Wednesday, February 26, 2014 Kathleen Battle Stars in 36th Annual Detroit Symphony Orchestra 'Classical Roots' Celebration

Kathleen Battle

James Lee III

Jonathan Bailey Holland

James Lee III, D.M.A. is Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Morgan State University in Baltimore.  He writes:

Hello Bill,

Leonard Slatkin and Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform "Chuphshah! Harriet's Drive to Canaan" on March 8, 2014. This will be part of a concert that features Kathleen Battle's Underground Railroad program.

Thanks for your time!

“The Classical Roots Celebration may only happen once a year, but the spirit behind it is something we want to work toward recognizing year-round,” said Celebration Co-Chair Ellen Hill Zeringue. “Kicking off festivities in February during Black History Month is a great way to make strides toward that goal.”

On Sunday, March 9, following the concert and celebration, Classical Roots festivities will continue with an Earshot reading session. Five young African American composers, chosen from a national candidate pool, are Marion L. Harrison of Atlanta, GA; Jonathan Bailey Holland of Boston, MA; Erica Lindsay of Rosendale, NY; Kevin Scott of New York, NY, and Matthew Evan Taylor of Miami, FL. Each composer’s symphonic work will be workshopped and read by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led by DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin at Orchestra Hall on March 9 at 7 p.m. During the readings, the participating composers will meet and work with mentor composers Bright Sheng, Gabriela Lena Frank (DSO Composer in Residence,) Derek Bermel, and Carman Moore, as well as receive feedback from Leonard Slatkin and key orchestra members. The reading sessions are free and open to the public, but require RSVP on

Education outreach activities began in mid-January with a full-orchestra performance at Detroit’s Marin Luther King High School, and will continue through mid-April with small ensemble performances at Martin Luther King High School, Renaissance High School, Cass Technical High School, Spain Elementary and Middle School, and Munger Elementary School. Other performances in partnership withthe Sphinx Organization are planned at Detroit Community School, Gompers Elementary School and Maybury Elementary School.

The black-tie Classical Roots Celebration was founded to celebrate and raise awareness about the contributions of African-Americans to classical music and supports increased opportunities through special programs, such as the DSO’s African-American Orchestral Fellowship Program, a mentoring opportunity for young professional musicians. The Classical Roots Concert will take place on Sat., Mar. 8 at 8 p.m. The Classical Roots Celebration is presented by JPMorgan Chase.

Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Kathleen Battle, soprano; Brazeal Dennard Chorale
Sat. Mar. 8 at 8 p.m.
JOHNSON Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing
JAMES LEE, III Chuphshah, Harriet’s Drive to Canaan    
TRADITIONAL “Lord, How Come Me Here?”
DAWSON “Soon Ah Will Be Done”
TRADITIONAL “Mary Had a Baby”
TRADITIONAL “Over My Head, Two Wings”
TRADITIONAL “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/Ride Up in the Chariot”
TRADITIONAL “Balm in Gilead”    
TRADITIONAL “Don’t Feel No Ways Tired”
TRADITIONAL “Let Us Break Bread Together”
TRADITIONAL “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
Max M. Fisher Music Center
Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase
Sat., Mar. 8, 2014

5:30 p.m. Reception and Strolling Dinner
8 p.m. Classical Roots Concert
10:30 p.m. Dessert & Dancing Afterglow

Black Tie Event

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