Thursday, April 30, 2020

Join Art of Elan in the Virtual Concert Hall

Demarre McGill and Kate Hatmaker
are Art of Elan

A Virtual Concert Hall

Art of Elan is excited to provide access to memorable concert moments from the safety and comfort of your own private concert hall. As a tie-in to the Throwback Thursday phenomenon, each Thursday Art of Elan will upload videos to a "Virtual Concert Hall" on YouTube and share some favorite concerts from over the years on Art of Elan's social media platforms using the tag #TBTElan.  

Revisit last week's event Sounds and Swells, a celebration of Earth Day pairing exciting and colorful classical music with curated footage of some of the world's most magnificent surf breaks. Watch riders shred waves at Nazaré, Teahupo’o, and Pipeline -- some of nature's finest creations -- synchronized with the music of Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Claude Debussy, and more.

Sounds and Swells features the venerable Hausmann Quartet in a ripping live performance recorded in April 2019 at Stone Brewing in San Diego. Curator Eric Starr and unique special guests (including professional surfer Leah Dawson) introduce each of the six sets, engaging viewers in this immersive experience.

Follow Art of Elan's throwbacks on social media with the tag #TBTElan

Art of Elan's YouTube Channel

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League of American Orchestras announces online National Conference; Clarinetist Anthony McGill is in Opening Session May 5, 2020

From left to right: Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet, New York Philharmonic; 
Deborah Borda, President and CEO, New York Philharmonic; Henry Timms, President and CEO, Lincoln Center; 
and Nina Simon, Spacemaker and CEO, OF/BY/FOR ALL

New York, NY (April 30, 2020) The League of American Orchestras National Conference, Global Stages, Local Stories, has been transformed into an extended online event, the League announced today. Taking place from May 5-June 12, the Conference will be free of charge for all League members.

Over the course of six weeks, the League will provide an array of webinars, constituency meetings, and networking events that are designed 
  • To help orchestras navigate the global pandemic and its aftermath 
  • To continue advancing the imperatives of equity, relevance, innovation, and creativity 
  • And to unite and inspire the orchestra community.
The Conference had originally been scheduled for June 10-12 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

Preliminary Schedule (all sessions below run from 1:00-2:30pm EDT)
Week 1 
Tue, May 5: Opening Session with Deborah Borda, Anthony McGill, Jesse Rosen, and Henry Timms
Wed, May 6: Scenario Planning in the Time of COVID-19
Thu, May 7: Philanthropy Today
Week 2 
Tue, May 12: Arts Marketing Session
Wed, May 13: The Leader's Influence: Championing the Advancement of EDI Practice
Thu, May 14: Engaging Audiences at Home
Week 3 
Tue, May 19: Outside the Box: An (Unconventional) Orchestra Musician's Perspective
Wed, May 20: How to Use Scenario-building to Plan for an Uncertain Future
Thu, May 21: Tools for Problem-solving in Negotiations with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Week 4 
Tue, May 26: Conference Keynote with Nina Simon: Re-envision Relevance to Build a More Inclusive Future
Wed, May 27: Surfing the Digital Wave: Increase Your Orchestra's Footprint in Local and Global Arenas
Thu, May 28: Addressing Gender Equity On and Off the Stage
Weeks 5 and 6
Fri, June 12: Closing Keynote with Valerie Coleman
Details about week 5 and 6 elective and keynote sessions featuring major national research findings, information on visa processing, and a closing keynote with Valerie Coleman are still to come.
Find additional information, including registration details, at 
Media interested in attending should contact Rachelle Schlosser to obtain press registration link:

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America's orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 1,700 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit

John Malveaux: Tenor Sir George Shirley and Baritone Donnie Ray Albert relaxing at Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles before sound check.

Tenor Sir George Shirley (L) & Baritone Donnie Ray Albert (R)

John Malveaux of writes:

Composer Robert Owens 3 songs, Op 41, Song Cycle for Baritone and Piano - words by Claude McKay - titled THE LYNCHING, IF WE MUST DIE, and TO THE WHITE FRIEND (In memoriam George Jackson) was performed by Baritone Donnie Ray Albert during 150th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation Concert co-presented by MusicUNTOLD and Classical KUSC Radio  See pic of Tenor Sir George Shirley (left) and Baritone Donnie Ray Albert (right) relaxing at Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles before sound check.

ABC7NY/WABC-TV New York Hosts Instagram Live Town Hall To Address COVID-19 Racial Disparity In The African American Community

 ‘Coronavirus Pandemic: Impact on African Americans
Mortality, Messaging and Money’ Town Hall on Instagram Live,
Thursday, April 30 (7:00-8:00 P.M. EDT)

 Audience Members Are Invited to Participate in a Q &A With ABC7NY News and a Panel of Experts via @ABC7NY Instagram Page

WABC-TV, New York’s and the nation’s No. 1 station, presents a one-hour virtual town hall on Instagram Live, Thursday, April 30 (7:00-8:00 p.m. EDT), to discuss COVID-19-related socioeconomic factors impacting the African American community. The virtual town hall is hosted by Eyewitness News reporter Darla Miles and features ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
 In an eye-opening report that aired Thursday, April 9, WABC took an early lead in reporting the harsh reality of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Data revealed that while African Americans make up 22% of New York City’s population, they accounted for 28% of coronavirus-related deaths. 
 The panel, consisting of both influencers and stakeholders in the African American community, will answer questions, give guidance on COVID-19, and discuss mortality, messaging and money. The town hall will be live on @ABC7NY Instagram page.
 The panelists will include the following:
  • Tanya Christian, ESSENCE News & Politics Editor – addressing unique challenges to the African American community, i.e., socioeconomic disparities, social distancing challenges
  • Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent – discussing the latest on COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, treatments and vaccines
  • Claire Sulmers, CEO, Fashion Bomb Daily – discussing the impact of counter-messaging about coronavirus to communities of color and millennials on social media
  • Gregg Bishop, NYC Commissioner of Small Business Services – providing resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and give advice on how to adapt to the new economic landscape
 Viewers are encouraged to submit their questions via comments during the live feed on @ABC7NY Instagram page.
 A recording of the Instagram town hall will also be available the following day on and ABC7NY/WABC’s community page, and archived on @ABC7NY Instagram page.

John Malveaux: Chicago Sinfonietta founder Maestro Paul Freeman recalls meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by chance at 2 am in Atlanta airport

Maestro Paul Freeman

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

John Malveaux of writes:

Maestro Paul Freeman (January 2, 1936 – July 21, 2015) earned his doctorate in music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and studied for two years at Berlin’s Hochschule fur Musik on a Fulbright Scholarship. He later trained with the eminent French conductor Pierre Monteux.  Paul Freeman became one of a handful of African-American conductors who broke through the glass ceiling of American symphonic music. During his career, he conducted more than 100 orchestras in 30 countries with more than 200 recording to his credit with unique interpretations of the classical, romantic and modern repertoire.
Maestro Freeman received the Mahler Award from the European Union of Arts. Among his many recordings is a landmark, nine-LP series issued on Columbia in the mid-1970s tracing the history of black symphonic composers. He and the Chicago Sinfonietta later produced an offshoot of that anthology with their African Heritage Symphonic Series on Chicago’s Cedille records.
Maestro Freeman founded the Chicago Sinfonietta, a midsized orchestra, in 1987. It became a shining emblem of racial and cultural diversity across the classical music landscape. He remained at its helm for 24 years until he retired in 2011. I met Maestro Freeman following a tour date at Marsee Auditorium in Cerritos, California.
During an interview about his life and career, Maestro Paul Freeman recalled a 2:00 a.m. inspirational chance meeting with Dr. King at the Atlanta airport. When asked by Dr. King why he was in Atlanta, Maestro Freeman told him that he was there to guest conduct the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Dr. King responded, “Ah, the last bastion of elitism. Glory, Hallelujah”.  Please see Maestro Freeman interview  See Pic 1 Paul Free,am; pic 2 Dr. MLK Jr.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 If Duke Ellington Were Alive Today He’d Own A Modern Cotton Club...and Visit The Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Black Hollywood Live

Written by: Toree Weaver – April 28th, 2020

If Duke Ellington Were Alive Today He’d Own A Modern Cotton Club, Raise Awareness of Injustices, and Visit The Duke Ellington School of the Arts

BHL: Imagine if _____ Were Alive 

As we remember Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington on what would be his 121st birthday, you start to ‘imagine’ what life would be like if he was still with us today. The prominent black composer, musician, and civil rights advocate held all of his projects to a high standard, so whatever he chose to do, it would be nothing short of exceptional.  Today, we Imagine If Duke Ellington Were Alive.

Born and raised in the nation’s capital, Duke Ellington would continue his legacy where it started. If given the opportunity, Ellington would pour into the resources provided in Washington, DC. Top of his list would be stopping by the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. With Ellington passing the same year the school was established, he was never able to see his impact on a new generation of artists. As an alum of the school, I can’t help but think of how proud he would be to see black students learning from seasoned black artists. Since Duke Ellington pushed for equality in artistic spaces, I would imagine his heart filling up with joy as he walked through the halls of the newly renovated building. As he walks through the art gallery and dips his head into the dance history, music theory, and lighting design classes, he would take careful notes of black youth respecting and learning the arts. Memories of him refusing to play in front of segregated audiences would float through his head as he makes sense of this full circle moment. 

To conclude his visit, he’d attend the annual Duke Ellington birthday concert the school performs, if he didn’t have other plans with his jazz buddies of course. On second thought, with his high standards he would probably serve as the creative director of the performance and have us in tech rehearsal all night to ensure we got it right. 

Ever since Duke was a kid, his family emphasized the importance of the black community. Throughout his career, he vocalized the importance of representation and the advancement of African Americans. I would be surprised if he wasn’t involved in the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Imagine how warm your heart would feel watching the Obama’s waltz to In A Sentimental Mood. Even with the school in his name, Ellington would continue to create spaces where black artists felt welcomed. His love for clubs and live music would inspire him to open establishments similar to the cotton club. With roots in the city and in Harlem, Ellington would fund restaurants and clubs along the east coast. However, they wouldn’t be regular establishments; they would feature live jazz every night, a dance floor, and couples dressed in their finest. 

Living during the pandemic, Duke Ellington would not only partner with organizations to donate relief funds, but also raise awareness to the injustices in the health field. With African Americans dying from the virus at a higher rate, Ellington would focus his funds on black families who have been impacted. 

As a brother in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the first historically African American intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity, he would collaborate with his brothers to push national programs. As the presidential election approaches, Ellington would emphasize the A Voteless People, Is a Hopeless People program and encourage people to register to vote. Especially after seeing America’s track record. The Chair Of The NEA Kicks Off Aaron Dworkin's New Arts Engines Interview Series With DPTV

Aaron P. Dworkin

April 27, 2020

The Chair of the NEA kicks off Aaron Dworkin's new Arts Engines interview series with DPTV. Watch their conversation at

When it comes to promoting inclusivity, entrepreneurship, and excellence in the arts, there are few people who score as highly in all categories as Aaron Dworkin. Aaron is also a tenured professor at the University of Michigan, a member of the National Council of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellow, a violinist, a writer, a performer.

And, now he is also the host of the interview series, "Arts Engines," in which Aaron talks to leading figures in arts administration, who share their most valuable advice on topics such as crisis management, creative problem-solving, and empowering the future of their field.

This week, Aaron speaks to Mary Anne Carter, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. She describes her personal journey that led to a career in the arts. She explains her new initiatives at the NEA to bring the arts to underserved communities, veterans, and others.

The Harlem Chamber Players: Pandemic Busters - Videos and Upcoming Online Programs

This Saturday, May 2nd at 5 PM,
The Harlem Chamber Players join the Harlem School of the Arts in one of their signature HSA@Home programs!

Violist/violinist Amadi Azikiwe will be giving an online Masterclass for students at the Harlem School of the Arts and preparing them for a concert.

You are all invited to join the Student Performance, which is free and open to the public. Click here or on the image above to learn more. Please RSVP via Eventbrite in order to get the Zoom link to join.

Stay tuned as we have more interactive online programming coming your way soon.

The Harlem Chamber Players on YouTube
We also want you to know we miss you very much and hope you are all staying safe and healthy. We know there's no substitute for being together to enjoy the beauty of live music and each other's company.

In the meantime we are working on updating our YouTube channel, which we would like to share with you. We hope you enjoy these performances from some of our past concerts.

First movement of the Bach Triple Violin Concerto
Annual Bach Concert - November 22, 2019

Adolphus Hailstork's "Nobody Know"
World premiere commissioned for The Harlem Chamber Players
11th Annual Black History Month Celebration - February 28, 2019

First movement of the George Walker String Quartet No. 1
12th Annual Black History Month Celebration - February 13, 2020

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

John Malveaux: Betye Saar (b. 1926, Los Angeles) is an African decent artist whose work consistently speaks to issues of race, gender, and spirituality.

Betye Saar

John Malveaux of writes:

Betye Saar (b. 1926, Los Angeles) is an African decent artist whose work consistently speaks to issues of race, gender, and spirituality. Known as an assemblage artist, Saar's work combines many different symbols along with objects found on her travels across Africa, Mexico, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean and especially in Los Angeles.  

Project STEP Virtual Recital - May 17th

Rachel Forbes writes:

Project STEP (String Training Education Program) recognizes that certain racial and ethnic minorities are vastly underrepresented in classical music.
Our mission is to address this imbalance by identifying musically talented underrepresented students from Boston and surrounding communities, providing them with comprehensive music and string instrument instruction. We set the highest standards for disciplined study and performance, and offer a platform for students interested in pursuing classical music careers as well as other courses of study.
You can learn more about our organization at

The 2020 Project STEP Spring Recital and Parent Benefit, sponsored in part by the Gregory E. Bulger Foundation is on Sunday, May 17th

Join us for an online community concert and auction to support the students of Project STEP.

This special event will highlight our graduating seniors who have spent years of study mastering their craft, and will feature works by Popper, Lalo, Bach, Kabalevsky, and more!

In this era of social distancing, we hope our Spring Recital will bring people together from all over the country and the world who care about Project STEP's students and programs. Please join us to celebrate their accomplishments, the strength of STEP's community, and the beauty of classical music that can carry us through tough times. All funds from the online auction support Project STEP, a non-profit organization. Bidding begins on May 1st at noon and ends on May 17th at 6 pm.

Please check back for a link to view this concert on May 17, 2020 at 2 pm.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

All the best,

Rachel Forbes

Program & Communications Manager
Project STEP
301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Chicago Symphony Orchestra African American Network Update

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Dear CSO African American Network Family and Friends,
In this time of great uncertainty and peril, I hope we can remain in touch. I wish you all the best of wellness and safety as we join in community-wide efforts to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 
We all have experienced personal battles involving loved ones. We also have witnessed heroic acts of courage and compassion. Yet in the midst of these struggles, there is an unprecedented need for music and the arts as a means of solace in these difficult days.
Thank you for your continued support of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I know you miss the experience of attending concerts here at Symphony Center. But just as much as you miss attending concerts here, we miss you. Though we don't know how much longer we will be apart, we look forward to being back together in Symphony Center.
Please know that you are on Maestro Muti's mind as he shelters in place from his home in Ravenna, Italy. Thanks to the commitment of Maestro Muti, CSO musicians and CSOA leadership, we are exploring creative ways to stay in touch through music.
To help keep you connected to the CSO family, we are sending weekly emails about virtual concerts, video performances, radio broadcasts and other content featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We are so fortunate to have our magnificent CSO artists engaging in music-making through online events on Facebook, YouTube and other social media. If you have not received these updates, please email me at
Furthermore, to sustain the CSOA and its mission of life-enriching presentations of classical music, we are pleased to announce the Music Ahead challenge. To help the CSOA in these extraordinary times, generous anonymous donors have announced a remarkable matching challenge grant. Gifts to the CSOA—including ticket donations—will be matched dollar for dollar through June 30. Your gift will have double the impact to support musical programs that engage more than 425,000 people each year.
We have a new season of excitement to anticipate, and your input is greatly appreciated. Please email me at with any ideas you may have and what you might be able to do to help grow the African American Network. 
We have much to do, and we joyfully embrace this mission.
Sincerely yours,
Sheila Jones
Sheila A. Jones
Director, Community Stewardship
CSO African American Network
Save the date! Below are a few concerts the AAN is excited about for the 2020/21 season:
  • November 5–8: An American Salute featuring Florence Price's Ethiopia's Shadow in America
  • February 6: 5th Annual Celebration of National Black History Month
  • February 26 & 27: Her Story: Celebration of The Centenary of Women's Right to Vote featuring Jessie Montgomery's Starburst

IMI: Dr. Kenneth Kaunda Turns 96: Teacher, Musician, Statesman

Dr. Kenneth Kaunda

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 

Born April 28, 1924, Zambia's Founding Father, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, was a leading figure in the struggle for independence in the south central Africa region formerly called Northern Rhodesia. In 1960, he became leader of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), and led his people to gain independence as Zambia. Dr. Kaunda became Zambia's First President, serving his country faithfully until he stepped down from power in 1991.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABA KK!  

Photo: Baba KK showing off his guitar chops during a recent courtesy visit from St. Louis (USA) based composer Fred Onovwerosuoke.  

"KK" or "Baba KK" as he's belovedly known by Zambians and around Africa, Dr. Kaunda also is an avid musician, and still enjoys precious moments accompanying songs on his guitar and piano.

Photo: Baba KK struts dances with University of Zambia Choir singers

Culled from IMI eNewsletter 

John Malveaux: Nokuthula Ngwenyama and Althea Waites performed Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Ballade for Violin & Piano at 150th Emancipation Concert

Nokuthula Ngwenyama and Althea Waites

John Malveaux of writes:

Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama was violinist for Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) Ballade for violin and piano in C minor, opus 73 during the 150th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation Concert co-presented by KUSC Classical Radio & MusicUNTOLD.  
See pic Nokuthula Ngwenyama & pianist Althea Waites Soundtrack For HBO Film BAD EDUCATION, With Music By Michael Abels, Available Now

Michael Abels

Michelle Hannett

April 27, 2020

WaterTower Music has announced the release of the soundtrack to the HBO film Bad Education, with music by Michael Abels (Get Out, Us).

Inspired by true events, the film stars Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman and Academy Award winner Allison Janney. The story follows Frank Tassone (Jackman) and Pam Gluckin (Janney) who reign over a popular Long Island school district on the verge of the nation’s top spot, spurring record college admissions and soaring property values. But when an embezzlement scheme surfaces that threatens to destroy all they’ve built, Frank is forced to maintain order and secrecy — by whatever means necessary.The Bad Education score, by composer Michael Abels, is a vital part of the film’s fabric; a brilliant and intense telling the story through his music.

“The score is an homage to great classical concert music, evoking the rigorous world of competitive academia, and its high level of training and discipline,” explained Abels about his approach to the composition. “But as this structured world begins to unravel in the film, the score also includes stark, minimalist cues driven primarily by percussion.

Michael Abels is a composer/producer best known for his scores for writer/director Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning film GET OUT, and highly anticipated follow-up US, for which Abels was awarded “Discovery of the Year” at the 2019 World Soundtrack Awards. Abels’ score for US was also shortlisted for the 2020 Oscars, received a Critics’ Choice nomination, an NAACP Image Award nomination, multiple critics’ awards, and was named “Score of the Decade” by online publication The Wrap.  As a concert composer, Abels has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer, and the Sphinx Organization, among others.  His orchestral works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and many more.

Monday, April 27, 2020

John Malveaux: Amanda Gorman, the Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, wrote a 4th of July poem for CBS

Amanda Gorman

John Malveaux of writes:

Amanda Gorman, the Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, wrote a 4th of July poem for CBS  

NAACP to Conclude Four-Part Virtual Town Hall Series on COVID-19 with Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bottoms, Governor Whitmer and Senator Klobuchar

NAACP to Conclude Four-Part Virtual Town Hall Series on COVID-19 with Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bottoms, Governor Whitmer and Senator Klobuchar

April 27, 2020

Washington, D.C. (April 27, 2020) – The NAACP will host the fourth installation of their four-part virtual town hall series, “Unmasked: COVID-19” on Tuesday, April 28, at 8 PM ET /5 PM PT. The fourth episode of the series will address the state and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on the African American population. 

The lack of consistent leadership and coordination from the White House has led state and local governments to take on varied approaches in combating this unprecedented public health crisis. Across the country, many Mayors and Governors have had to implement necessary and innovative strategies to slow down the spread of the virus, provide testing, and secure necessary PPE and health equipment to protect their communities.  

“As we turn our attention to state responses, we recognize the significant burden that is placed on elected officials to ensure the safety, democracy, and well-being of its residents,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “This informative call will chart a pathway forward and serve as a blueprint for many on how to respond, at a local level. during challenging times.” 

Callers can participate via interactive toll-free conference call that will stream LIVE on the NAACP’s website at; and Facebook. To join via phone, dial (866) 757-0756 and to join the conversation on social media follow @NAACP and @BET.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear remarks from Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP; Senator Amy Klobuchar, United States Senator, MN; Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan;  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York, and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta. The event will be moderated by April Ryan, CNN Commentator, American Urban Radio Network. 

WHAT: Unmasked: COVID-19 (Part 4)
WHERE: Participant Dial-in: (866) 757 0756
WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2020, @  8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP
April Ryan, CNN Commentator
Senator Amy Klobuchar, United States Senator, MN
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta