Sunday, October 18, 2015 Colour of Music Festival showcases black classical players [Charleston, South Carolina]

The Colour of Music Festival features concerts, including an organ recital series

 The Colour of Music Festival, now in its third year, showcases classically trained African-American musicians

 Soprano Roberta Laws performed in the Porgy and Bess Concert Suite during the 2014 Colour of Music Festival

 Gerard Aimontche

 Tanya Charles

Marlon Daniel

Lee Pringle

The Post and Courier

Adam Parker

Oct 18, 2015

When it started two years ago, organizers of the Colour of Music Festival were unsure about whether their innovative concept would take hold. Was the Charleston classical music market already saturated? Was there enough interest in yet another festival? Would the gutsy mission of this new venture appeal to patrons?

Now the Colour of Music Festival is up to bat for the third time, and its three big Masterpiece concerts will be presented at the new, 1,800-seat Gaillard Center performance hall. Lee Pringle, the festival’s founder and artistic director, is overseeing an ambitious program that depends — again — on international talent and large productions, as well as smaller recitals.

The purpose is to showcase classically trained black musicians and to make the point that the classical music world generally is far from diverse enough. By putting role models on stage, Pringle hopes to inspire young African Americans to pick up an instrument or raise their singing voice and follow a path well-forged but perhaps not yet paved, he said.
The festival also shines a spotlight on black musicians who often find themselves embedded in orchestras, playing a supporting role.

That’s not to say the festival has no stars, both established and up-and-coming. Marlon Daniel, who has been with the festival since the beginning, returns as orchestral music director. Violist Arthur Ross will join the enterprise as director of chamber music. David E. Morrow of Morehouse College returns as director of choral activities. And Everett Jones, an expert of composer William Grant Still’s music, is joining the festival as director of the Ebony & Ivory Piano Series.

“The Colour of Music Festival officially starts its third year ... on a high note with international black Russian pianist Gerard Aimontche and Canadian virtuoso violinist Tanya Charles," concert master Pringle said. “We are excited to be attracting artists of this caliber; their participation is an indication we are gaining momentum quickly as a premier fall classical festival to attend.”

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Thank you so much, Bill! - Lee [Lee Pringle]

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