Wednesday, June 20, 2012

'Night' and 'Song to the Dark Virgin' by Florence Price: Helena Brown, mezzo soprano, on YouTube

[Helena Brown]

Florence B. Price (1887-1953) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, Price was an African American composer, arranger and teacher. A prolific composer and arranger of songs and spirituals, she is perhaps best remembered as the first African American woman to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra.

Two songs by Florence Price: Helena Brown, mezzo soprano; Cara Modisett, piano (4:39)

Published on Jun 18, 2012 by CaraEllenModisett 
"Night" and "Song to the Dark Virgin," from a May 2012 concert of music written and inspired by African-American composers, at St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church, Roanoke, Va. The performance benefited the Nsumensa Village Project in West Africa, founded by Hollins University alumna Heather Bowden.

A native to the New York tri-state area, mezzo-soprano Helena Brown will be a proud alumna of Hollins University in just three days. In the coming year, Helena will be attending the Manhattan School of Music in pursuit of a masters of music in classical voice. Helena has begun to distinguish herself as a versatile performer of opera, art song and contemporary projects in venues throughout the eastern U.S. and Europe. She has sung as a young artist with the Opera Studio of Richard Crittenden in Boston and Lied Austria International under the tutelage of renowned German literature professor Wolfgang Lockemann. Staying close to what she regards as her southern home away from home, Helena has performed in recital and concert programs throughout Roanoke, Va. 

Most recently, Helena was invited to perform the title role of the new folk opera "Miss Lucy" in its world premiere alongside San Francisco Opera tenor Ben Bongers. Her charismatic performance led to another invitation by Hollins theater director Ernest Zulia to perform a leading role as soloist in the world-premiere production of "Bellocq's Ophelia," based on the book by Natasha Trethewey. 

Equally at home in theater productions, Helena has performed other leading and supporting roles for the Hollins stage, and directed a 10 Minute Play. Most notably, she founded and directed a new performance showcase, "Soul Anthem," with Yasmeen Boiragee, in an effort to display the many facets of African-American culture through student work.

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