Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Eric Conway: Morgan Music Faculty Recital on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7PM

Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Members of the Morgan State University Music Faculty will perform a recital on tomorrow night, Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7PM in the Murphy Fine Arts Center Recital Hall.  Admission is FREE!  Come out to hear an entertaining program!  See ya!

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

John Malveaux: James Newton in Warsaw recording "James Newton In Person"

James Newton
(Photo: Eron-Rauch)

John Malveaux of 

Educator/flutist/composer James Newton in Warsaw preparing for performance and recording of JAMES NEWTON IN PERSON. See

Kelly Hall-Tompkins’ Music Kitchen Makes Carnegie Hall Debut on May 21, 2020

World premiere of Forgotten Voices celebrates Music Kitchen’s 15th Season

15 noted composers set words of homeless men and women to create a unique song cycle

Presented in Association with Carnegie Hall

"The [Music Kitchen] concerts have an air of authenticity and directness that sometimes does not exist in concert halls." - The New York Times

Music Kitchen , an organization founded and led by concert violinist and entrepreneur Kelly Hall-Tompkins, will make its debut at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m . The program, presented in association with Carnegie Hall, features the world premiere of Forgotten Voices, a song cycle created by 15 noted composers. The text consists of words written by the audience at homeless shelters coast to coast in reaction to the Music Kitchen concerts they experienced. Tickets are $35, available at ; details are below.

The composers contributing works to this unique song cycle represent a diversity of genders, cultures and backgrounds. The list includes Pulitzer Prize winners and internationally renowned figures alongside emerging artists and Ms. Hall-Tompkins herself: Courtney Bryan, Jon Grier, Gabriel Kahane, James Lee III, Tania León, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Angélica Negrón, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, Jeff Scott, Carlos Simon, Errollyn Wallen, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.

In addition to the violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, the featured performers include Allison Charney, soprano; Adrienne Danrich, mezzo soprano; Jesse Blumberg, baritone; Mark Risinger, bass; Ling Ling Huang, violin; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Alexis Gerlach and Peter Seidenberg, cellos; with additional artists to be announced at a later date.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins founded Music Kitchen in 2005, seeing a need to bring the joy of live music to people in homeless shelters. Hall-Tompkins and her Music Kitchen colleagues – top-notch international concert performers – have given over 100 concerts at homeless shelters around the world. At each performance, members of the audience are invited to write down their comments and emotions, and these words, collected over 14 years now form the text of the 15 songs in Forgotten Voices .

“By setting the life experiences and hardships of homeless men and women to music by some of the world’s greatest composers, we bring voice to the voiceless in an unprecedented way, and share the triumphs, hopes and humanity that exists in us all,” says Ms. Hall-Tompkins. Through the Forgotten Voices project, we hope to inspire concert-goers to learn more about the forgotten people they may overlook in their own communities.”

Listen to Kelly Hall-Tompkins talk about Music Kitchen as she guest co-hosts NPR's Performance Today on Monday, October 14. Audio archived at this link.

Some of Kelly Hall-Tompkins' inspiration comes from a particularly tragic story that touched her deeply. Just a day before Music Kitchen’s concert at a shelter in Los Angeles, news arrived that a homeless woman well known to many in that community had passed away. Ms. Hall-Tompkins said, “When we decided to dedicate that day’s performance to this woman, the clients were deeply moved by the gesture. The director of the shelter told me that one of the biggest fears among the people they work with is living and dying in the shadows of an uncaring society.”   

The featured cycle is comprised of songs that have been premiered in shelters each month since the beginning of 2019. The world premiere of the complete work, entitled Forgotten Voices, will be performed by an ensemble of outstanding string players and vocalists. Forgotten Voices is commissioned by Music Kitchen with support from Carnegie Hall. The evening will also include Q&A from the stage led by NBC senior correspondent Harry Smith. Full program information is listed below.

Music Kitchen-Food For the Soul presents in association with Carnegie Hall:

World Premiere of Forgotten Voices
Thursday, May 21, 2020 | 7:30pm
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
Tickets: $35
Featured Artists
Allison Charney, soprano, Adrienne Danrich, soprano/mezzo soprano, Jesse Blumberg, baritone, Mark Risinger, bass
Kelly Hall-Tompkins and Ling Ling Huang, violins; Andrew Gonzalez, viola; Alexis Gerlach and Peter Seidenberg, cellos

Performing music by
Courtney Bryan, Jon Grier, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Gabriel Kahane, James Lee III, Tania León, Beata Moon, Paul Moravec, Angélica Negrón, Kevin Puts, Steve Sandberg, Jeff Scott, Carlos Simon, Errollyn Wallen, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

With texts by
audiences at Music Kitchen concerts at homeless shelters compiled over 14 years of concerts
Tickets are available at , by phone at 212-247-7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall Box Office

For more information, visit 

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins
Founder, Executive/Artistic Director, Music Kitchen

Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, an Honorary Doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music, and featured in the Smithsonian Museum for African-American History, Ms. Hall-Tompkins has been acclaimed by The New York Times as "the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive," featured as a New York Times New Yorker of the Year (2017) for her "tonal mastery" ( BBC Music Magazine ) and by Forbes as “an amazing philanthropist and business woman.” 

She appeared in spring 2019 as co-soloist in Carnegie Hall with violinist Glenn Dicterow and Leonard Slatkin conducting, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and for “Forgotten Voices” a United Nations Concert at Lincoln Center. She has appeared as soloist live on BBC Radio in London, and with the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Jacksonville, Tulsa, Oakland, Brevard Festival, Uruguay, as well as in recitals in cities including Paris, New York, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Baltimore, as inaugural guest artist in residence of the Cincinnati Symphony, and at festivals in France, Germany and Italy. Ms. Hall-Tompkins was “Fiddler”/Violin Soloist of the Grammy and Tony Award nominated Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof . Her subsequent solo disc “The Fiddler Expanding Tradition” emerged as a ground-breaking first ever Fiddler solo CD. The disc and her live performances in Kiev are featured in “Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles,” the new documentary on the 50-year history of  Fiddler on the Roof . Collaborator with Mark O’Connor and member of the Ritz Chamber players, she has appeared at Tanglewood, Ravinia, Santa Fe and Lincoln Center.

As a trailblazing social justice entrepreneur, Ms. Hall-Tompkins is Founder of Music Kitchen– Food for the Soul , which has brought over 100 concerts to an estimated 18,000 homeless shelter clients nationwide from New York to Los Angeles and in Paris, France and has featured over 150 artists including Emanuel Ax, Glenn Dicterow, Albrecht Mayer, Jeff Ziegler, and Rene Marie. Kelly and Music Kitchen have been featured in The New York Times, on and, plus Strings Magazine, Chamber Music America Magazine, Spirituality and Health Magazine, Columbia University Radio and cable’s Hallmark Channel.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

NOBLE Statement on the Fatal Shooting of Atatiana Jefferson

October 15, 2019                                                 

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
Statement on the Fatal Shooting of Atatiana Jefferson by Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean 

[Alexandria, VA] Today, Cerelyn J. Davis, President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), issued the following statement regarding the fatal shooting of Atatiana Jefferson by Fort Worth, TX, police officer Aaron Dean in her own home:

"The nation is once again searching for answers as to why an African-American was fatally shot at the hands of police. A Fort Worth police officer shot and killed an African American woman who was babysitting her 8-year-old nephew at home. We too are frustrated, perplexed and incensed at this unfathomable loss of life. We, as the conscience and voice of law enforcement in our communities, are committed to effecting sustainable change through meaningful police reform. NOBLE extends its deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old woman who was killed during a welfare check by law enforcement. We urge the appropriate investigative agencies to address the concerns expressed by Ms. Jefferson's loved ones and ensure justice is served on behalf of her entire family and community." 

About the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 
Since 1976, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) has served as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action. NOBLE represents over 3,000 members internationally, who are primarily African-American chief executive officers of law enforcement agencies at federal, state, county and municipal levels, other law enforcement administrators, and criminal justice practitioners. For more information, visit

Deeply Rooted Appoints Jacquelyn Smiley Robinson Managing Director

Jacquelyn Smiley Robinson

Deeply Rooted Productions (DRP), the 
umbrella organization of Deeply 
Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT), has 
appointed Jacquelyn Smiley 
Robinson as managing director, 
effective October 7, 2019. She joins 
a leadership team including Co-
Founder and Creative Director 
Kevin Iega Jeff and Deeply Rooted 
Dance Theater Artistic Director 
Nicole Clarke-Springer, Associate 
Artistic Director Gary Abbott, and 
Rehearsal Director Joshua L. Ishmon.

As managing director, Robinson is 
responsible for providing oversight 
and management of the 
organization’s day-to-day 
operations, developing and 
implementing the strategic plan, 
and working closely with the board 
of directors to ensure fiscal health. 
She and Jeff are jointly responsible 
for realizing DRDT’s goals for 
artistic excellence, diversified and 
authentic creativity, fiscal viability, 
arts leadership cultivation, and 
community and relationship building. 
She provides direct oversight of 
the organization’s finance, 
operations, marketing, fundraising, 
programs, and board relations 
“Jackie’s passion for dance, 
leadership vision, and business 
acumen make her a welcome 
addition to the team,” said Jeff. 
“Her appointment is an important 
step toward expanding the 
company’s institutional vision. This 
is a joyous occasion!”
Robinson has been an active 
member of the Chicago 
business, civic, and arts 
communities. She serves on the 
Women’s Board of the Goodman 
Theatre where she is chair of 
programs. She is also active 
with the Chicago Foundation for 
Women, the Women’s Network 
of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 
and the Oak Park League of 
Women Voters. Robinson has 
many years of experience in 
corporate finance and 
strategic planning and 
development through her 
career with the Ameritech 
Corporation and the Consulate 
General of Canada. She has 
always nurtured a passion for 
the arts and is the proud mother 
of two daughters who 
themselves are pursuing careers 
in the arts. Robinson has 
earned an MBA, an MA in 
French language and literature, 
and an MA in teaching and 
education. She is excited to 
bring her skills, talents, and 
passion to the Deeply Rooted 
“I am thrilled and honored to 
be part of such an exciting 
and wonderfully creative 
organization,” said Robinson. 
“I look forward to the 
opportunity to expand Deeply 
Rooted’s reach and impact 
in the Chicago arts community 
and beyond.”

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater dancers 
(L–R) Briana Arthur, Paige Fraser, 
Joshua Henry, and William Roberson in 
Forces. Photo by Michelle Reid.

DRDT next offers its fall season, “Reaffirmed/Reimagined,” December 13–15 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus, 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago. The programs feature classic revivals, company repertoire and a preview of a collaboration with gospel artist Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers. Tickets are available at (312) 795-9777 or visit

Premiering in 1996, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) is rooted in traditions of modern, contemporary and African dance, as well as storytelling, in universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. Collaborating with nationally renowned choreographers across the spectrum of modern, ballet and African dance, DRDT presents work that reflects eclectic voices in contemporary life.

Deeply Rooted’s programs are partially supported by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Arts Work Fund and Smart Growth program of the Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks Program, Ginger Farley Charitable Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, International Association of Blacks in Dance, Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley Jr. Family Foundation, Reva and David Logan Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the Deeply Rooted Family of Friends. Special thanks to Ballet Chicago, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Park District, Reva and David Logan Center and St. Benedict the African Church for their partnership and support.

For more information, visit

Sergio Mims: Rafael Payare conducting Mahler Symphony No. 5 with Detroit Symphony

Sergio Mims (L) and Rafael Payare (R)
(Photo taken this past August at the Ravinia Festival after Rafael Payare conducted a concert of Beethoven and Brahms with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) 

Sergio A. Mims writes:

You and your readers I am sure will be interested that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has posted on YouTube a marvelous performance of Mahler's 5th Symphony conducted by Rafael Payare from March 2019.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Eric Conway: Morgan Choir performs concert on Homecoming Saturday night in DC!

Dr. Eric Conway writes:

On last Saturday, October 12, 2019, the Morgan State University Choir participated in a concert at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington DC. We performed music of Nolan Williams and Raymond Wise. The title of the concert was Ethereality Celestial Dreams & the Great Beyond: A choral/orchestral concert exploring the intersectionality of science and spirituality. The concert was presented by The National Museum of African American History & Culture’s Center for the Study of African American Religious Life and NEWorks Productions. The orchestra was comprised of mostly African-American orchestral musicians, from the region, assembled for this concert. 
This was a very big week at Morgan, as this was Homecoming weekend! The conflict was very unfortunate with many of the choir members not able to attend due to Homecoming duties, but I felt that this project was important enough for the choir to work with composer and conductor Nolan Williams, and learn some very fine new music around the subject of celestial dreams. Of course, one cannot talk about dreams in the African-American culture witthout referencing Langston Hughes. A centerpiece in one of Williams compositions was around Hughes' poem Dreams.

The evening was further elevated by having Metropolitan Opera Singer Denyce Graves host the evening. She was able to attend, as this was one of the few nights where she did not have to sing in their current production of Porgy and Bess. She provided great readings between the music which connected music with the evening’s theme.

The first piece on the program was by Morgan faculty member James Lee: Sukkot through Orion’s Nebulae. It was great to have our Morgan students see their professor displayed on a professional stage such as this. The piece was conducted by nationally acclaimed conductor, Julius Williams.

What a great evening of music-making! Please see attached a few pages from the evening’s program. Also, see some photos from the full day of rehearsal and performance. Also see links to snippets from our rehearsals below to get a sense the beauty of the music.

If you get the opportunity to attend a Nolan Williams concert, I think you will be blessed by the experience. 

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

Mickey Thomas Terry: BALTIMORE RECITAL-Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church

Mickey Thomas Terry writes:

Hello Everyone,

Attached, please find a flyer for my upcoming recital on Sunday, October 27th at 3pm.  I hope that you can make it.  

I will be performing works by Bach, Mozart, Reger, Undine Moore, David Hurd, Thomas Kerr, and Mark Fax.  The program will feature the magnificent Aeolian-Skinner Organ that Virgil Fox played when he served as organist there prior to going to Riverside Church in New York.

All the best,


John Malveaux: Music by Composers of African Descent Oct. 26, 2019, Marion, Indiana

John Malveaux of 

Hear music by composers of African descent Oct. 26, 2019 at Baker Recital Hall, Marion, Indiana performed by pianist Phoenix Park Kim and celllist Kristin Yeon-Ji Yun. "For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness.”
― from Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

John Malveaux: Marlaina Owens & Junko Nojima in African-Americans for Los Angeles Opera

Marlaina Owens and Junko Nojima

John Malveaux of 

Sunday, Oct 13, 2019 attended African-Americans for Los Angeles Opera AALAO) fall recital featuring soprano Marlaina Owens and collaborative pianist Junko Nojima in the Pasadena residence of Alice & Joe Coulombe. Joe Coulombe  founded the grocery store chain Trader Joe's in 1967. AALAO board members Mary H. Lewis and Beverly Clarkson shared emcee duties. The recital included music by Handel and Strauss in the first half. The second half started with music by Joaquin Rodrigo, followed by Adolphus Hailstork (Songs of Love and Justice: Justice, Difficulties, Decisions, Love), Undine Smith Moore (Come Down Angels), and Jacqueline Hairston (Don't Feel No Ways Tired). A reception concluded the event. The next AALAO event is the annual February African American History Month recital in the Los Angeles home of Delores and Ben Carr. See Marlaina Owens (left) and Junko Nojima. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Music Kitchen Featured on Performance Today with Big News MONDAY October 14

with Fred Child, Host of Performance Today

I'm happy to share with you that 
I had the great honor of 
co-hosting the celebrated 
national radio program 
Performance Today together 
with Fred Child!  We talked and 
spun tracks from my CDs 
The Fiddler Expanding 
Tradition and Imagination.  
We also talked a lot about Music 
Kitchen and my Forgotten 
Voices Project, where you'll 
get to hear a sneak peak of one 
of the songs!  You will also hear 
some really big and exciting 
news!!  I hope you'll tune in 
8am EST online or check 
your local public radio station for 
show times.
The show is also available online 
for 30 days starting Tuesday by 
clicking here .
Thank you so much as always for 
your support of Music Kitchen - 
Food for the Soul!
Warm Regards,

Photos: Gregory Routt  
           Photo: George McQuade
Photo: June Etta Photography
With Gratitude,

Saturday, October 12, 2019 Manassas Symphony in Florence Price's Symphony No. 1

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

Dale, Virginia

October 10, 2019

Provided by Manassas Symphony Orchestra

The Manassas Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will open its 2019-2020 season on Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Under the baton of Music Director James Villani, the concert will feature a performance of the marvelous Symphony No. 1 in E minor by American composer Florence Price.

Price is noted as the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra. Born in Arkansas and educated at the New England Conservatory of Music, she composed this symphony, her first of four, in 1931-32. It won the top prize in a competition for African American composers and premiered with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933. She wrote numerous other pieces, including choral works, chamber music, arrangements of spirituals, and piano concerti. Her orchestral music, however, remained unpublished and rarely performed until recently.

CSO: African American Network’s event entitled "Bridge Over Muddied Waters" Oct. 25

Sheila A. Jones writes:

Dear Friend of the CSO’s African American Network (AAN),

Joyful Salutation!

I want to personally invite you to join me in Symphony Center’s 8th Floor Club, on October 25th, Friday  at 5:00pm for the African American Network’s kick-off event entitled Bridge Over Muddied Waters
featuring vocalist-story teller Cynthia Clarey and pianist Beckie Menzie. I promise you that this powerfully courageous production which explores the history of the trials and tribulations of race relations of America from slavery to the present through a kaleidoscope of musical memories should not be missed. I am inspired by the message and the music Ms. Clarey shares as she unfolds the pathways to building a better community of friendship, understanding and inclusion.

Tickets for this event are $25.00 per seat, with a special $15.00 discount for students.  Tickets are available online at by calling Symphony Center Ticketing at (312) 294-3000.

Feel free to email me If you have any other questions at

Thank you for your encouragement and understanding!

Joyfully yours,

Sheila A. Jones
Director, Community Stewardship, African American Network