Friday, January 13, 2017

The Esoterics: Ulysses Kay Centennial Concert "a fantastic success" with two daughters present; funds now sought to record these works, some unpublished

Janet Harper is a Reference, Instruction & Community Engagement Librarian at the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) at Columbia College Chicago.  On Jan. 10, 2017 she wrote to Nicholas Kasovac of The Esoterics, which presented a series of concerts in Seattle to celebrate the Centennial of the Birth of Ulysses Kay, January 7, 1917:

I hope the concert was a success.

Janet Harper

Nicholas Kasovac replied:

Hello Ms. Harper,
Thank you for your well wishes!  YES - the concert was a fantastic success!  We were very fortunate to have Virginia and Hilly, two of Kay's daughters, in attendance for our concert weekend.  We were thrilled to hear stories of their father (and mother!) from the perspective of their childhood and they expressed immense gratitude and appreciation for celebrating with us.  Audience responses resulted in standing ovations for every performance - maybe for the choir itself - yet, I believe, in response to the beauty of Kay's compositions.  They are a magnificent collection of interesting, poignant, and accessible works.  Our wish is to share them with the world, hopefully providing more exposure for this under-performed, talented composer.

To that end, we will be contributing our program and marketing material to the Ulysses Kay archive at Columbia University's Rare Collection and Manuscript Library.  ALSO, we are in the process of seeking funds to record these a cappella works by Kay.  As far as we know, some were never published, some never performed in public, some forgotten or overlooked.  We would like to change that.

Here is a link to our website with the details about the concert:

Again, thank you for your correspondence.

Warm regards,
Nicholas Kasovac
Member, The Esoterics

Comments by email:

1) Thank you, Bill! We appreciate your efforts! Nick :-) [Nicholas Kasovac]

2) Conversation with Virginia Kay following the programs started with "Oh, it was MARVELOUS!" and concluded with "Altogether a joyous weekend that did our father proud." John Malveaux 

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