Wednesday, October 31, 2012 'William Grant Still: Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Nov. 3rd, 5 pm'

[William Grant Still (1895-1978)]

WRTI 90.1 FM
Classical Music Radio, Philadelphia
So just how Big is William Grant Still? He came out of Mississippi to become the first African-American to conduct a major American orchestra, the first to have a large orchestral work played by a major American orchestra, and the first to have an opera produced by a major American company. He left Oberlin without a degree, for the East, to music-theater arranging and playing jobs, and his potential was immediately seen. Musicians as diverse as George Chadwick, W.C. Handy, Paul Whiteman, Artie Shaw, and Edgard Varèse recognized his talent.

It was the avant-garde Varèse who encouraged his composing the most, and who recommended his pieces for new-music concerts and publication. Still would later score for films (Pennies from Heaven), for TV (Perry Mason, Gunsmoke), and would compose more than 150 concert works, including ballets, operas, and symphonies.

It was his first symphony, the “Afro-American,” that brought him renown. Howard Hanson premiered it in 1931 with the Rochester Philharmonic, and Hanson would continue to champion Still’s music throughout his life. The symphony is based on blues, which Still felt was uniquely African-American, more so than spirituals, which he believed had become too commercialized.

Still had mixed feelings about the modernist Dismal Swamp. But it’s an evocative picture of the desperate life of the escaped slaves who found refuge in the Great Dismal Swamp, that wilderness spanning North Carolina and Virginia. In Danzas de Panama, for string quartet, string quintet, or string orchestra, he branches out to ethnicities not his own, which, he believed, was what any composer rightly does.

During his stellar career, William Grant Still became not only a leading African-American composer, but a leading American composer. He felt that music—his or anyone’s—should lift up people of all countries, colors, and races. A dean is a senior, respected leader. William Grant Still earns the title.

William Grant Still (1895-1978): Danzas de Panama (1948)
Dismal Swamp (1936)
Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American” (1930)

[William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, Recordings, sheet music and books of William Grant Still are available at, which is operated by the composer's daughter Judith Anne Still]

Barbara Wright-Pryor: 'Margaret Allison Bonds was a member of Chicago Music Association (CMA) from her youth through adulthood.'

Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972), African American Composer, Pianist & Musical Director, is profiled at, which features a complete Works List compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

On October 28, 2012 AfriClassical posted:
"'UNC at Chapel Hill - A Symposium of Celebration: Call for Presentations' on Margaret A. Bonds Centennial Opens Oct. 31, 2012 and Closes Jan. 3, 2013."  Barbara Wright-Pryor is Classical Music critic for The Chicago Crusader.  She writes:

Dear Bill,
How timely.  Margaret Allison Bonds was a member of Chicago Music Association (CMA) from her youth through adulthood.  Her mother, Estella Bonds, was also a member.  Florence Beatrice Price joined CMA upon arriving from North Little Rock, Arkansas and served as was Secretary of the organization for several years beginning in 1938.
CMA has copies of several unpublished works by both Bonds and Price.
Musically yours,

Barbara Wright-Pryor
            Classical Music Critic

  The Chicago Crusader
(EST. 1940)

Comments by email:

Dear Bill, What a valuable service you provide!  Thank you for the great amount of time you invest to keep us abreast.  Musically yours,
Barbara [Barbara Wright-Pryor] 

Thanks for this reminder Barbara!  I hope you will consider coming to be a part of the celebration on Margaret Bonds and her connection to the Chicago NANM chapter!  How fabulous.  Louise  [Louise Toppin]

Music of Valerie Coleman in Composers Concordance 'Legends' Concert Recalling Melodies of Dvořák, Friday, Dec. 7, 8 PM at DiMenna Center, NYC

Valerie Coleman, Composer and Flute Player

Friday, Dec. 7th, 8pm
DiMenna Center - Mary Flagler Cary Hall, 450 West 37th Street, NYC 10018

Lara St. John - violin, Valerie Coleman - flute, Thomas Carlo Bo - conductor 
In 1893 in NYC, the legendary Czech composer Antonín Dvořák spoke of the influence of Native American and African American music on his Symfonie. He urged American composers to focus attention on what "must" be the foundation for "the future music of this country." Composers Concordance presents a program entitled 'Legends,' recalling the timeless melodies of Dvořák himself, and highlighting the influence of Native American and African American music on contemporary orchestral composition.

* with a 7pm reception and an afterparty to follow the performance

MUSIC BY: Dan Cooper, Valerie Coleman, Patrick Hardish, Otto Luening,
Milica Paranosic, Joseph Pehrson, Gene Pritsker and David Soldier

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

43rd Annual Memorial Concert of The Georgia Laster Branch of NANM is Free, 3 PM Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, at 2085 S. Hobart Blvd., Los Angeles

James S. Bryant writes:

Hello Mr. Zick;

I apologize for being late in thanking you the extensive article you published on your AfriClassical BLOG for our annual scholarship fundraising concert.  I'm sure that because of this exposure, we had a very nice audience.

The Georgia Laster Branch is, again, presenting a concert.  It's  our 43rd Annual Memorial Concert - which is free to the public.  We are honoring three local members of NANM, Inc.; they are Dr. Esther Cleaver, Dr. Raleigh Bastine and internationally acclaimed opera singer Shirley Verrett.

I am attaching a copy of the flyer.

It would be greatly appreciated if AfriClassical would include this upcoming event for your readers to consider attending.

With appreciation,
James S. Bryant, Vice President
Georgia Laster Branch - NANM, Inc.

One more weekend of Theatre Morgan's Production of 'for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf'

Dr. Eric Conway of Morgan State University writes:

Please click on link below to YouTube Video Clip announcing Theatre Morgan's Production of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.  We have one more weekend of this extraordinary production.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 1, 10:30 AM 
Friday, November 2, 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 3, 2:00 PM and 7:30PM
Sunday, November 4, 3:00 PM

Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

'Ensemble du Monde: SONGS AND SERENADES' Saturday, November 3, 2012 at Dimenna Center for Classical Music, NYC


                                                                                  A WORLD OF MUSIC

Ensemble du Monde: SONGS AND SERENADES
The Dimenna Center for Classical Music / 450 West 37th Street New York, NYC

On Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:30pm at the Dimenna Center in a spectacular Season Opening Concert Ensemble du Monde and Music Director Marlon Daniel take you on a musical journey throughout Prague and Vienna with some of the most extraordinary works of the late Romantic and 20th century periods.

The Ensemble will be joined by dramatic mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker in Gustav Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Alban Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder (Seven Early Songs).

Described   as possessing   a  “luscious   and   full-bodied tone” (Das Opernglas), mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker is renowned for her distinctive voice,  intense  artistry,  and passion.  Her distinguished portrayals of dramatic opera heroines have won critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia   and   the United   States.   Amongst   her many credits, her performances in the roles of Fricka, Erda, and   Waltraute   in the Chinese premiere of Wagner’s Ring Cycle for the Bejing Opera Festival under maestro Philippe Auguin have garnered exceptional reviews.  Subsequent performances in the Ring Cycle include the Salzburg Easter Festival and the Aix en Provence Festival. This current season she performs again with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle.  She has also performed   under the batons of Zubin Mehta, Donald   Runnicles, Sir Charles Mackerras,  Valery Gergiev,  Richard  Hickox, Antonio  Pappano,  Marin Alsop, and Adam  Fischer  to  name  a  few  and  in  prestigious  venues  that  include  Munich National  Theatre, Teatro alla  Scala, The Royal  Albert  Hall,  San Francisco Opera, and  Covent Garden.   

Hailed as “… the future of classical music on stage.” (Time Out), Ensemble du Monde is one of the most dynamic and innovative chamber orchestras on the classical music scene today. Founded in New York City in 2000 and named to reflect the diversity of its members who hail from over fifteen countries, cultures and backgrounds. Led by its Music Director and Conductor, Marlon Daniel, the ensemble performs music from the Baroque era to the Avant-Garde in addition to the standard Classical repertoire. It frequently plays overlooked masterpieces and world premières.

One of the most dynamic conductors of his generation, Marlon Daniel has been described as "a natural and enormous talent"  (Chicago Sun-Times) and his artistry has been hailed as “fabulous and exceptional” (Pravda – Moscow).  The winner of the 2009 John and Mary Virginia Foncannon Conducting Award, he has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in Europe and the United States. Currently, Maestro Daniel is Music Director of Ensemble du Monde, chamber orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Sofia Sinfonietta. His new CD “Phoenix Forever” on the MSR Classics label received rave reviews and was a contender for a 2011 GRAMMY.


Marlon Daniel, conductor
Andrea Baker, mezzo-soprano

Serenade in D Minor, Op. 44

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Sieben frühe Lieder

Serenade in E Major, Op. 22

Tickets are $20, $35, $45, $150 may be purchased online at

John Malveaux: Southeast Symphony Orchestra Opens 65th Season With Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, Conducted by Anthony Parnther

Maestro Anthony Parnther

John Malveaux of writes:

The 65th season began with Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor “FROM the NEW WORLD”. Music Director/Conductor Anthony Parnther prefaced the influence or spirit behind the composition was Negro spirituals before directing a delicate and precise performance of all four movements. The second half featured vocal tributes to Camilla Williams and pop music icons Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, and Etta James plus an encore instrumental tribute to Michael Jackson.

Maestro Parnther noted that Camilla Williams was the first African American signed to a major opera company (New York City Opera in 1946) and that was nine years before Marian Anderson became the first African-American singer to appear at the Metropolitan Opera. He also mentioned she replaced Marian Anderson, who was stuck in traffic, to sing the National Anthem before Dr. Kings “I Have a Dream Speech” in 1963. Parnther did not mention Camilla Williams also sang at King's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony the next year. Soprano Yolanda West superbly represented Camilla Williams singing Un Bel Di from Madame Butterfly and Summertime.

In addition to the Southeast Symphony Orchestra, the Southeast Symphony Association (SESA) also operate the Southeast Symphony Conservatory for students 3rd grade through high school. Southern California Edison awarded the Conservatory $5,000.

Looking forward, Southeast Symphony has scheduled their annual Messiah Sing-Along for December 2nd and LEGACY IN BLACK (music of leading Black composers) for January 27, 2013.

'Great Day! Indra Thomas Sings Spirituals' on Delos CD

[Great Day!  Indra Thomas Sings Spirituals; Delos DE 3427 (2012)]

Henry Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949) and Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972) are profiled at, which features 
a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography for each by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, 

Burleigh arranged Give Me Jesus; Deep River; Steal Away; and There Is A Balm in Gilead.  Bonds arranged He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.

Delos Music

Great Day! Indra Thomas Sings Spirituals

"It’s almost an instinctive, out-of-body experience for me. I feel totally connected to what I grew up with – and I still feel, like I did then, as if God is working through me – using me as His extension to reach my audience and touch their souls." — Indra Thomas

Thus did great American Diva Indra Thomas describe how it feels to perform spirituals – which (along with ragtime, blues and jazz) remain one of the main musical legacies of African-American slavery. While it seems ironic that the blessing of spirituals grew out of the curse of slavery, the genre – with its primary themes of Christian belief, biblical storytelling, manic jubilation, and sweet relief from earthly suffering in the next life – has remained one of America’s most cherished musical artifacts worldwide. This album offers examples of many different types of spirituals, to include some that are believed to have conveyed "codes" among the cruelly oppressed slaves to aid them in escaping to freedom.

Track Listing:

  1. I Feel The Spirit
  2. Honor, Honor
  3. Give me Jesus
  4. His Name So Sweet
  5. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
  6. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
  7. He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
  8. Deep River
  9. Guide My Feet
  10. Witness
  11. This Little Light
  12. Steal Away
  13. Ride on, King Jesus
  14. Let Us Break Bread Together
  15. Great Day
  16. Were You There
  17. There is a Balm in Gilead

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sonya Headlam in Songs of Amy Beach and Henri Duparc, in One World Symphony Concert 'The Planets & Poems of Ecstasy' 3:30 PM Nov. 11, 2012

The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York presents
The Planets & Poems of Ecstasy
One performance only:
Sunday, November 11, 2012
3:30 p.m.
Florence Gould Hall (debut performance)
55 East 59th Street
Between Park and Madison Avenues

Soprano Sonya Headlam is excited to join One World Symphony for the 2012–2013 Season. She has performed with One World Symphony on numerous occasions since 2006, including the critically-acclaimed Nordic Lights, Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Été, Creation vs. Evolution and Moonlight programs. Ms. Headlam has been a featured artist with various groups locally, across the country, and internationally such as the Cuban Philharmonic, the Greenwich Choral Society, Bronx Orchestra, the Master Singers of Milwaukee, and DCINY with whom she made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2010. 

Equally comfortable on the operatic stage, she has worked with regional opera companies such as the Bronx Opera, Delphi Opera, and Fargo-Morehead Opera. An avid recitalist, she was recently featured on the Trinity Church’s Concerts at One series, which was webcast live from downtown Manhattan. In early 2012, she began to teach herself how to play the ukulele. She has since had several exciting opportunities to perform international folk music with her uke on stages in New York City as well as all over Japan. Ms. Headlam is currently working on recording her debut album of art songs, to be released in 2013.

Can you please tell us about the composers and the compositions that you are performing? What makes each work special and what are you looking forward to the most when you will be performing it?

I will be performing two songs, one by American composer Amy Beach, and the other by French composer Henri Duparc. There are many things that draw me to this music, not just as standalone compositions, but also in the context of this One World Symphony program featuring compositions that embody the fleeting and intense human emotion, ecstasy. Both Beach and Duparc wrote in the romantic style and set poems of ecstasy to music for voice and piano within twenty years of each other. Their personal compositional styles and representations of ecstasy provide a unique juxtaposition. Beach’s song has a soaring melody, and refined lyricism. The text, which she also wrote, captures feelings of deep commitment, trust, and perhaps a love that surpasses death. Harmonically, Duparc’s song begins ambiguously. It is earthy, and strikingly sensuous, from which the vocal line emerges, vulnerable, yet tranquil, “Sur un lys pâle mon coeur dort d’un sommeil doux comme la mort — On a pale lily my heart sleeps in a slumber sweet like death.” I look forward to performing these songs because I love them! I also think both of them are particularly well suited for orchestration, and performing them in this context will provide an opportunity to explore new and exciting colors and nuances.

Why would you recommend our public to attend One World Symphony’s Ecstasy program on November 11, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. at Florence Gould Hall?
The rhapsodic music of Scriabin, Björk, Clara Schumann, Beach, Duparc, Sung Jin Hong’s world premiere of his work, The Architect, and Holst’s Jupiter and Mars! I recommend this concert for the unique programming alone, but also for the opportunity to experience a diverse group of musicians that are 100% committed to making intimate and inspired music.

John Malveaux: Angel Blue was replacement soprano at Placido Domingo Festival in Malaga, Spain on Friday, October 26, 2012

John Malveaux of writes:

Due to illness, Soprano Angel Blue replaced Grammy award winning soprano Ana Maria Martinez in Malaga, Spain on Friday, October 26th at Placido Domingo Festival. See

John Malveaux

Sunday, October 28, 2012

'UNC at Chapel Hill - A Symposium of Celebration: Call for Presentations' on Margaret A. Bonds Centennial Opens Oct. 31, 2012 and Closes Jan. 3, 2013

Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972)African American Composer, Pianist & Musical Director, is profiled at, which features a complete Works List compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
March 2–3 Symposium: Margaret Bonds and the Women of the Chicago Renaissance  

Concerts, lectures, and panel discussions • Co-sponsored with NCCU Department of Music • 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Person Recital Hall and B.N. Duke Biddle Hall, Duke University 

UNC at Chapel Hill - A Symposium of Celebration: Call for Presentations on the Occasion of the Centennial of Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972)

This symposium is convening to honor pianist and composer Margaret Bonds and her mentor Florence Price (1887-1953), who contributed significantly to the Harlem and Chicago musical Renaissances.  Investigations of the cultural, social, political, economic, educational, professional and artistic landscapes are invited.

Proposed session topics include: The Life and Legacy of Margaret Bonds; Margaret Bonds, Florence Price and the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances; “Bonds--Inside and Outside of the Lines” (blues, jazz, popular songs and musical theater); “Bonds and Beyond” (her influence on the present generations of composers); “Sacred Bonds” (the influence of church music on her sacred works and art songs); “Bonds Between the Lines—Reflections of Her Contemporaries”.

Presentations (scholarly papers, poster presentations, lecture recitals) are invited for submission.  Presentations need not be limited exclusively to the proposed session topic. Scholarly presentations should be kept to 20 minutes including questions.

All presentation abstracts must be submitted electronically to the attention of Louise Toppin at between October 31, 2012 and January 3, 2013.   The proposals will be reviewed and notification of accepted presentations will be sent no later than Friday, January 11, 2013.

Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama Performs Bartok's Viola Concerto with Phoenix Symphony Orchestra Nov. 8, 9 & 10, 2012

Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, President of the American Viola Society, is featured at and  She performs Bartok's Viola Concerto with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, Nov. 8 in Phoenix; Friday, Nov. 9 in Scottsdale; and Saturday, Nov. 10 in Phoenix:

Phoenix Symphony

Thursday, November 8, 2012 7:30PM
Symphony Hall

Ignat Solzhenitsyn, conductor
Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola

Mendelssohn: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Bartók: Viola Concerto
Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947 version)

Join The Phoenix Symphony in welcoming the exciting conducting of Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Continuing a season where the greatest conductors of our next symphonic generation come to Arizona, experience the former music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra as he conducts the music from Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka. Son of Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, a pianist as well as conductor, brings a lyrical and poignant interpretative style that has won him critical acclaim throughout the world. Experience Maestro Solzhenitsyn as he guides The Phoenix Symphony and mesmerizing hometown native violist and winner at age 17 of the Primrose International Viola Competition, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, a “Face To Watch” as featured in the Los Angeles Times, in Bartók’s last work, his Viola Concerto.

BBC Radio 3: 'Sumptuous Was the Feast' is Andrew Green's Documentary on Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Kwaku sends this link to a program broadcast October 27, 2012.  It is now available online:

BBC Radio 3

Sumptuous Was the Feast

over a year left to listen
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 27 October 2012
'Hiawatha' in the Royal Albert Hall was one of the entertainment phenomena of the 1920s and 30s in London. For two weeks each summer the hall was brimful for the dramatisation of black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's cantata trilogy: 'Hiawatha's Wedding Feast', 'The Death of Minnehaha' and 'Hiawatha's Departure' - collectively known as 'The Song of Hiawatha'. Hundreds of members of the giant Royal Choral Society swamped the arena (aka the tribal encampment) dressed in home-made native American costumes. A vast backcloth, depicting mountains and forests, obscured the Albert Hall's giant organ. Wigwams invaded the stage, where the principal singers (many of the best known British stars of the day) did their stuff. And the bulk of the performances was directed by Dr Malcolm Sargent, matinee idol in the making.

At the hundredth anniversary of Coleridge-Taylor's death, Andrew Green's Sumptuous Was The Feast' seeks out memories from those who appeared in the Albert Hall productions and those who attended them. Kath Marshall recalls the tribal chants of an authentic Mohawk chief. Rosemary Woodhouse crept onto the stage to solve the mystery of just how Hiawatha's canoe drifted off-stage as it departed for the Hereafter.

But this is no mere trip down memory lane. Andrew Green investigates the popularity of Longfellow's poem 'The Song of Hiawatha' on both sides of the Atlantic. He examines how Coleridge-Taylor was idolised by the black community in the USA as a role model. And has Hiawatha obscured the composer's wider output?

'Sumptuous Was The Feast' details other performances of 'Hiawatha' from Scarborough to Melbourne, Australia...before the craze died after the Second World War. But could hordes of braves and squaws again fill the arena of the Albert Hall?

[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 collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]

Charles Kaufmann: 'Something Shocking About Samuel Coleridge-Taylor'

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)]

Charles Kaufmann of The Longfellow Chorus of Portland, Maine writes:

Hi Bill,

An earthquake occurred during our October 16 Coleridge-Taylor Round Table in Portland, Maine. Among those present were Jeffrey Green and William Tortolano. This scene will make its way into our documentary, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America." Until then, here is the SCT quake audio, proof that Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is still a real mover and shaker:

Charles Kaufmann

[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 collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]

Saturday, October 27, 2012 'New Orleans duo performs spirituals arranged by Ellis Marsalis and other local composers'

Valerie Anne Jones-Francis

By Chris Waddington, | The Times-Picayune on October 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM, updated October 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Verdi, Puccini and Ellis Marsalis: the legendary New Orleans jazzman will be in slightly different company on Sunday, Oct. 28, as his work as an arranger is showcased in a 5 p.m. concert of spirituals and art songs. The free program at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., also features selections by New Orleans composers Roger Dickerson and Moses Hogan.

The show is the brainchild of a notable local duo: spinto-soprano Valerie Anne Jones-Francis and pianist Wilfred Delphin. Jones-Francis teaches at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux and Delphin is on the faculty at Xavier University.

Both artists have been making waves as members of the New Orleans ensemble, Opera Creole, but their performing credits reach back decades. Delphin toured internationally for two decades in a piano duo with Edwin Romain. (They debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1977). Jones-Francis has sung with the New Orleans Opera, the Dallas Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and other ensembles. In 1994, this New Orleans native traveled to New York as a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions. 

MusicUNTOLD partnered with the Geffen Playhouse to provide FREE opportunities for underserved individuals to experience the benefits of live theatre.

John Malveaux of writes:

MusicUNTOLD partnered with the Geffen Playhouse to provide FREE opportunities for underserved individuals to experience the benefits of live theatre. Please see October 25, 2012 photo of 11 of 16 who attended BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK, the latest play of Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. 

John Malveaux

Pianist Artina McCain Performs Rachmaninov Prelude at 93rd Annual NANM Gala Extravaganza on YouTube

Dr. Artina McCain 

Rachmaninov Prelude op. 32 No. 12 in g# minor   

Leo Brouwer conducts premiere of 'Concierto de Tricastin' (2008)

[ "Maestro Leo Brouwer conducted the premiere of his Concierto de Tricastín, featuring Pedro Chamorro on bandurria (left) and guitarist Pedro Mateo"]

Granma Internacional
Havana October 25, 2012
Mireya Castañeda
MAESTRO Leo Brower’s influence in the world of guitar is undeniable, both as a performer and a composer. He is pleased with the success of his exemplary 4th Chamber Music Festival, recently concluded in Havana (October 3-13) and, with certain clarifications, the nomination of one of his compositions for a Latin Grammy.

With his usual amiability, he answered two questions for Granma International, after the Festival’s final concert Compay Segundo In Memoriam, held in the National Theater’s Covarrubias Hall, where his piece dedicated to Francisco Repilado (1907-2003), Chacona. In memoriam Compay Segundo was premiered.

On the occasion, Brouwer additionally conducted the Sonantas Habaneras guitar orchestra in a premiere performance of his Concierto de Tricastín (2008), in an arrangement for bandurria with a guitar soloist and accompanying guitar, performed by the distinguished Spanish artists Pedro Chamorro and Pedro Mateo.

[The Afro-Cuban classical guitarist, composer and conductor Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is featured at]

Eric Conway: Morgan's production of 'for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf' is extraordinary!

Dr. Eric Conway of Morgan State University writes:

Back again everyone,

My suspicions were correct.  Morgan's production of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf is extraordinary!  We had a packed house for the opening night performance this evening.  The audience was very appreciative and appeared to thoroughly enjoy the show.  The direction was very insightful by Trezana Beverly, giving a unique peek into every character's special situation and perspective.  Every actor gave a riveting performance.  Without a doubt, you must attend if you are able.  I have placed performance times below for your convenience.  I hope to see you at this production.  

Saturday, October 27, 2:00 PM and 7:30PM
Sunday, October 28, 3:00 PM
Thursday, November 1, 10:30 AM 
Friday, November 2, 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 3, 2:00 PM and 7:30PM
Sunday, November 4, 3:00 PM

Friday, October 26, 2012 If you will be in New Orleans, you are the CBMR's Hospitality Reception Friday, Nov. 2, 5-7 PM, Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel

CBMR Hospitality Reception and Status Update

Dear CBMR Friends and Supporters,

Many of you will attend the joint annual meetings of AMS, SMT, and SEM next week in New Orleans. If you plan to attend, we invite and urge you to drop by the CBMR’s Hospitality Reception, which will be held on Friday, November 2, 5–7 p.m., in the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, Grand Ballroom C.

As you know, the past months have been very difficult for the CBMR. During the college’s recent prioritization process, many programs and budgets were reduced and in some cases eliminated entirely. It was initially recommended that the CBMR be among those units that should be permanently closed, but the letters of support that many of you sent to the college’s administration helped to reverse that plan. That development was heartening, but the CBMR’s budget has been slashed by 75% over the past three years and during the past year, five positions have been eliminated, including Director of Research, Associate Director of Research, Head Librarian and Archivist, Publications Manager, and Administrative Assistant. The CBMR remains open, but its activities have been drastically cut and its future is far from certain.

Sadly, much damage has already been done nationally and internationally to the CBMR’s reputation and credibility, thus adversely affecting memberships and material and monetary donations. We have had to withdraw several funding proposals, since we could not demonstrate adequate sustaining support from our host institution, and a major capacity-building grant from a local foundation was tabled by our program officer. This is long-term damage that will require years to rectify.

We hear reports that some think that the CBMR has already closed or that its closure is imminent. We have even heard that an organization/publisher is circulating that the CBMR is in fact closed. Some contributors of archival and research collections that form the nucleus of the CBMR Library and Archives are understandably fearful for the safety and security of their materials and for the continued intellectual access to those materials. Please note that all archival collections are and will continue to be completely safe and professionally maintained and that the CBMR will continue to provide and foster public accessibility.

Now, more than ever, the Center needs the support of an engaged extended constituency. I encourage you to come express your continuing support of the CBMR’s mission by dropping by our reception and by urging your colleagues and students to do the same. Please spread the word.

We look forward to greeting you, to renewing and strengthening existing relationships, and to developing new constituents and supporters.

CBMR Hospitality Reception
Friday, November 2, 5–7 p.m.
Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, Grand Ballroom C
739 Canal Street (at Bourbon)
New Orleans

If you will not be attending the conference, you can still help re-invigorate and sustain the CBMR by beginning or renewing an associate membership, by subscribing to Black Music Research Journal, and by making material or financial contributions. Please visit to take any of these actions and to get more details about the CBMR’s status.

We look forward to greeting you in New Orleans.

Monica Hairston O’Connell
Executive Director

Prof. Lisa Edwards-Burrs is Soloist in "The Ordering of Moses" by R. Nathaniel Dett, Performed at Virginia State University 4 PM Nov. 11

Lisa Edwards-Burrs associate professor of music at VSU, soprano, is a soloist in 'The Ordering of Moses.'

More than 100 singers and a full orchestra will present two performances of 'Exodus ... Out of Bondage.' The first performance is Nov. 11 at Virginia State University in Ettrick.

Concerts commemorate Civil War, Emancipation

RICHMOND - In a musical commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and Emancipation, One Voice Chorus will present two performances of "Exodus ... Out of Bondage," a concert featuring two important choral works that resonate with the two great themes that collided in mid-19th century America - war and freedom.

More than 100 singers with full orchestra will be led by One Voice artistic director Glen McCune and assistant director Tom Baynham. Professional soloists include Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Raymond Elmore, Kevin McMillan, Anne O'Byrne, Larry Thomas and Sylvia Twine.

The concerts will be presented in Virginia Hall on the campus of Virginia State University in Ettrick at 4 p.m. Nov. 11 and at Grace Baptist Church, 4200 Dover Road, at 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The audience is invited to a pre-concert conversation one hour before each performance.

Featured works include "The Ordering of Moses" by R. Nathaniel Dett and "Dona Nobis Pacem" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

One of the earliest full-scale oratorios by an African-American composer, "The Ordering of Moses" uses musical themes from traditional spirituals to underscore the parallel between the Biblical story of Moses and our own history of slavery and emancipation.

"Dona Nobis Pacem" is a plea for peace written by English composer Vaughan Williams on the eve of World War II.

[R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) is profiled at, which features a complete Works list by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,]