmores school.
Look forward to seeing you all when we return, God willing!

Martina Arroyo Interviewed by Patrick D. McCoy 11 AM Wed. May 30

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.

The legendary Metropolitan Opera soprano will discuss with Patrick D. McCoy her foundation's initiative, "Prelude to Performance" as well as share about her magnificent operatic career.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

'The Creation,' Poem by James Weldon Johnson; Music & Narration by Cheryl Lynne Skinner

Flutist and Composer Cheryl Lynne Skinner announces:

I am excited to announce the release of "The Creation" the third track in the Contemporary Muse MP3 Project.  

This release is near and dear to my heart and part of a collection of work entitled “Afrocentricity” inspired by the works of some of America’s finest African American poets.  This spoken word project is based on the poem “The Creation” by James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) an American author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist.   You can listen to the entire track in the Music Section and/or download from the Marketplace at

Morgan State University Choir 'had another fantastic day in Rio'

Dr. Eric Conway, Director, Morgan State University Choir, sends this note:

Well we have had another fantastic day in Rio. Yesterday we visited one of the modern wonders of the world - Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado mountain. We also performed our last full concert at the Santa Monica de Luce Church. See attached pics. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sergio Mims: 'Eric Owens was mesmerizing and commanding as Jochannan'

[Eric Owens]

Sergio Mims writes:

I sent you the review for the performance last Thursday night of Richard Strauss' Salome at Carnegie Hall. Franz Welser-Most conducting the Cleveland Orchestra,  Nina Stemme bought the house down in a stunning performance as Salome and Eric Owens was mesmerizing and commanding as Jochannan.

I was there and it was simply an incredible performance and I got a chance to greet and hang out with Eric again after the performance


Sergio Mims in N'Digo: 'Outside The Box: Classical Pianist And Burgeoning Media Mogul'

[Jade Simmons]

Sergio Mims writes:

I hope that you and your readers would like to read my interview with classical pianist Jade Simmons which came out last week in N'Digo magazine


John Malveaux: 'Soprano Latonia Moore will return to California in 2013 to perform AIDA with the San Diego Opera'

John Malveaux of writes:

As a featured performer for the 150th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation Concert September 22, 2012, Soprano Latonia Moore will return to California in 2013 to perform AIDA with the San Diego Opera

Latonia Moore will also sing the solo "Ritorna vincitor".  Opera Britannia called her 2011 performance in London "certainly better than any I’ve heard at Covent Garden in 20 years".  See Leontyne Price sing "Ritorna vincitor"

John Malveaux: “Baritone Donnie Ray Albert delivered...the definitive performance of Psalm 129: 'De Profundis'”

[Baritone Donnie Ray Albert]

John Malveaux of writes:

Baritone Donnie Ray Albert delivered a totally capturing and the definitive performance of Psalm 129: "De profundis" on the Franz Liszt: St. Stanislaus (James Conlon, Cincinnati May Festival) recording released in 2004, Telarc distribution (80607). Mr. Albert will be a featured artist at the 150th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation Concert on September 22, 2012 in Los Angeles (exact date/month that President Lincoln signed the Freedom Act).

Donnie Ray Albert will sing the Act III duet between Amonasro/Aida in Verdi AIDA with the sensational Soprano Latonia Moore at the 150th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation Concert. See Donnie Ray Albert and Marie-Adele McArthur as Aida

Comment by email:
Re: Liszt Psalm 129 recording with Donnie Ray Albert - the conductor is James
Conlon,  not Colon!  Byron Hanson

'Remembering Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: An audio-visual presentation' 2:30 June 23, Harrow On The Hill, U.K.

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor(1875-1912) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,  We are proud to collaborate with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation,]

Morgan State University Choir: Days 5, 6 & 7 in Brazil

Eric Conway, D.M.A., Director of the Morgan State University Choir, www.msuchoir.orgwrites:

Hello again from Brazil, 

On Friday we endured an eight-hour ride from Santos to Rio de Janiero.  I have always found that one of the unique ways to experience a foreign country is via a long-road trip.  We saw much of the Brazilian countryside. We arrived in Rio at 6pm on Friday evening to enjoy another Brazilian buffet of various exotic meats.  We are staying at a New York-style Hotel only one block from the Rio shore.  

On Saturday, President Wilson, and Chairman of the Board of Regent, Dallas Evans joined us in our Brazilian adventure.  In the morning we visited one of the best Samba schools in Rio and had another very special exchange with the students of that school.  After the Samba school visit, we visited the famous Sugar Loaf mountain at sunset and witnessed a truly breathtaking view from one of the highest points in all of Rio.  

This evening, we sang a concert at the largest cathedral in all of Rio.  By the end of the concert, it was literally standing room only.  Once again, the quality of our concerts had gotten around Brazil as many in attendance hade heard us in an earlier city and drove great distances with guests to hear us again.  The acoustics of the cathedral were very special.  Please see some pics from these days.  

If this email is not as lucid as previous emails, please forgive as I am sending my very 1st email from an iPad.  My computer was fried via voltage in the Rio hotel.  More to come. . . 

BTW, Happy Memorial Day!

Check out this video on YouTube:

Comment by email:
Yes, Brazilians go crazy for choral diversity. Whether Sao Paulo, Rio or Juiz de Fora - they want it all! Enjoy with your singers, Eric. You're doing marvelous work... 
Fredo  Fredomusic, Inc. 'Tribute to the choir master'

VOCALLY GIFTED: Voices of the Nation choir during the choral tribute to honour Professor Mzilikazi Khumalo on his 80th birthday celebrations in Joburg. PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

May 28, 2012 | Patience Bambalele
"The legendary composer, arranger, conductor and teacher was honoured for his immense contribution to choral music.

"Ali Mpofu, the man behind the idea, praised Khumalo for constantly pushing for the preservation of choral and indigenous sounds. Khumalo, who turns 80 on June 20, sat next to his wife listening tentatively to choirs singing some of his best works.

"The first choir on stage was Gauteng Choristers who rendered three items.
Kopanong Chorus also came on stage sang three songs. Sounds of the Nation and Voices of the Nation also gave beautiful performances. Though people enjoyed all the choir performances, but it was Sounds of Nation that wowed the crowd with a love song entitled Thula S'thandwa Sami."

[J.S. Mzilikazi Khumalo was born June 20, 1932 and is profiled at]     

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ritz Chamber Players Present 'Finale Concert: Of Music, Love and Poetry' 7:30 PM Wed. June 13

Adolphus C. Hailstork (b. 1941) is featured at  On June 13, 2012 the Ritz Chamber Players will perform Summer. Life. Song., a work for Clarinet, String Quartet and Soprano which he composed for the Ritz Chamber Players, according to

"Summer. Life. Song. (March, 2004) (Emily Dickinson) written for the Ritz Chamber Ensemble, Florida
1. I Shall Keep Singing (serves as an introduction to the set)"

Berkshire Eagle: 'Tanglewood: Thomas Wilkins to make debut with Boston Pops in festival finale'

[Maestro Thomas Wilkins]

Posted 05/14/2012
The Boston Pops will close the Tanglewood summer on Sunday, Sept. 2, with the "American Songbook" concert under the direction of Thomas Wilkins, the Tanglewood Press Office has announced. The performance will mark Wilkins' Tanglewood debut. He is music director of the Omaha Symphony.

John Malveaux: 'Memorial Day was first observed in 1868 as Decoration Day'

Memorial Day

John Malveaux of sends this history of Memorial Day:

"Memorial Day was first observed in 1868 as Decoration Day, when the families of Civil War victims honored their war dead by decorating their graves. Over time, the holiday became known as Memorial Day – a day for us all to commemorate the valor and sacrifice of the men and women who have died in our nation’s service."

The website tells us:

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery." 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tai Murray "makes her harmonia mundi début in a dazzling reading of the six solo 'Sonatas' by Eugène Ysaÿe"

The Summer 2012 Issue of Listen: Life With Classical Music features a full-color half-page advertisement for Tai Murray's new CD on the prestigious music label Harmonia Mundi, Eugène Ysaÿe, Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27:

"Chicago-born violinist Tai Murray, a BBC New Generation Artist in 2009 and winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, makes her harmonia mundi début in a dazzling reading of the six solo Sonatas by Eugène Ysaÿe.  Murray's superb technique and burnished tone allow Ysaÿe's fascinating music to sing as never before."  www.harmoniamundi.comè

'Brazil has been an exceptional tour for the Morgan State University Choir'

Dr. Eric Conway, Director of the Morgan State University Choir,, sends news of Days 3 and 4 of the Choir's trip to Brazil:

Hello everyone,

Brazil has been an exceptional tour for the Morgan State University Choir.  Last evening, we performed our 2nd full concert at Teatro Coliseu, the premier hall of Santos, Brazil.

During the day a few of us toured historic Santos, which happens to be an island city, the oldest city in Brazil, and largest port in all of South America.  We visited the Santos coffee museum, archiving one of Brazil's main exports.  We then visited the Santos Aquarium, not the Baltimore National Aquarium, but not bad.  

The concert was at 8PM.  Despite a soccer semi-finals game with the Santos team (Pelè's team) playing opposite our performance, there was nicely filled.  Again, we were received enthusiastically.  The backstage person working the show made a point to tell me that he had heard many acts over the years, but we were the absolute best!  I told him that was quite a compliment and humbly thanked him.  Once again, the Morgan State Univeristy Choir is growing the future and leading the world!

Diedre Robinson: Heritage Signature Chorale to 'premiere one of my choral works' in 'A Jubilant Song' in Washington, D.C. June 3

Diedre Robinson of Robinson Music writes:
I’m excited to personally invite you, your friends and colleagues to an upcoming premiere of one of my choral works in an amazing concert “A Jubilant Song” presented by the Heritage Signature Chorale of Washington, D.C. It’s happening next Sunday, June 3rd! The event is almost sold out and I wanted to ensure that you’re able to secure your spot.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thomas 'Blind Tom' Wiggins (1849-1908), Enslaved Pianist and Composer Born May 25, 1849

[The Ballad of Blind Tom, Slave Pianist: America's Lost Musical Genius; Deirdre O’Connell; Overlook Press (2009)]

Thomas“Blind Tom” Wiggins (1849-1908) was an African American pianist and composer. He was a blind and autistic slave who nevertheless was a musical genius. He is profiled at, which features a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

For the past three years, interest in the life and music of Thomas Wiggins has been greatly increased due to the work of Deirdre O'Connell, an Australian writer whose highly readable biography is The Ballad of Blind Tom, Slave Pianist: America's Lost Musical Genius.  The book's website is: Performances of piano works composed by Wiggins have become steadily more numerous in recent years.

In another recent development related to the story of Thomas Wiggins, musicologist Arthur R. LaBrew was honored earlier this year by the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM) for his scholarly research on Wiggins. LaBrew has also been honored by the Azalia Hackley Collection of the Detroit Public Library. He is the author of Free at last: legal aspects concerning the career of Blind Tom Bethune, 1849-1908; Arthur R. La Brew (1976) (68 pages).

His profile at is based primarily on the book Blind Tom, The Black Pianist-Composer: Continually Enslaved, by the late Professor Geneva Handy Southall, who devoted her academic career to Wiggins. She points out that he never really gained his freedom or the control of his own earnings, even after the Civil War. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012 'Street Symphony brings music to the margins'

[“Private lesson. Robert Vijay Gupta (right) greets Nathaniel Ayers, his sometime violin student.”]

Professor Janise White of Los Angeles conducts The Afro-American Chamber Orchestra in that city.  She brought Nathaniel Ayers to our attention, resulting in a post on June 15, 2011: "Los Angeles Times: 'Nathaniel Ayers plays the Foshay Learning Center'"   Ayers figures prominently in an article in the Summer 2012 issue of Listen: Life With Classical Music:

Summer 2012
Listen: Life With Classical Music
“Where It Is Needed Most
By Johanna Gohmann

THE MENTAL HEALTH CENTER us in the heart of Los Angeles's notorious Skid Row. Rusty coils of razor wire snake ominously around the outside; inside, a makeshift auditorium has been set up in the basement. The chairs are of the muted, waiting-room variety and have been organized into tidy rows for an audience of about thirty. The attendees are in blue jeans, sweatpants and baseball caps. Some are homeless. Some are addicts. Some are severely mentally ill. Some of their faces carry a hardened, haunted look that speaks to a life of intense struggle.

But right now, these same faces are transfixed. They are upturned with what looks like equal parts curiosity and wonder as they stare at the violinist at the front of the room. He is feverishly whipping a bow across his instrument, and the beauty of the Boccherini Duo for Violin and Cello drifts up to the low ceiling, the intricate notes falling in sharp contrast against the clinical white walls.

“This is Street Symphony, the brainchild of Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Robert Vijay Gupta. The twenty-four-year-old Gupta may already have his hands full as the youngest member of L.A.'s world-renowned orchestra, but his dreams lie beyond the gilded Gehry glamour of Walt Disney Concert Hall. He wants to bring classical music to the masses and to the communities he feels need it most. For Gupta, this means prisoners, veterans, the homeless and the mentally ill.”


The inspiration for Street Symphony originated with another talented musician: Nathaniel Ayers, the Juilliard-educated double bass player who found himself homeless due to severe mental illness. His life is the subject of The Soloist, a book by Steve Lopez that in 2009 became a film starring Jamie Foxx.”


Gupta met Ayers in 2008. They immediately bonded through intense discussions of Schumann and Beethoven, so much so that Ayers later asked if Gupta might give him some violin lessons. Gupta was happy to oblige, meeting alternately on Gupta's home ground at Disney hall or at Ayers' home at the L.A. Men's Project – a housing shelter a stone's throw from Skid Row. One day, in the midst of a lesson, Gupta witnessed firsthand the extent of Ayers' illness.

“'He just exploded,' Gupta recalls. 'He literally started to have a manic episode. And I really got to see for the first time, face to face, just how ill he was.' Alonein a room with the raging Ayers, Gupta did the only thing he could think of: he picked up his violin and started to play. 'I played for about twenty to thirty minutes. And I slowly sensed that Nathaniel was becoming less agitated. He started to cool down, was muttering to himself less. And then he picked up the violin and started playing with me.'

Gupta was fascinated by the way the music calmed Ayers and seemed to bring some peace to his troubled mind. He wondered: what if music could do the same for others?”


In 2011, Street Symphony was officially born. There have been around seventeen Street Symphony concerts so far, and Gupta is hoping to increase that number in 2012.


The organization has even added neuroscientist Antonio Damasio to the board, who will further explore the therapeutic effects of the program. One of the founders of he Brain and Creativity Institute at USC, Damasio will be working with Gupta to find subjects for a study that will track what is actually happening in the minds of the mentally ill when they listen to music.”