Wednesday, July 24, 2013

OPC Symphony Orchestra Performs William Grant Still's 'Lenox Avenue,' 'Incantation and Dance' & 'Old California' Sunday, August 4 at 4 PM

[Africa: Piano Music of William Grant Still
Denver Oldham, piano; 
Koch International Classics 3-7084-2H1]

The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra
announces its Fourth Season under the director of Dr. Sandra I. Noriega.The OPC Symphony Orchestra offers Bay Area musicians the unique opportunity to perform the rarely heard works of African-American, and other ethnically under-represented composers, in addition to standard repertoire.

Concert - Sunday, August 4th, at 4 PM. 
Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church - Barnett Hall - 3534 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610    

To hear recordings of the concert repertoire and download available sheet music, please go to: 

Tuscaloosa Tango
Winner of the 2010 Alabama Orchestra Association Composition Competition, by local Bay Area composer, Daniel Leo Simpson. Simpson is described as an American Composer with a flair for creating "contagious" and engaging music, and specializes in unusual, interesting and dynamic works of every genre. From concerti and symphonies to commercials and film music, he is distinguishing himself as unique in his field.
Tuscaloosa Tango is written in the form of a DOUBLE fugue - very interesting! 

Capriccio Espagñol
by Russian composer, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who initially planned this piece as a fantasy for violin and orchestra but eventually decided on a purely orchestral scoring. Korsakov possessed an exceptional knowledge of the characteristics and capabilities of different instruments, and Capriccio Espagñol strongly supports his reputation as a master orchestrator. Rimsky-Korsakov notes this aspect of the work in his autobiography: "According to my plan, the Capriccio was to glitter with dazzling orchestral color, and clearly I was not mistaken."

Lenox Avenue

by William Grant Still was originally performed as a CBS radio broadcast in 1936, and presents a splendid panorama of life in 1930's Harlem. It was composed as a set of musical vignettes depicting scenes and episodes one might run into on the central street of New York's Harlem, Lenox Avenue. Critics described the work as colorful, graphic, insinuating, a thrilling experience, and exceptionally praiseworthy.An October 31, 1937 review in the Los Angeles Times by Isabel Morse Jones states, "Life moves fast on the Lenox Avenue of William Grant Still. There is more real Negro character in it than in all  of Porgy and Bess... as it pictures a street in Harlem that is almost human in its personal characteristics."  
Incantation and Dance
for Oboe and Piano by William Grant Still. A professional oboist himself, enthralled with the beauty of the human voice, his music permeates with fluid lyricism. In this work, the melody appears as a reflective piano solo, and the oboe proves the perfect instrument to nurture and develop its introspective qualities. Though the tempo picks up in the Dance, the mood remains as somber as it is beautiful. 
Old California
by William Grant Still is a symphonic tone poem, that holds thematic charm by mingling Indian, Spanish and religious motifs, depicting their influence on the historical development of California as a meeting place of racial cultures. Critic Richard Saunders of the Hollywood Citizen-News, 1941, calls it "a work of strong melodic appeal, magnificently orchestrated, worth a permanent place in orchestral repertory." A prolonged ovation was accorded William Grant Still after a fine, initial presentation of this work.

For more information, please contact 
Artistic Director Sandra I Noriega at: 
or call 510-239-9783

[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] 

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