Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Marlon Daniel wins prize at Bucharest Symphony International Conducting Competition

Marlon Daniel
(Photo by Bob Estremera)

Dr. Christine Gangelhoff writes:

On July 28, 2018 after a grueling week of outstanding performances, The Bucharest Music Institute announced the winners of the 2018 Bucharest Symphony International Conducting Competition.

28 outstanding conductors selected from 17 different countries from around the world were represented.

Marlon Daniel (representing the United States of America) was winner of the “Special Prize” with distinction from the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra and the Bucharest Music Institute (BMI).

The Bucharest Symphony described his performances as with “Elegance and Style.”

StarTribune.com: South African composer celebrates 'Mandela's message'

Curtain call with Goitsemang Lehobye, Osmo Vanska & Bongani Ndodana-Breen

Dr. Bongani Ndodana-Breen writes:

Dear Friends:

Wonderful review of a sensational evening in Minneapolis! World premiere of my "Harmonia Ubuntu” by the Minnesota Orchestra led by Osmo Vanska.

South African tour dates of the Minnesota Orchestra are at www.minnesotaorchestra.org/satour

Best wishes, 

Minneapolis Star Tribune

South African composer celebrates 'Mandela's message' with Minnesota Orchestra premiere

Monday, July 30, 2018

Civil Rights Groups File Amicus Brief in Support of Race Conscious Admissions at Harvard

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard Challenges the College’s Race-Conscious Holistic Admissions Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Boston-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter, today filed an amicus curiae, “friend of the court,” brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to support the defendant’s motion for summary judgement in the lawsuit challenging Harvard’s race-conscious holistic admissions policy (Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard).

The coalition is participating as special “amicus plus” status and represents a cohort of racially diverse applicants, current students, and alumni at Harvard College including African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American students.

“Forty years of precedent affirms the constitutionality of a university’s limited use of race in college admissions,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Harvard’s holistic, individualized consideration of race addresses the pervasive inequalities that persist across our society. Any efforts to reverse this approach is a threat to colleges and universities nationwide.”

“The consideration of race is an important aspect of a university's holistic review process and is essential in building a dynamic learning environment,” said Nicole Ochi, supervising attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. Despite what Edward Blum and Students for Fair Admissions claim, Asian Americans benefit from race-conscious holistic review; in fact, the majority of Asian Americans support affirmative action policies. Asian Americans Advancing Justice will not stand for our communities being used as a cover to end affirmative action, which would have devastating effects on all communities of color -- including Asian Americans.”
Arnold & Porter is pleased to be working with our clients and other groups who encourage programs to ensure diverse student populations in universities,” said Lawrence Culleen, partner at Arnold & Porter. “Such programs are especially important in our nation’s most selective institutions.  We are proud to stand with our clients and collaborate with our colleagues in the legal community to defend these principles.”
 “These students stand together because they – and many of their white peers – know the need for meaningful representation of all communities of color in a place as powerful as Harvard,” said Matt Cregor, education project director at the Boston-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice.  “If these future leaders graduate with a better sense of who we are together, then I have greater hope for who we can be as a country.”
The students’ brief will address three issues:

  1. The students affirm that ethno-racial diversity produces distinct benefits which are educational, personal, and professional;
  2. Students explain how Harvard’s current affirmative consideration of race complies with the parameters set forth by the Supreme Court: it is individualized, flexibly appreciates all forms of diversity, and does not treat race as a predominant factor, and;
  3. Students affirm that Harvard’s vested interest in promoting greater representation of, and diversity within, students of color compels the continued consideration of race.   

In 2014, the anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions orchestrated the lawsuit against Harvard, claiming its race-conscious admissions policy intentionally discriminated against Asian Americans and violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Today’s amicus filing follows a recent move by the U.S. Department of Education to rescind the guidance documents that explain the parameters of affirmative action in higher education, and action by the U.S. Department of Justice involving race-conscious admissions policies in the higher education context, including investigations into the diversity efforts of Harvard College, among others.

 About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee)a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.  Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: A Wrinkle in Time-So What? (2:57)

Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, A Wrinkle in Time: So What?  Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session! 

Comment by email:
Thanks for sharing... hope all is well!  Aaron  [Aaron P. Dworkin]

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Spector Travel of Boston: Ethiopia Tour Captures Festival & Hidden Treasures April 1-9, 2019

Spector Travel of Boston, Inc.:


Religious Festival . Ancient Lands . Adventure

Apr 01 - Apr 09, 2019














Saturday, July 28, 2018

NOBLE Retired Members Meeting - Sunday, July 29, 2018, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

There will be a retired members' meeting on Sunday, July 29, 2018 from 1 pm - 2 pm, in room 316, at the Diplomat Resort and Spa.  All retired members are encouraged to attend.   

The topics for open discussions will include, but will not be limited to:
   1.  Classes/training at the national conferences that are relevant to retired members
   2.  Sharing of retirement information/experiences
   3.  Reengaging retired members back into NOBLE
   4.  Mentoring NOBLE's young people
   5.  Engaging with your community
   6.  Finances
   7.  Transitioning to a new job, and
   8.  Challenges that retired members may face when moving to a new city  
I'm looking forward to seeing all retired members there.
Charles Fonseca

Retired Members' Committee Chairman

ABC7Chicago.com: Chicago Unites: A Concert for Inclusion Sept. 5, 4:00 PM & 6:30 PM

ABC 7 Chicago

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Chicago (NEWS RELEASE) (WLS) --

On Wednesday, September 5, Chicago United will partner with the Chicago Sinfonietta to create Chicago Unites, a free public concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The concert, part of Chicago United's 50th anniversary and the Sinfonietta's 30th anniversary celebrations, will be a concert for inclusion in Chicago and will bring together business leaders, as well as residents from throughout Chicagoland, for a musical celebration of the city's diverse people and diverse business community.

The concert program will focus on the mix of cultures in Chicago with a message of inclusiveness and unity, featuring music from many different cultural influences, from Fanfare for the Common Man by American composer Aaron Copland to Huapango de Moncayo, the unofficial national anthem of Mexico, and Festive Overture by African American Composer William Grant Still.

The concert will culminate in the audience joining together to sing John Lennon's classic "Imagine," featuring the Sinfonietta, Musicality and Waubonsie Choir.

New York Amsterdam News: Eileen Southern, classical pianist, historian and musicologist

Dr. Eileen Southern (1920-2002)

Herb Boyd


A recent visit to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture was made all the more stunning with the discovery of a quote from famed musicologist and historian Dr. Eileen Southern. “The enduring feature of Black music is neither protest nor self-expression; it is communication, and one cannot imagine a time when Black musicians will have nothing to say, either to others or to God,” is Southern’s quote that appears in the museum’s official guide.

That is just a sample of her expansive insight on the evolution of Black music, much of which she dispensed in lectures, classrooms, articles, interviews and books, none more popular than her seminal “The Music of Black Americans” (1971).

Born Eileen Jackson in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 19, 1920, she spent her formative years in Minneapolis, Chicago and Sioux Falls, S.D. She was the eldest of three children and raised alternately by divorced parents. No matter the location or parent, the piano lessons were consistent, and at age 7 she performed her first concert. Music was such a part of the household—her father was a competent violinist and her sisters sang—that she thought all families were similarly involved.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in 1940 and 1941, respectively, keeping to the study of classical music as her mother insisted, although she often delved into the blues and jazz. With her degrees in hand, she accepted a teaching position at Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College in Texas. It was there she met Joseph Southern and they married immediately. Along with her maternal duties—the couple had a daughter Myra and adopted Edward—Southern acquired additional training at Boston University and Juilliard, all of which enhanced the numerous concert engagements across the country.

In 1951, she attended New York University to work on her doctorate, focusing on Renaissance music. It wasn’t long before she was a tenured professor at York College in Queens. When students at Brooklyn College began demanding Black Studies, a music curriculum was developed and Southern’s expertise was invaluable. This commitment and activity were instrumental in pushing her deeper into the study of the music and the desire for a more extensive discussion of it. “The Music of Black Americans” was the result and it gave her increased renown and a sense of fulfillment.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Janet Harper of CBMR: Where to obtain the sheet music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Violin Concertos, Op. 5, Nos. 1 & 2;
Op. 3, No. 1; Op. 8, No. 9
Bernard Thomas Chamber Orchestra
Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Violin 
Arion 68093 (1990)

Janet Harper of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago writes:

Where to obtain the sheet music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Six online sources for purchasing sheet music:

Two online sources with access to free sheet music:
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/005024755 -- some are limited views, while others are full views

Some libraries allow their scores to be checked out.  Contact your local library to interlibrary loan scores from another library.  For a list of scores by Saint-Georges that have been cataloged by various libraries, please see, http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3ASaint-Georges%2C+Joseph+Bologne%2C&qt=hot_author#x0%253Amsscr-%2C%2528x0%253Amsscr%2Bx4%253Adigital%2529format and http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n79-113767/ 

Janet Harper
CBMR Reference, Instruction & Community Engagement Librarian
Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago
618 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 600, Chicago, IL  60605

John Malveaux: Annelle Gregory to perform music of William Grant Still in L.A. Sept. 2

Annelle Gregory

John Malveaux of 

July 26, 2018 MusicUNTOLD contracted violin virtuoso Annelle Gregory to perform classical music by African American composer William Grant Still during Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Sr "Free" End of Summer Music & Cultural Celebration scheduled Sunday, Sept 2, 2018-Christmas Tree Lane (all grass area)-in front of the renovated Los Angeles Coliseum. Headliners are Grammy winners Poncho Sanchez and Deniece Williams.  The Los Angeles Philharmonic will perform symphonic music by William Grant Still during February 2019 in celebration of their 100th anniversary. See Annelle Gregory website http://annelleviolin.com/

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Chicago Sinfonietta: Images of Diversity September 22-24, 2018

"The orchestra's collaboration with Steep Theatre Company, the new visuals...both will contribute to making this very special. I can hardly wait!" —Peter Boyer, composer

September 22, 2018 | 8:00 PM
Wentz Hall 

September 24, 2018 | 7:30 PM
Symphony Center

Verdi Overture to Nabucco
Copland Variations on a Shaker Melody
Marquez Danzón No. 2
Johnson Drums for Orchestra

Ellis Island: The Dream of America
by Peter Boyer


Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra: A Royal Performance For Kings & Queens July 27, 7 PM

Jeri Lynne Johnson
Artistic Director
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra

Dell Music Center of Philadelphia Presents

A Royal Performance For Kings & Queens

Featuring PHILADANCO! Philadelphia Dance Company and the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra

Friday, July 27, 7 PM

New Music Horizons Special Event Concert August 17, 7:30 PM, St. Louis, MO

Intercultural Music Initiative / African Musical Arts

The Intercultural Music Initiative opens it 2018-19 concert season with a special event concert titled, "New Musical Horizons" featuring international flute soloist Sami Junnonen from Finland, Nigerian-American pianist Echezonachukwu Nduka, and American flutist Wendy Hymes in a recital Friday, August 17th at 7:30 PM. The concert will take place at Parkway UCC Church, 2841 N Ballas Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63131

The Program will include Variations on a Pende Folk Melody for Solo Flute by Fred Onovwerosuoke, Chant de Linos for Flute and Piano by André JolivetDivertissement Grec for Two Flutes and Piano by  Philippe Gaubert, and Andante & Rondo for Two Flutes and Piano, Op. 25 by  Albert Franz Doppler. Also, Montagues and Capulets from Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo & Juliet, and Sonata in E Minor by Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Tickets are $20 general admission, $10 students/seniors, and may be purchased in advance by calling (314) 289-4051 or at the door. 
Junnonen will also give a masterclass for area flutists on Saturday, 8/18 from 2:00 - 5:30pm, also at Parkway UCC Church. The cost is $30 for performers and $10 for students. Flutists interested in performing can contact Wendy Hymes at info@wendyhymes.com for more information.  

Nduka will give a masterclass on African Pianism, on Wednesday 8/15 at the Centene Center for Arts & Education. Registration required by calling 314-266-8705

Sami Junnonen

Echezonachukwu Nduka

Wendy Hymes

Tickets now on sale at our Box Office, 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Indie Memphis Announces New Black Creators Forum November 1-2, 2018

The Finalists for the Black Filmmaker Residency (Pictured Above) are Invited to Pitch at the Black Creators Forum

Black Creators Forum (Nov. 1-2, 2018) is a Symposium of Speakers and Discussions, Ending in a Pitch Contest Open to Industry and the Public; Finalists and Winner of Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency in Screenwriting Invited to Pitch Projects at BCF

(July 24, 2018 | Memphis, TN) Indie Memphis Film Festival is pleased to announce its continued commitment to supporting black filmmakers, present and future, with the new Black Creators Forum, running November 1st and 2nd at the Hattiloo Theatre. The Black Creators Forum will run before and parallel with the opening of the Indie Memphis Film Festival (November 1st - 5th, 2018), and is a two-day symposium of workshops and invited speakers led by notable black filmmakers and critics with a wide interdisciplinary range, including fine art, music, and online content. The goal is to explore ways black filmmaking can find creativity and sustainability from other mediums, and to ease the barrier of entry for black artists who would like to work in film.

The event will be programmed by Indie Memphis Senior Programmer Miriam Bale and produced by Jason Farmer, Indie Memphis board member and owner of Black Lens Productions. “With the rich cultural, arts and musical legacy of Memphis as the backdrop, creating vibrant stories in our own tenor and tone on film is a natural, organic progression,” said Farmer, ”The Black Creators Forum in conjunction with the Indie Memphis Film Festival was created to give voice and vision to empower artists who can meet a growing demand for new media.”
The two-day event of closed door discussions will conclude with a public pitch event on November 2nd, 2018. A dozen filmmakers will pitch projects, including finalists of the inaugural Indie Memphis Black Filmmaker Residency in Screenwriting program, as well as the winner of the Residency, Alex Huggins. Huggins will receive a $7500 unrestricted cash grant and a two month residency in Memphis to work on his feature film screenplay, Mason Dixon.
“There was an incredible range of subjects and tones among the finalists’ projects—from a coming-of-age period piece about pop culture just before Beyoncé to a perverse comedy adventure, best described as if John Waters were a queer woman. Ultimately the selection committee went with Alex Huggins and his strong vision as a writer-director,” said Bale. “But we want to see all these projects made. Our intention is that the Forum and its pitch event will bring these new talents to the attention of producers, funders, and future collaborators.”

The Residency finalists were decided by Indie Memphis staff and a board member from 106 applications, and the winner was decided by an independent selection committee of black film professionals. 

NOBLE Civil Rights Awards Brunch Invitation (Tickets Available Onsite) July 29

Tickets are available for purchase at onsite registration!

Indypendent.org: The Dream Unfinished: Music of George Walker & Tania Leon, July 27

George Walker

Tania Leon

July 25, 2018

Dream Unfinished is an orchestra that plays to keep families together. Friday’s performance, the last of the season, features the music of George Walker, Vijay Iyer, Tania Leon, Kareem Roustom and Huang Ruo. Special guests include violinist Jennifer Koh. Immigrant rights leaders from Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, the New Sanctuary Coalition, the New York Immigration Coalition and DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) will deliver remarks as well.

Saint Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Ave., Manhattan

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sergio Mims: Classical Source: Chineke! and Wayne Marshall at Queen Elizabeth Hall

Sergio A. Mims writes:

I've sent you a review of the latest Chineke! Orchestra concert which took place this past Saturday at Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre in London. I was there and I can without question testify that it was a fantastic concert and pianist Stewart Goodyear was simply brilliant.

Classical Source

Saturday, July 21, 2018 Southbank Centre, London – Queen Elizabeth Hall

Reviewed by Amanda-Jane Doran

There was an exuberant and theatrical vibe at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for Chineke!’s most-recent outing; this time the emphasis was on jazz. The curtain-raiser was Aaron Copland’s Music for the Theater (1924), a zany caper in five movements and here showcasing the outstanding talents of trumpeters Gabriel Dias and Jay Phelps, and the ensemble of eighteen captured the rapidly changing moods of knockabout humour and pathos with precision and swing.


Julian Joseph’s Carry that Sound encompasses the musical language of symphony orchestra, big band and chamber ensemble with impressive writing for strings and an irresistible sax trio. Rushing violins underpin punchy melodies for clarinet and trumpet and the dramatic use of percussion and timpani rolls brings the work to a dramatic close. Chineke! performed with enormous verve and energy; and the Weill (Suite from The Threepenny Opera), with its jazz and cabaret references, linked well to what had gone before.

Brixton Blog: Brixton Chamber Orchestra Performs Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Nonet

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Brixton Blog [U.K.]

Alan Slingsby

22 July

The Cressingham Gardens Rotunda – one of the many things that makes the demolition-threatened estate special – hosted a concert by the Brixton Chamber Orchestra last night (22 July) that was a contrast to the noise and bustle of the Lambeth Country Show a few hundred yards away.


Local but internationally famous Black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875—1912) was represented by a Nonet.

He lived in South Norwood and Croydon. In his day, he sold out the Royal Albert Hall for weeks at a time with his music-drama Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. Today, his music is rarely performed and few have heard of him. As fellow South-Londoners, BCO champions his music whenever possible.

The Nonet played by the BCO was composed in 1894, while Coleridge-Taylor was completing his studies at the Royal College of Music.

“The energy sustained throughout is astounding, and the variation in texture across the ensemble continually reinvigoratos the sound,” says BCO director Matthew O’Keeffe.

Times of London: Chi-chi Nwanoku's Chineke!...played two rarities with dazzling elan

Chi-chi Nwanoku

Richard Morrison

July 23, 2018

Concert review: Triple Concert at Castle Howard, Yorkshire  [5 Stars]

Glynn’s ingenious vision had three ensembles performing simultaneously three times, with the audience moving between them

For me, however, the highlight came in the Long Gallery, where Chi-chi Nwanoku’s Chineke! — here transformed into a nine-piece outfit — played two rarities with dazzling elan.

The first was Franz Hasenöhrl’s audacious arrangement for just six instruments of Strauss’s vast orchestral tone-poem Till Eulenspiegl. It shouldn’t work but, bizarrely, does. That was followed by the Nonet written by the black British Victorian composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Ardent and tuneful, it loses its way occasionally, but fully deserved this spirited resuscitation.

Ryedale Festival (ryedalefestival.com) runs to July 29

Trent Johnson Premieres Opera "Kenyatta" & Oratorio "Wittenberg" in New Jersey

Narrator Kirk Robbins, Composer Trent Johnson and Tenor Sam McKelton as The Inquisitor

Kevin Maynor and Rod Dixon, as Jomo Kenyatta and Oginga Odinga

Bass Baritone Brace Negron as Martin Luther

Kenyatta, Act 2 Scene 5

Trent Johnson writes:

Two Recent Premieres for composer Trent Johnson
Organist and composer Trent Johnson recently had two successful premieres, his opera "Kenyatta" and his oratorio entitled, "Wittenberg - The Story of Martin Luther." 
On November 19, 2017, Trent's opera Kenyatta, commissioned by Trilogy: an Opera Company, was premiered at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. This new work tells the story of Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and the ensuing political conflict with vice president Oginga Odinga. Bass Kevin Maynor sang the role of Kenyatta, while tenor Rod Dixon sang the role of Oginga Odinga. The soloists, chorus, orchestra and the Newark City Ballet were led by conductor Julius Williams.
Music critic, Paul Somers of Classical New Jersey wrote, "Kenyatta is an effective presentation of history with an orchestral score which ably supports the action. Johnson uses the standard operatic devices of scena, orchestrally supported recitative, and big arias."
“Bass Kevin Maynor as Kenyatta…. conveyed the dignity and the humanity of Kenyatta, the nation's first president, with musicality and drama.”
"Odinga was sung with great power by Chicago based tenor Rod Dixon. His ringing tenor and immaculate diction won over the audience very quickly. His Act II solo scene praising his pro-Soviet version of nationalism with its climactic high C, elicited cheers from the audience."
"The "stars" of Trent Johnson's new opera Kenyatta were for many the djembe, the African drums in the pit played enthusiastically by Wilson Torres and Jimmy Musto, which set the tone throughout the 3 Act evening. Their tempo and rhythms changed for each dramatic situation, but always they reminded us that this was an African drama set in the context of Kenya having shaken off British rule."
On March 18, 2018, Trent Johnson led the premiere of his oratorio, "Wittenberg - The story of Martin Luther" scored for narrator, soloists, chorus, and orchestra. This new work tells of the German reformer's journey from monk to reformer, with the centerpiece of the work being his famous trial in the German city of Worms. 

The work featured narrator, Kirk Robbins, bass baritone Brace Negron as Martin Luther, tenor, Sam McKelton as the Inquisitor, the Oratorio Singers of Westfield, NJ and members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Trent Johnson. The concert also featured works by Mozart, Beethoven and Copland.