Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Syncopated Times: Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha: The First Stagings Remembered

Photo from the 1972 Atlanta Treemonisha pre-performance. (Sedalia Ragtime Archive)

Larry Melton

March 29, 2019

Goin’ Around with Treemonisha

Imagine the privilege of sitting a few rows behind Eubie Blake on the night of January 28, 1972, and watching his whole body move to the music of Scott Joplin at the Atlanta premiere of Treemonisha, orchestrated by T.J. Anderson. Eubie was kind enough to autograph my program that night and again at a reprised performance with William Bolcom’s orchestration on August 15, 1972, at the first Wolf Trap Farm’s Filene Center. (Yes, the Center that burned in 1982.)

The story of Treemonisha encapsulates Joplin’s own story in a way and is the great drama of ragtime lore. Readers of TST undoubtedly know the story well or at the very least a Wikipedia version. Therefore, I won’t detail too much about the opera itself but rather, I’ll blow off the dust and share some of my experiences with Joplin’s opera and how my wife and I with 5-year-old son John happened to be in those seats for the Atlanta premiere.

Karen and I moved to Sedalia in 1965 right after we were married. She was just finishing her nursing program and was ready to begin her career. With her diploma securely in hand, I was about to return to college to complete my teaching degree having dropped out when my mother died and to get married. As I wrapped up my bachelor’s degree, I simultaneously began work on a master’s in history and fate decreed that I would be Dr. Alfred E. Twomey’s graduate assistant. An avocational interest of Dr. Twomey was grand opera. When it came time to select a thesis topic, he suggested that since I was from Sedalia, I should write about Joplin’s lost opera or his known opera, Treemonisha. I look back on that moment in 1968 and realize now how much that question attested to Dr. Twomey’s depth of knowledge about American opera and composers. And so, began my interest in Sedalia ragtime and Joplin’s operatic works.

By the time I finished my graduate work in 1971 I was so involved in the dream of a great ragtime event in Sedalia that the paper my adviser suggested had gone by the wayside and I wrote (rather poorly) on an easier topic, “The Impact of Darwin’s Theory of Biological Evolution on Nineteenth Century Anglican Theology.” (Stay with me, as I’m prone to this type of digression.)

With degree in hand I began teaching in the still segregated African-American Hubbard Elementary School in Sedalia. In the midst of my ragtime research I read of the upcoming New York Public Library publication of Joplin’s collected works and the January 1972 premiere of Treemonisha in Atlanta. My sainted principal, Mrs. Dorothy Kitchen, arranged for me to have two personal days and my family was blessed to be able to attend the premiere.

Morehouse College was one of the sponsors of the event and they held a workshop and lecture the afternoon before the concert. I arrived just in time to hear a most distinguished panel discuss the opera and then to hear Rudi Blesh describe the life of Scott Joplin.

The panel was a gathering of ragtime authorities. Carman Moore lead the discussion and was just beginning his distinguished career there at Morehouse. Max Morath, Eubie Blake, T.J. Anderson, Vera Lawrence, and William Bolcom set forth on a lively discussion about Joplin’s opera and the significance of the premiere. Anderson and Bolcom, I have always felt, were to become victims in what I fear was another unfortunate tale of the opera. But that’s story for another time.

I want to share some thoughts about attending the premiere Joplin had dreamed would occur in his lifetime. I was so excited to be at the hall that night and when I discovered a door to the house untended an hour before the doors were to be opened, I took the liberty of going in. I found the cast on stage for final notes and recognized Katherine Dunham from seeing her at East Saint Louis appearances. She was giving last minute suggestions in her role as Stage Director and Choreographer. Dr. Wendell Whalum was addressing the chorus as the opera’s Music Director. I tried to act like I was supposed to be there as a photographer. However, my little Instamatic camera gave me away and I was gently asked to leave by a remarkably kind usher who seemed to sense my near manic excitement and awe at simply being there.

Someday I would like to get the question of the three dueling orchestrations straightened out in my head. But that aside (along with the awful copyright issues that intruded on the opera’s triumphant appearance) my total lack of musical acumen, allowed me to find all three of the instrumental versions delightful. The three “premieres” were most memorable. Watching Eubie and buoyed by the additional enthusiasm of the audience at the first Atlanta production, made the experience unforgettable. I nearly lost the story as I was caught up humming the previous musical pieces in my head as it went along. I wasn’t disappointed that there were no discernable ragtime pieces. It was all just so filled with joy. When the mood was dark there was always the reemergence of that joy and I’ll always hear Aunt Dinah’s horn and feel the dancing that ended Act Two.

I had met Eubie Blake after the Morehouse panel the day before and had asked him and others about coming to Sedalia if we were to have a Joplin ragtime festival. Amazingly, when I went to him at intermission, he recalled our conversation the day before and repeated that he had performed all over the world, but he had never played Sedalia.

By the last number, the audience, after thunderous applause, joined Robert Shaw’s orchestra humming “A Real Slow Drag” as we left the Great Hall. We drove through the night to get back home but all I remember about that drive was replaying the music in my head and lamenting that Joplin hadn’t known the feeling I had experienced that evening.

I discovered that another version of the opera was to be presented at Wolf Trap Farm in Washington, D.C. in August 1972, so the first thing I did when we returned to Sedalia was order tickets. I had used all of our disposable income on the Atlanta trip, so I also had to begin figuring out how to fund a pilgrimage to D.C. at the height of tourist season. We paid for that one for several years.

The rest of the 1971-1972 year at Hubbard Elementary School went quickly for me. When I shared my dream of a Sedalia ragtime festival with my 8th grade students, I spotted Melinda Poole sketching my picture with a light bulb over my head.

I had purchased inexpensive tickets for seating on the grass at Wolf Trap. We were fortunate to have nice weather since we weren’t to be under the Filene Center canape. There was something different and exhilarating about listening to the opera outside under the stars. The music was more familiar the second time and I picked up a lot more of the story.

(And speaking of Joplin’s story, Susan Atilla is writing a thoroughly researched blog on the influence of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Philosophy on Joplin and his opera. I should think from what I have read, it should easily qualify for a Ph.D. should she be in a University program. The well documented and researched paper is at

After a great confusion over hotel reservations we did the usual tours tourists endure in the nation’s capital. (The next time I was in D.C. in 2015, I was astonished to recall how much freedom we had had on our first visit compared to the constant queues, checkpoints and searches in the post 9/11 era.)

But then we delighted in seeing Treemonisha again and appreciated being more familiar with the story. There was such a party-like atmosphere about the pre-concert picnics on the lawn and everyone near us seemed quite well informed about Joplin’s music. I wish I had taken names that evening but I never imagined I’d be writing an article about the experience, nearly fifty years later.

At an intermission I found Eubie Blake again seated among some very distinguished friends. Mrs. Jouette Filene Shouse, the benefactor of Wolf Trap’s Filene enter, was hosting Eubie in the Presidential Box. A number of Nixon cabinet members were also there with him. Harry T. Burleigh's Mother Was Refused Work as a Teacher, Hired as Janitor

Harry T. Burleigh
(Harry T. Burleigh Society)

By the Editorial Board

March 31, 2019

Famed black composer Harry T. Burleigh’s mother, Elizabeth Lovey Waters, delivered her college commencement address in both English and French, but was refused work as a teacher at Erie Public School No. 1 in the late 19th century and hired as a janitor instead. The school district, as reporter Ed Palattella detailed, more than a century later still has not adequately integrated its teaching staff.

Listening to "Tom-Tom": Shirley Graham's 1932 Opera, April 4, 8 PM Brooklyn, NY

Shirley Graham
(Carl Van Vechten)

Thursday, April 4, 2019, 8pm 
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Details and ticket information here:

On June 30, 1932, ten thousand people entered a lakefront stadium in Cleveland to hear a world premiere: Tom-Tom, an opera by a young African American woman named Shirley Graham. An epic narrative of Afrodiasporic life, the opera follows a set of archetypal characters from a premodern West African village to a plantation in the U.S. South to a 1920s Harlem cabaret. Its kaleidoscopically varied music reflects Graham’s interest in traditions including Liberian folk music, African American spirituals, and early jazz. Brought to life by a star-studded cast and a chorus of hundreds, on a grand set that featured both a waterfall and an elephant, Tom-Tom elicited an outpouring of enthusiasm. One critic called it a “revolutionary project”; another proclaimed that it was “new opera. Something different from what has preceded it in history.” Yet despite the success of its first production, Tom-Tom disappeared from the stage, never to be performed again.

Tonight’s event lacks waterfalls and elephants, but it offers the rare opportunity to hear music from Tom-Tom. Following a musical introduction of excerpts from the piece, scholars Fredara Hadley and Lucy Caplan will join artists Davóne Tines and Kyle Walker to delve into Graham’s opera and consider her remarkable life and legacy. We invite you to join the conversation as we explore an opera that remains new to our ears more than 80 years after its premiere, still unfamiliar and perhaps still revolutionary.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

NAACP Commemorates 400 Years of African Diaspora in Jamestown, to Jamestown Event...America to Africa

NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Ghana Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia

The  NAACP writes:


During the 50th NAACP Image Awards, the NAACP will announce its historic Jamestown to Jamestown event partnership, marking the 400th year enslaved Africans first touched the shores of what would become America.

An official event of Ghana’s ‘Year of Return,” Jamestown to Jamestown will allow for NAACP leadership, NAACP members and members of the African American community to honor both ancestors and the struggle for Black liberation in a groundbreaking trek from Jamestown, Virginia to Jamestown Ghana in August of this year.

“Jamestown to Jamestown represents one of the most powerful moments in the history of the Black Experience,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora.”

The Jamestown to Jamestown events kickoff August 18 in Washington, DC where participants will travel via bus to Jamestown, Virginia for a prayer vigil and candle lighting ceremony marking the African “Maafa,” a term describing the horrific suffering embedded in the past four centuries related to the enslavement process. Participants will travel back to DC for a special gathering at the National Museum of African American History and Culture designed by Ghanaian architect Sir David Adjaye, prior to departing to Ghana on a direct flight for 7 to 10 days of rich cultural, spiritual and cathartic experiences designed to connect our present to our African past in ways to empower and invigorate the continued struggle for full liberation and justice worldwide.
Some trip events include:

 Prayer Vigil at Jamestown, VA Settlement
 Direct Chartered Flight to Ghana from Washington, DC
 Ancestral Healing Ceremony at Jamestown, Accra
 4 - 5 star Hotel Accommodation
 Business, Investment & Development Summit
 Black Tie Gala DNA Reveal Ceremony
 Cape Coast and Elmina Castle Visit
 Assin Manso Last Bath Slave River
 Akwasidae Festival @ Manhyia Palace in Kumasi

To learn more about Jamestown to Jamestown visit:

To learn more about The Year of Return visit:

Jamestown to Jamestown Partners:

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at

About The Year of Return, Ghana 2019
The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a year-long major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. One of the main goals of the Year of Return campaign is to position Ghana as a key travel destination for African Americans and the African Diaspora.

Mirror Visions Ensemble Presents "Heart of a Woman" by H. Leslie Adams Mar. 31 at Sheen Center, NYC, 5 PM

H. Leslie Adams

H. Leslie Adams writes:

May I share a short video which was prepared on the occasion of The Mirror Visions Ensemble performance on 3/31/2019 of "The Heart of a Woman" from Nightsongs. This is a first performance of a commissioned version for Tenor, Baritone, and Piano. The performance takes place at 5 pm at the Sheen Center, 10 Bleeker Street in New York City. 

IMI Artists: Boston Musical Intelligencer: Review: “America/We Need to Talk”

Mezzo-Soprano Sylvia V.C. Twine and Tenor/Narrator Ron Williams

Mezzo-Soprano and Composer Fred Onovwerosuoke  

Composer Fred Onovwerosuoke and pianist Darryl Hollister

Composer Fred Onovwerosuoke, tenor Jonas Budris, counter-tenor Tai Oney and 

conductor David Hodgkins

The Boston Musical Intelligencer

By Geoffrey Wieting

March 29, 2019

From its founding, Coro Allegro, “Boston’s LGBTQ+ and allied chorus” has committed to social justice with commendably high musical standards. Under the skillful baton of David Hodgkins, Artistic Director, it collaborated with Heritage Chorale of New Haven, an ensemble focusing on the African-American liturgical tradition (Jonathan Q. Berryman, director), pianist Darryl Hollister, and an impressive chamber orchestra of freelancers at Sanders Theater on Sunday (4/17) in “America/We Need to Talk.” The performance featured two pieces by composer Fred Onovwerosuoke: Hollister, Hodgkins, and the orchestra revisited the Caprice for Piano & Orchestra (which they premiered two years ago); and Coro Allegro and orchestra gave the world premiere of A Triptych of American Voices: A Cantata of the People. The two choruses united with orchestra to open the concert with William Grant Still’s And They Lynched Him on a Tree from 1940.

When the white poet Katherine Garrison Chapin approached the black Still (1895-1978) to set her poem, he was motivated to do so in part because he had once witnessed a lynching. Despite the prestige of a commission from Artur Rodzinski for the New York Philharmonic, the work’s genesis was troubled, especially when Rodzinski required that Chapin change the ending of her poem, something she did only after some debate. Even then, the first performance involved the subterfuge of three versions with the choruses singing a text different from that printed in the program. Our booklets noted, “Coro Allegro and the Heritage Chorale of New Haven sing a hybrid version of the text that calls for justice and the affirmation of our common humanity.”

The work is possibly unique in calling for a “Negro chorus” and a “White chorus,” initially playing the roles of lynch mob and terrorized survivors, but uniting at the end to deplore “the long dark shadow that falls across that falls across your land” and seek justice. As it opens, the lynching has just been completed, and the murderers and their supporters are preparing to go home. On the stage the black chorus (representing hidden witnesses to the crime) stood silently in front but with backs to the audience while the white chorus faced forward, singing. Given Still’s operatic inclinations, this minimal staging felt entirely appropriate. CA conveyed the mob’s quickly dissipating adrenaline rush after the deed is done, while skillfully navigating some thorny harmonies including a strange tritonal melody labeled “The Wounding Power of Prejudice” in Still’s sketchbook. Soon the two choruses each turn 180 degrees as the black townspeople emerge from hiding. The different sounds of the two choruses further enhanced their division here: CA employed minimal vibrato (its house style) as though emotionally distancing themselves from the crime while HCNH used full vibrato, which the troubled emotional state. The latter vividly portrayed their transition from terror to grief, leading effectively to the first solo by mezzo Sylvia V.C. Twine as the mother of the victim. In recalling her son’s birth and growth as well as describing him as an adult, Twine established a robust emotional connection with her listeners, sometimes using her powerful chest voice to evoke her undiluted pain. Regrettably, the orchestra (or perhaps the orchestration?) rendered the singer’s words inaudible from time to time; it was fortunate that CA’s booklet provided the full text. After a time, the chorus (HCNH) re-entered softly, echoing the bereft mother’s words as well as wordlessly keening. At several junctures some of the text was spoken with dramatic intensity by narrator Ron Williams, an accomplished opera/oratorio singer himself. For the final section CA had unobtrusively turned forward again to unite with HCNH as a chorus of humankind without ethnic distinction, singing in symbolic musical unison “They dragged him on his knees, and they lynched him on a tree” as well as acknowledging the atrocity of seizing a young man (albeit a convicted prisoner), killing him, and leaving him “hanging for the world to pass by.” The work built steadily to a forceful concluding stanza with the singers urging the powers that be to clear the shadow that falls across the land, ending on a painful fortissimo chord, extended by a pianissimo single viola note, perhaps implying that though the crime has been completed, it leaves a scar behind.

CA commissioned the Caprice for Piano & Orchestra from Fred Onovwerosuoke (b. 1960) in 2016 on behalf of its pianist Darryl Hollister. Onovwerosuoke was born in Ghana to Nigerian parents, growing up in both countries before settling in the U.S. He has done field research in over 30 African countries, the American Deep South, the Caribbean, and South America, searching out “traceable musical Africanisms.” The winner of multiple awards, he has composed in many different genres for the concert hall, recordings, films, and radio.


“While it seems infuriating to have to reiterate these assertions in 2019, we can be thankful that all the accomplished artists in this concert are plainly committed to doing so for as long as necessary. Though Coro Allegro, Heritage Chorale of New Haven, and their directors will likely occupy a political niche for years to come, their high musical standards ensure that general audiences will flock to hear them at least as often for artistic reasons. Long may they prosper!”

Friday, March 29, 2019

Eric Conway: Morgan Choir sings "Healing Tones" with Philadelphia Orchestra!

Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Last night, the Morgan State University Choir performed a world-premier of the oratorio "Healing Tones" by Hannibal Lokumbe with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra with their musical director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. This new composition received much exposure due to the piece being dedicated to the survivors of Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, where 11 persons were killed in a mass shooting in October 2018.

The choir had two grueling days of rehearsals with the orchestra in preparation for these concerts. The orchestra arranged for the choir to stay at the Cambria Hotel, only three blocks from the hotel. Former choir member Funmike Logoke, was one of the three principal solo voices in the piece.

The concert was well attended. The music and performance was appreciated enthusiastically. The choir will stay in Philly through Saturday evening’s performance. See links below to articles describing premiere, links to pep talk by music director, and link to bows after the concert!


Nézet-Séguin talk with chorus

Bows after Concert

New Broadcast Date: Friday April 5 AACMSO Performs Spirituals on LLBN TV 6pm

Janise White writes:

LLBN PRESENTS the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Piano Trio (AACMSO) PIANO TRIO, Manoela Wunder, Violinist; Benton Preciado, Cellist;  and Janise White, Pianist, Founder with Guest, Richard Taylor, Baritone. A program of  Negro Spirituals by composers of the diaspora: Wendell Whalum, Roland Carter, Hall Johnson, Nathaniel Dett & William Grant Still will be sung by Mr. Richard Taylor.  AACMSO Piano Trio will perform works by Undine Smith Moore, Dr. Frederick Tillis, Janise White and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor on Friday, April 5th 6pm-7pm, LLBN TV, Studio 1 in Loma Linda, California. (Watch live on LLBN TV)
Admission is Free. Limited Seating. 
Mr. Richard Taylor, Baritone, a protege of Dr. Willis Patterson toured China with the Pacific Chorale singing the title role in "Elijah".  He made his debut at Carnegie Hall singing "Faure and Verdi Requiems" under Donald Neun and later premiered "The Nativity" by Earnestine Ridgers-Robinson at Carnegie Hall. He has also toured US and Europe with Houston Grand Opera.

Rebroadcasts of the program with be  posted on   LLBN is seen in the Americas on Glorystar Christian satellite channel 105 and cable/VerizonFiOS/off air TV stations in select areas (channel 17 on Spectrum/Time Warner cable in Loma Linda, channel 31 on Verizon FiOS in surrounding communities), and online at www.llbn.tvYouTube on Roku (under BrightStar TV) worldwide.  

Thursday, March 28, 2019

AACMSO Performs Spirituals on LLBN TV Friday, March 29th 6pm

Janise White writes:

LLBN PRESENTS the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Piano Trio (AACMSO) PIANO TRIO, Manoela Wunder, Violinist; Benton Preciado, Cellist;  and Janise White, Pianist, Founder with Guest, Richard Taylor, Baritone. A program of  Negro Spirituals by composers of the diaspora: Wendell Whalum, Roland Carter, Hall Johnson, Nathaniel Dett & William Grant Still will be sung by Mr. Richard Taylor.  AACMSO Piano Trio will perform works by Undine Smith Moore, Dr. Frederick Tillis, Janise White and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor on Friday, March 29th 6pm-7pm, LLBN TV, Studio 1 in Loma Linda, California. (Watch live on LLBN TV)
Admission is Free. Limited Seating. 
Mr. Richard Taylor, Baritone, a protege of Dr. Willis Patterson toured China with the Pacific Chorale singing the title role in "Elijah".  He made his debut at Carnegie Hall singing "Faure and Verdi Requiems" under Donald Neun and later premiered "The Nativity" by Earnestine Ridgers-Robinson at Carnegie Hall. He has also toured US and Europe with Houston Grand Opera.

Rebroadcasts of the program with be  posted on   LLBN is seen in the Americas on Glorystar Christian satellite channel 105 and cable/VerizonFiOS/off air TV stations in select areas (channel 17 on Spectrum/Time Warner cable in Loma Linda, channel 31 on Verizon FiOS in surrounding communities), and online at www.llbn.tvYouTube on Roku (under BrightStar TV) worldwide.  

Charleston Gospel Choir Spring 2019 Performance April 13, 6 PM North Charleston

Charleston Gospel Choir Spring 2019 Performance

Queen of Soul and Gospel: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin

March 28, 2019Charleston SCThe Charleston Gospel Choir is pleased to present its 2019 spring performance entitled Queen of Soul and Gospel: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin, Saturday, April 13, 6 p.m. at Charity Missionary Baptist Church, 1544 Montague Avenue, North Charleston, SC under the musical direction of Guest Conductor Dr. Jason A. Dungee.

The undisputed Queen of Soul, whose gospel-tinged R&B music displays one of the greatest voices in recording history, Aretha Franklin is considered an American musical treasure—performing for over 50 years, from singing in her church choir, to her award-winning professional career which began at age eighteen.

From her time growing up as the daughter of a prominent African-American preacher to her death this past August, Franklin was immersed and involved in the struggle for civil rights and women's rights. Her songs Respect and Natural Woman in particular became anthems of these movements for social change.

Through song and narration, the Charleston Gospel Choir will pay homage to Ms. Franklin’s musical achievements and activist legacy in performance of moving gospel and R&B standards made famous by Ms. Franklin including her arrangements of the iconic Beatles Let It Be and Paul Simon’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and her the toe-tapping arrangements of How I Got Over and What A Friend We Have in Jesus are among 12 moving and inspirational selections the choir will present.

“A voice recognized globally, Aretha Franklin inspired generations of female musicians with her unique gospel style and delivery. We are honored to reflect on her legacy and hope our performance reminds the community how much she changed music around the world,” said, Lee Pringle, Choir Founder and producer of the event.

“As a choral clinician and conductor of many genres I am taken back to my roots when I am able to lead an internationally respected choral organization like the Charleston Gospel Choir perform authentic gospel music at such a high level. I look forward to this landmark performance with this incredibly dedicated group of choral singers,” said Dr. Jason A. Dungee, Guest Conductor.

Tickets and Information
Charleston Gospel Choir
Queen of Gospel and Soul: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin
Saturday, April 13, 2019 • 6 p.m.
Charity Missionary Baptist Church, 1544 Montague Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405

General Admission Tickets
$25 adults; $10 children/students with ID
or at door (cash or check only) up to one half hour before event

About the Charleston Gospel Choir
Now in its twentieth year, the Charleston Gospel Choir celebrates and performs gospel, spirituals, and sacred music for annual concert events including a Palm Saturday weekend performance, Charleston Gospel Christmas and regional events throughout the southeast with numerous engagements internationally including Paris, London, Rome, Prague and Ghana, West Africa.

Charleston Gospel Choir • PO Box 22724 • Charleston SC • 29413-2724

John Malveaux: Interview with Michael Abels - Film Music Magazine

Michael Abels
(Ray Costa)

John Malveaux of 

Interview with Michael Abels - Film Music Magazine

John Malveaux: William Carney refused to let flag touch the ground

William Harvey Carney c.1864

John Malveaux of 

American History - Despite being shot in the face, shoulders, arms, and legs, during the Civil War Sgt. William Harvey Carney refused to let the American flag touch the ground. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky--Maria Thompson Corley, piano (YouTube)

Maria Thompson Corley


Published on Mar 26, 2019

Beginning at "The Old Castle" Recorded live at the Juilliard School, 1991.

Harlem Chamber Players Sat. 8 PM at Carnegie Hall with Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran

The Harlem Chamber Players will join Jason Moran, Alicia Hall Moran, Joseph Joubert, Imani Winds, and a host of other amazing artists in this Carnegie Hall production. Tickets are almost gone!

Donations of any amount are much appreciated.
Thank you to all who have supported us in the past.

You may also donate by check:
The Harlem Chamber Players, Inc.
191 Claremont Avenue #25
New York, NY 10027
New York, NY 10027

Memorial Service, March 30th, 2pm, Riverside Church, for Andrew Frierson [New York, NY]

SATURDAY, March 30th
at 2pm (doors open at
The Theatre at Riverside
490 Riverside Drive
(enter through the
Claremont Avenue side)

Sandra Seaton writes:

Dear Bill,

I am writing to let you know about a memorial service to be held this Saturday for the distinguished and revered bass baritone Andrew Frierson. The Frierson family thanks the AfriClassical community in advance for sharing this information and welcomes all to attend this very special celebration in  honor of a pioneering Black opera singer.

The memorial service will be held Saturday, March 30th at 2 pm (doors open at 1:30 pm) at The Theatre at Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10027  (enter through the Claremont Avenue side).

In a quote from the NYTimes, Mr. Frierson's important contribution to African American classical music is highlighted:
"In the early 1980s, Mr. Frierson and a colleague, James Kennon-Wilson, founded Independent Black Opera Singers, to encourage the careers of black male performers through education and competitions and by calling attention to the scarcity of blacks cast in major roles. "

Here's a link to the complete Andrew Frierson obituary published in The New York Times:

Best wishes and many thanks,