Saturday, January 23, 2021

t2online.com: Tony-nominee Melissa Errico And Acclaimed Pianist Lara Downes Release Single of ‘Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe’




January 22, 2021

Tony Award-nominee Melissa Errico and Billboard Chart-topping pianist Lara Downes have come together to collaborate on a new recording of the Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg classic: “Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe.” Released today, the new recording and accompanying music video, filmed remotely in both California and New York, marks the first collaboration between one of America’s most beloved singer/actors in Errico and one of its most admired and protean pianists in Downes. Coming together from their two coasts to celebrate the New Year — and with a small significant smile towards another Joe and January 20 — the two women artists are proud to salute the unique mix of charm and liberal consciousness that mark all of E. Y. Harburg’s lyrics, matched with the melodic flow of Harold Arlen’s music. It is now available on for digital download and streaming on all platforms via this link: https://levelmusic.lnk.to/HappinessIsJust

Maestra Jeri Lynne Johnson: Black Pearl @ Davos!!!: "See Me: A Global Concert" Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM EST




Join Maestra Johnson, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra for

See Me!: A Global Concert

from the World Economic Forum.  

This unique cinematic journey is a  shared 

expression of trust, connection and hope! 


Featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and orchestras and choirs 

in Beijing, Florence, Kabul, Philadelphia, Vienna and São Paulo!  

 Just click "RSVP" on this email to  livestream the concert

@ 1:00 EST, Sunday January 24


Check out my website:

https://www.blackpearlco.org/

Friday, January 22, 2021

HeraldTribune.com: "Evensongs," "The Fugitive" and "Sentence" from Ulysses Kay's "Fugitive Songs" were streamed Jan. 18 and can be heard for an extended period

Ulysses Kay (1917-1995)


Herald-Tribune

Sarasota

Jan. 19, 2021

Music Review: enSRQ stirs imagination in streaming concert

Gayle Williams
Correspondent

EnsembleNEWSRQ served as our guide once again in the adventures with new music in Monday’s program “Solitude and Suffrage,” performed live online from the First Congregational Church and available for an extended period on the group’s website ensrq.org.

***
Two central works on the program featured the impressive vocal dexterity of mezzo soprano Thea Lobo. “Fugitive Songs” (1950) by Ulysses Kay is a set of eight songs. The three selected for this program, “Evensong,” “The Fugitives” and “Sentence,” are based on texts by early 20th-century poets Ridgely Torrence, Florence Wilkinson and Witter Bynner, respectively. Here we did have familiar musical language, easy to sink into and absorb the meaning of the text. Lobo’s collaborator was pianist Jesse Martins, who fit easily as her partner in reaching for the deeper phrasing and meaning of the score.

Auburn Symphony Orchestra: Dr. William Chapman Nyaho is Pianist in Brahms Piano Quintet Streaming February 18, 7:30 PM PT

Dr. William Chapman Nyaho


Auburn Symphony Orchestra

Auburn, Washington

Listen from home:
https://www.auburnsymphony.org/watch-and-listen

Creatively Connected: Brahms Piano Quintet

This work unfolds over four movements and offers a little something for every type of listener. In the opening movement there is angst and tension yet also vivacity and spirit. In the slower second movement one is serenaded with majestic melodies and a soothing musical atmosphere. The third movement pulses with restless rhythms and the finale brings the work to an exalted conclusion. This is 19th century chamber music at its zenith.

Emilie Choi and Sol Im, violins
Betty Agent, viola
Brian Wharton, cello
William Chapman Nyaho, piano

Program
Piano Quintet in F minor, op. 34 - Composed by Johannes Brahms
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andate, un poco adagio
III. Scherzo: Allegro
IV. Finale: Poco sostenuto - Allegro non troppo

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Sphinx Organization: Register Now: SphinxConnect 2021, January 28 to 30!


 Join fellow colleagues in the field and be inspired at SphinxConnect 2021: UNITY, the annual epicenter where artists and leaders in diversity meet from January 28 to 30!


Our digital convening features over 70 speakers exploring topics related to diversity and inclusion in the arts including:

  • Artful Resilience: how musicians innovate in crisis with Jennifer Bowman, Leslie DeShazor, Thomas Mesa, and Elena Urioste examine unique examples of innovation that may lay the pathway for a reimagined normal
  • Socially Vocal: a discussion on race and identity in the arts with Christopher Anderson, Tehvon Fowler-Chapman, Krystal Glass, and Beth Stewart discuss ways to use social platforms to effect change
  • Audiences over the Airwaves with Lara Downes, Terrance McKnight, Garrett McQueen, and Gretchen Nielsen explore the possibility of encouraging positive and constructive change through podcasts and radio
  • Casting Change with Alejandra Valarino Boyer, Julia Bullock, Raquel González, Yuval Sharon, and Davóne Tines share their vision of equity in the opera world
  • Friday Plenary with Baritone and 2019 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient Will Liverman interviewed by Sphinx LEADer Alexa Smith. Will has been cast to star in The Metropolitan Opera's fall 2021 reopening production of "Fire Shut Up in My Bones," the first opera by a Black composer to be performed on The Metropolitan Opera stage

Feb. 12: Baritone Will Liverman Releases "Dreams of a New Day: Songs by Black Composers" on Cedille Records


 Baritone Will Liverman Releases 

Dreams of a New Day: Songs by Black Composers

Featuring Liverman and Pianist Paul Sánchez in Works by
Damien Sneed, Henry Burleigh, Leslie Adams, Margaret Bonds,
Thomas Kerr, Shawn Okpebholo, Robert Owens, and Robert Fariña

Out February 12, 2021 on Cedille Records

Pre-Order Dreams of a New Day

“a voice for this historic moment” – The Washington Post

www.willliverman.com 

New York, NY (January 21, 2021) — On Friday, February 12, 2021, baritone Will Liverman releases Dreams of a New Day: Songs by Black Composers with pianist Paul Sánchez on Cedille Records. The album features Damien Sneed’s I Dream a World, Henry Burleigh’s Five Songs of Laurence Hope, H. Leslie Adams’ Amazing Grace, Margaret Bonds’ Three Dream Portraits, Thomas Kerr’s Riding to Town, the world premiere recording of Shawn E. Okpebholo’s Two Black Churches, Robert Owens’ Mortal Storm Op. 29, and Liverman on piano in his own arrangement of Richard Fariña’s Birmingham Sunday. The liner notes of the album are written by Dr. Louise Toppin, a noted performer, scholar, and teacher who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers and is currently Professor of Music (Voice) at the University of Michigan.

Liverman says, “Right now, it is more important than ever to celebrate the contributions of Black composers, and I’m honored to give voice to the art songs on this album. There was an enormous amount of material to choose from; Black composers wrote so much more than just spirituals! The album is dedicated to my late mentor Robert Brown who influenced the lives of so many students through his many years of teaching at The Governor’s School for the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. I hope this album inspires you to keep striving to have our voices heard and to speak up constantly and work towards equality.”

Damien Sneed composed I Dream a World for the 2017 Carnegie Hall debut recital of baritone Justin Michael Austin. Sneed’s setting musically depicts the hope for the next generation with rich jazz harmonies, while ascending chords inch toward freedom on the line “where every man is free.” The final statement of the song, “I dream a world, my world,” leaves the listener with an unresolved final cadence that conveys a feeling of uncertainty.

Henry “Harry” Thacker Burleigh (1866 – 1949) is credited with being the first composer to create spirituals in an art song format for presentation in concert halls. He attended the National Conservatory where Antonin Dvořák was the Director and interactions led to one of the most unlikely, yet powerful collaborations in American musical history. Dvořák, who heard Burleigh singing spirituals, learned more about this vernacular song from him and Dvořák encouraged Burleigh to use the wonderful source material of his people in his own composition. The Five Songs of Laurence Hope composed in 1915 were written to the poetry of Adela Florence Nicholson (1865–1904), who wrote under the pseudonym “Laurence Hope.” Her poetry reveals, autobiographically, the tumultuous relationships in her life. She suffered from mental health issues throughout her life and when her husband died suddenly, she consumed poison and committed suicide at the age of 39. 

The song “Amazing Grace” is commonly mistaken for a spiritual, as it was composed at the height of the slave trade. It was not created by enslaved Africans, however, but penned by slave ship captain John Newton (1725 – 1807). Newton wrote his famous words after praying for deliverance during a storm at sea and his subsequent conversion from slave ship captain to abolitionist is underscored in the opening line, “Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That sav’d a wretch like me!” This song has become a prayer for comfort in times of tribulation and is frequently heard at funerals. Harrison Leslie Adams’s Amazing Grace, written in 1992, bespeaks a gratitude that bubbles with exuberant energy and hope. Adams’s composition takes the listener on a journey that pays homage to the enslaved Africans of Newton’s version as he expresses optimism for a brighter future for African Americans.

One of Langston Hughes’s favorite contemporary collaborators was Margaret Allison Bonds (1913 – 1972). A native of Chicago, Bonds and her mentor, Chicago transplant Florence Price (1887–1953), made history by winning the city’s famed Wanamaker competition. Not only did Bonds win first prize for one of her songs, but she also became the first African American to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Many of her songs reflect pride in her race, including the Three Dream Portraits written to texts of Hughes in 1959 for two prominent African American opera singers: Adele Addison and Lawrence Winters. Written at the height of the civil rights movement, they express the Black pride that became a hallmark of the blossoming Black Arts movement. 

Thomas Kerr (1915 – 1988), was a pianist and organist who graduated from the Eastman School of Music with three degrees in piano and composition. His musical output included solo voice, piano, instrumental, and choral works. He was Professor and Chair of the Piano Department at Howard University, where his work as a composer and teacher influenced generations of music students. His Riding to Town (1943) is a setting of the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906), the first African American poet to achieve international fame. His poetry and stories depict the oppression of African Americans during the Jim Crow era. As with Hughes, his authentic poetic voice has continued to inspire contemporary composers to produce new musical settings.

Will Liverman commissioned Shawn Okpebholo (b. 1981) to write Two Black Churches (2020) for this album. The new work is a musical diptych of two poems by Dudley Randall and Marcus Amaker that explores the impact of two watershed moments in the American Civil Rights Movement – the Birmingham church bombing in 1963 and the Charleston church shooting in 2015. The text of the first movement is a poem by Dudley Randall, Ballad of Birmingham, a narrative account of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing from the perspectives of the mother of one victim and her child. Stylistically, this movement juxtaposes 1960s Black gospel with contemporary art song. Subtle references to the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome,” and the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” are also heard. The song concludes with four sustained soft chords resembling church bells. Each of the chords is composed of four notes that punctuate and amplify the four young lives lost. The text of the second movement is a poem written especially for this composition by Marcus Amaker, poet laureate of Charleston, South Carolina, called The Rain. This poem poignantly reflects the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church. Set in the coastal city of Charleston, which often floods, The Rain is a beautifully haunting metaphor on racism and the inability of Blacks in America to stay above water — a consequence of the flood of injustice and the weight of oppression. In this composition, the number nine is significant, symbolizing the nine people who perished that day. Okpebholo is Professor of Music Composition at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and a widely sought-after and award-winning composer, most recently winning the American Prize in Composition (2020).

Composer Robert Owens selected poems representative of a dark time in Langston Hughes’s life to tell the story of a dark time in his own personal history: the Civil Rights era and Martin Luther King’s assassination. Using poems from the 1920s (“A House in Taos”), 1930s (“Genius Child”), and 1940s (“Little Song,” “Jamie,” and “Faithful One”), he created the song cycle Mortal Storm, Op. 29 in 1969. Growing up in Denison, Texas, Robert Owens (1925 – 2017) faced his own “storms” of racism. As a result of this racial tension, he left the United States in 1968 to pursue opportunities in Germany and never returned to live in the U.S. He made his career in Germany as a pianist, composer, actor, and director.

The album closes with Will Liverman on piano in his own arrangement of Robert Fariña’s Birmingham Sunday. Richard Fariña (1937–1966) wrote Birmingham Sunday in 1964 to memorialize the bombing in 1963 of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, and Cynthia Wesley. The melody is borrowed from the Scottish folk tune “I Loved a Lass” (aka “The False Bride”). The piece was first performed by Fariña and his sister-in-law, Joan Baez. Liverman’s arrangement serves as a fitting final tribute to the struggles of African Americans. It indicates past and present injustices and provides an opportunity to refocus and reframe the American promise of equality for all its citizens. While making for a poignant and powerful conclusion to this musical offering it also serves as a reminder that the struggle against racism in America has not concluded but is very much a present struggle.

About Will Liverman
Called “one of the most versatile singing artists performing today” (Bachtrack), baritone Will Liverman continues to bring his compelling performances to audiences nationwide. He will star in the Metropolitan Opera’s re-opening production of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones in fall 2021, in addition to reprising his roles in Akhnaten (Horemhab) and The Magic Flute (Papageno) during the Met’s 2021-2022 season. Liverman’s new opera, The Factotum, written together with DJ/recording artist K. Rico, will also be developed in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Ryan Opera Center this season. 

Will is the recipient of the 2020 Marian Anderson Vocal Award, and recently received a 2019 Richard Tucker Career Grant and Sphinx Medal of Excellence. Liverman’s recent engagements include the Met Opera’s holiday production of The Magic Flute, in addition to its premiere of Philip Glass’ Akhnaten and Malcolm Fleet in Nico Muhly’s Marnie. He also recently appeared as Pantalone in The Love of Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia, as Silvio in Pagliacci at Opera Colorado, as Schaunard in La bohème with Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera and Opera Philadelphia; and as The Pilot in The Little Prince with Tulsa Opera. His album, Whither Must I Wander, with pianist Jonathan King, out January 2020 on Odradek Records, was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s “best classical recordings of 2020” and BBC Music Magazine praised Liverman’s “firm, oaky baritone with a sharp interpretive attitude… admirable poise and clarity of intention.”

Liverman has performed the leading role of Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Seattle Opera, Virginia Opera, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera and Utah Opera. He originated the role of Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with Opera Philadelphia, in addition to performing the role with English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Madison Opera, and at the Apollo Theater. Other highlights include the role of Tommy McIntyre in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Fellow Travelers for its Lyric Unlimited initiative; Papageno in The Magic Flute with Florentine Opera and Central City Opera; his role debut as Marcello in La bohème with Portland Opera; his debut with Seattle Opera as Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory; Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia and Beaumarchais in The Ghosts of Versailles with Wolf Trap Opera; Andrew Hanley in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera; Sam in The Pirates of Penzance with Atlanta Opera; the Foreman at the Mill in Jenůfa and the Protestant Minister in Menotti’s The Last Savage with Santa Fe Opera.

Expanding into the concert repertoire, Liverman performed the title role in a concert version of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and was a featured soloist in Brahms’ Requiem with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, in Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, in Carmina Burana with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He was also recently featured in the Sphinx Virtuosi concert at Carnegie Hall, in addition to appearing in Schubert’s Die Winterreise at The Barns at Wolf Trap Opera. 

Liverman has received a 2017 3Arts Award, a George London Award, and was recognized as a classical division Luminarts Fellow by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. In 2015, he won the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition, received the Gerda Lissner Charitable Fund Award, and received a top prize from Opera Index. He was a grand finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, and additionally was a first prize winner in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, a grand prize winner of the Bel Canto Foundation Competition, and a recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

Liverman concluded his tenure at the prestigious Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2015. He previously was a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. He holds his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College in Illinois. Visit www.willliverman.com for more information.

About Paul Sánchez
Praised as a “great artist” (José Feghali, 2013; Cecilia Rodrigo, 2019), Paul Sánchez is a pianist and composer. Of his recent engagements performing music of Ives and Gershwin for Music Unwound: American Roots, a program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Joseph Horowitz stated, “Sanchez’s account of Rhapsody in Blue was original – the most bewitchingly lyric I have ever encountered.” In a review of Sánchez’s CD Magus Insipiens, featuring three of Sánchez’s song cycles, Colin Clarke writes, “This is one of the most beautiful discs in my collection... haunting in the extreme,” while WFMT’s Henry Fogel, former president of the League of American Orchestras and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, states, “This is hauntingly beautiful music... works of originality and a distinctive musical personality.”

\With seven published CDs as of 2020, new releases in 2020–2021 include Mysteria Fidei, featuring new music by David M. Gordon; an album of new solo piano works by Graham Lynch; and spirituals of Shawn Okpebholo in collaboration with J’Nai Bridges and Will Liverman.

Dr. Sánchez is Director of Piano Studies at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. He is a co-founder of the San Francisco International Piano Festival, Charleston Chamber Music Intensive, and Dakota Sky Foundation. A Fulbright fellow from 2005– 2007, Sánchez earned his Master of Spanish Music degree under Maria Teresa Monteys and Alicia de Larrocha. He studied with Tamás Ungár at Texas Christian University, graduating summa cum laude, with honors; and with Douglas Humpherys at the Eastman School of Music, where he completed his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Sánchez is a New Piano Collective artist. www.paultsanchez.com  

About Cedille Records
Launched in November 1989 by James Ginsburg, Grammy Award-winning Cedille Records (pronounced say-DEE) is dedicated to showcasing and promoting the most noteworthy classical artists in and from the Chicago area.

Cedille has recorded more than 180 Chicago artists, with more than 80 making their professional recording debuts on the label. Its catalog includes the world premieres of more than 300 classical compositions.

The audiophile-oriented label releases every new album in multiple formats — physical CD, 96 kHz , 24-bit, studio-quality FLAC download, and 320 Kbps MP3 download — and on major streaming services.

An independent nonprofit enterprise, Cedille Records is the label of Cedille Chicago, NFP. Sales of physical CDs and digital downloads and streams cover only a small percentage of the label’s costs. Tax-deductible donations from individual music-lovers and grants from charitable organizations account for most of its revenue.

Cedille’s headquarters are at 1205 W. Balmoral Ave., Chicago, IL 60640; call 773-989-2515; email: info@cedillerecords.org. Website: www.cedillerecords.org

Cedille Records is distributed in the Western Hemisphere by Naxos of America and its distribution partners, by Naxos Music UK, and by other independent distributors in the Naxos network in classical music markets around the world.

Dreams of a New Day: Songs by Black Composers Track List

1. Damien Sneed (b. 1979) – I Dream a World [2:39]

Henry Burleigh (1866 – 1949) – Five Songs of Laurence Hope [15:48]
     2. I. Worth While [2:00]
     3. II. The Jungle Flower [3:16]
     4. III. Kashmiri Song [3:26] 
     5. IV. Among the Fuchsias [2:57] 
     6. V. Till I Wake [3:57]

7. Leslie Adams (b. 1932) – Amazing Grace [3:19]

Margaret Bonds (1913 – 1972) – Three Dream Portraits [5:52]
     8. I. Minstrel Man [2:01]
     9. II. Dream Variation [2:07]
     10. III. I, Too [1:39]

11. Thomas Kerr (1915 – 1988) – Riding to Town [3:09]

Shawn E. Okpebholo (b. 1981) – Two Black Churches* [15:23]
     12. I. Ballad of Birmingham [9:19]
     13. II. The Rain [6:01]

Robert Owens (1925 – 2017) – Mortal Storm, Op. 29 [10:17]
     14. I. A House in Taos [3:21]
     15. II. Little Song [2:19] 
     16. III. Jaime [0:37]
     17. IV. Faithful One [1:42]
     18. V. Genius Child [2:08]

19. Richard Fariña (1937 – 1966) arr. Will Liverman – Birmingham Sunday [3:50]
     Will Liverman, piano

TT – 60:52

*World Premiere Recording

  

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

DaytonPerformingArts.org: Dayton Philharmonic: "Beethoven 8 and Florence Price" Live Stream premieres Saturday, January 23 at 8:30 p.m.


Beethoven 8 and Florence Price

Duration of performance: approx. 50 minutes (no intermission)

FLORENCE PRICE Violin Concerto No. 2
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8

JESSICA HUNG violin
NEAL GITTLEMAN artistic director and conductor
DAYTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is thrilled to be back on stage in the Schuster Center with a live audience for their first Masterworks Concert of the New Year! The concert opens with Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Price once wrote in a letter to conductor Serge Koussevitzky, “To begin with I have two handicaps – those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins,” adding “I would like to be judged on merit alone.” (www.npr.com) Merit, indeed, as her talent sparkles in this beautiful work. Concertmaster Jessica Hung takes center stage to perform Price’s composition. Then, continuing our two-year celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the DPO performs his Symphony No. 8, a short, spirited work composed between two much more famous symphonies, yet a definite force in its own right that celebrates the composer’s playful side. The DPO offers two live in-theatre performances of this concert (with no intermission) for those who cannot wait to be back in the Schuster Center to see and hear the DPO in person, as well as a live-stream option for those who prefer to view the performance from the comfort of home.

Live Stream Premiere

Purchase tickets 

You must register for a free membership or login to purchase access to this live stream.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sphinx Organization, Inc.: Announcing the 24th Annual Sphinx Competition Junior and Senior Division Finalists



The Sphinx Competition is the national competition offering young Black and Latinx classical string players the chance to perform under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and compete for prizes ranging from $3,000 to the first place $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize.

2021 Senior Division Finalists
  • Christian Gray, bass (Boston University)
  • Luiz Fernando Venturelli, cello (Northwestern University)
  • Samuel Abraham Vargas Teixeira, violin (Columbus State University)

2021 Junior Division Finalists
  • Amaryn Olmeda, violin (Homeschooled)
  • Jonathan Okseniuk, violin (Arete Preparatory Academy)
  • Dillon P. Scott, viola (North Penn High School)

In partnership with the DTE Energy Foundation, join us on Saturday, January 30th at 7:00 pm ET to watch them compete during the broadcast of the Junior and Senior Division Finals.

RSVP

The Finals concert will be available to stream on
our Facebook, YouTube, or website.



Before the Finals concert, join us at SphinxConnect 2021: UNITY, the annual epicenter where artists and leaders in diversity meet from January 28 to 30! Register now.

Sphinx Organization

John Malveaux: Dr. Michael Cooper's discoveries of works by Margaret Bonds is shown in "Margaret Bonds, Langston Hughes, and the 'Note on Commercial Theater'"

Dr. Michael Cooper

John Malveaux of MusicUNTOLD.com writes:

Dr. Michael Cooper's invaluable research and discoveries of previously unknown compositions by African American composer Margaret Bonds is demonstrated in his recent writing  titled Margaret Bonds, Langston Hughes, and the Note on Commercial Theater https://cooperm55.wixsite.com/jmc3/post/yes-it-ll-be-me

Monday, January 18, 2021

Longy School of Music of Bard College is currently accepting applications for a position in the Composition and Theory Department


Longy School of Music of Bard College

Job Posting

Longy's commitment to racial equity is ensuring access, amplification, and power-shifting. As leaders, teachers, learners, and music-makers we are co-conspirators dismantling racism in music and higher education, thereby confronting racist power in society.  The Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts is currently accepting applications for a position in the Composition and Theory Department. Longy's mission is to prepare musicians to make a difference in the world. We are a degree-granting conservatory in Cambridge, MA and a Master of Arts in Teaching campus in Los Angeles, CA, the nation's first one-year, El Sistema-inspired degree programs. We've turned education on its head with our innovative Catalyst Curriculum, which pairs musical excellence with the skills needed to become a professional musician in a rapidly changing musical landscape. Our faculty prepares students to become exceptional musicians who can engage new audiences inside and outside the concert hall, teach anyone, anywhere, and use their artistry to change lives in communities around the world. Our culture encourages leadership, collaboration, entrepreneurial spirit, critical thinking skills, and the incubation of great musicians, dreams, and ideas. We value the transformational power of music, the art of teaching, a diverse and supportive community, dynamic interaction with the larger world, creative thought and innovation, and advocacy for our art. Join us, and become the musician, educator, and leader the world needs you to be. A link to the job posting and more information about Longy is listed below. 

Job Posting: 

Composition and Theory Department:

DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance, Inc.: Honoring Dr. King's Legacy

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Copyright © 2021 Washington, DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance, All rights reserved. 

Eric Conway: Morgan State University Choir Sings Charles Dickerson's "I Have a Dream" during Spring 2012 Concert

Maestro Charles Dickerson
Conductor and Composer

Eric Conway writes:

Hello all,

On this day, when our country celebrates the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of an extraordinary composition by Charles Dickerson that the Morgan choir sang many years ago.  The words of Dr. King's iconic “I Have a Dream” speech were masterfully set to music by Dickerson.  When the Morgan choir sang this piece in other countries like Brazil or Australia,  the audience would tear-up, get emotional, and stand-up in a rousing ovation at the end of our performances.  I believe they reacted not so much because they liked our performance, but more in support of Dr. King's vision in his speech.  His speech is known world-wide!  America is perhaps the first country to articulate the proposition of a democratic republic in our constitution.  Many other nations have subsequently tried to recreate the extraordinary system of government we enjoy in our country.

If you get a chance, please listen to our 2012 performance of Dickerson’s “I Have a Dream”.  I believe listening to this rousing composition will re-connect you with the still inspiring words of Dr. King’s speech in a way never before experienced.

Eric

Link to Morgan Choir performance of Charles Dickerson’s I Have a Dream”:

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

Adolphus Hailstork Fanfare on “Amazing Grace” transcribed by MGySgt Donald Patterson, Member, U.S. Marine Band, The President's Own, Inaugural Prelude Jan. 20

Adolphus Hailstork


Adolphus Hailstork writes:

Hi folks,

Thought you might want to know. The program begins at 10 am and is subject to change.  Fingers still crossed.

Best to all. Stay well.

Adolphus Hailstork

 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Arts Engines: Aaron Dworkin Interviews Trey Devey, President of Interlochen Center for the Arts


Welcome to this week's episode of Arts Engines which now reaches over 100,000 weekly viewers in partnership with Detroit Public Television, Ovation TV, The Violin Channel and American Public Media including Performance Today and YourClassical. Arts Engines seeks to share the most valuable advice and input from arts administrators who tell their stories of creative problem-solving, policy, economic impact, crisis management and empowering the future of our field.

This week's show is co-curated by our Creative Partner, the Interlochen Center for the Arts and our guest is Trey Devey, President of Interlochen.  Enjoy... and have a creative week!


John Malveaux: Music researcher and professor Dr. Michael Cooper shared a paper about Margaret Bonds' composition NO MAN HAS SEEN HIS FACE

Dr. Michael Cooper

John Malveaux of MusicUNTOLD.com writes:

Music researcher and professor Dr. Michael Cooper shared a paper about Margaret Bonds' composition

NO MAN HAS SEEN HIS FACE

FOREWORD

About the Composer

Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-72) stands as one of the more remarkable composers in twentieth-century music – woman or man, Black or White. [1]  Her mother was a musician who studied at Chicago Musical College; her father, a doctor who also authored one of the first published books for Black children and the lexicon Noted Negro Women: Their Triumphs and Activities (Jackson, Tennessee, 1893). She grew up in a home that, while on the segregated Black south side of Chicago, was relatively affluent and a cultural mecca for musicians and other artists of color. By the age of eight she had been taking piano lessons for several years and written her first composition, and by the time she entered Northwestern University in 1929 she had studied piano and perhaps composition with Theodore Taylor of the Coleridge-Taylor Music School, as well as Florence Price. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northwestern University, where she had to study in the basement of the library because of her race. She earned a reputation for her social-justice activities on behalf of African Americans, and her later interviews also emphasize the deeply sexist nature of her world. In a 1964 interview with The Washington Post, she proclaimed: “I am a musician and a humanitarian. . . . People don’t really think a woman can compete in this field [of concert music]. . . . Women are expected to be wives, mothers and do all the nasty things in the community (Oh, I do them), and if a woman is cursed with talent, too, then she keeps apologizing for it.”[2]  By 1967 her renown was so great that Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley proclaimed January 31 of that year as the city’s official Margaret Bonds Day. Having traveled between New York City and  Los Angeles for many years for her career, she decided to relocate to Los Angeles after the death of her longtime friend and collaborator Langston Hughes in 1967. She remained based there, composing, collaborating, and concertizing, until her death in 1972.

 

About the Work

No Man Has Seen His Face is one of two short sacred choruses and two sacred songs on the same texts that Bonds composed in March, 1968. The words were written by Janice Lovoos (1903 – 2007), herself a multifaceted artist, critic, and librettist, and a frequent collaborator of Bonds. The autograph for the choral version of No Man Has Seen His Face is dated March 21, 1968, and on that same day Bonds also wrote two versions of the work for solo voice with piano (high key and medium key).[3] Like Touch the Hem of His Garment [...], this work reflects Bonds’s lifelong involvement with church singers and church choirs, offering high-quality music that does not exceed the technical abilities of proficient amateurs. It is also a consciously simple profession of abiding faith – an admonition and reminder that God’s presence is everywhere, and that because believers see that presence they must never doubt His existence or, more importantly, His love. Bonds’s music is largely diatonic, with plentiful major-seventh chords that reflect the influence of popular song of the 1960s. Its unaffected style cohabitates with other features that subtly bespeak her talents in the concert-music traditions – for example, the treatment of the end of the B section as an intensification of throbbing repeated chords that resolves with the return to the tonic in m. 31, and the return of this heightened emotion at the mention of divine mercy freely given (mm. 40ff). This combination of musical quality with technical accessibility explains the respect Bonds commanded in the musical world – despite her sex and her race –from the late 1930s until her death.

 

About the Edition

This edition generally presents Bonds’s music as she wrote it, differentiating between authorial and editorial information. Editorial slurs are perforated, and editorial dynamics, expressive markings, and tempos are presented in Roman font with brackets. Editorial extensions of dynamic and expressive markings are perforated and hooked at each end.

Four sources for No Man Has Seen His Face survive, all in the James Weldon Johnson Collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University (shelfmark JWJ MSS 151 Box 7, folder 36):[4]

AS 1: Autograph full score, 7 pp., headed “NO MAN HAS SEEN HIS FACE / SATB with piano accompaniment / and Sop[rano] or Tenor Solo / Words by Janice Lovoos [space] Music by Margaret Bonds.” At the end it bears the autograph inscription “March 21, 1968 / Home of Thor and Janice Lovoos / Hollywood, Cal.” This manuscript includes autograph pencil cues to pages 3-14 of another manuscript – suggesting, since AS 1 is only seven pages long, that there is also another manuscript (now lost) of the work that is either scored for larger ensemble or written on paper of a different format – both situations that would require more paper for the same music. AS 1 also contains autograph pencil corrections that are not incorporated into the other manuscripts, suggesting that it postdates them.

CS 1: Transfer-paper copy of autograph full score, 7 pp. Although this manuscript concurs with AS 1 in most regards, it includes some subtle variants (noted in the Critical Notes below).

CS 2: Version for high voice and piano, 4 pp.[5]

CS 3: Version for medium voice and piano, 4 pp., transposed to E-flat major.[6]

Critical Notes: This edition takes source AS 1 as its copy-text. The tempo and style designation “Andantino – cantabile” is lacking in both AS 1 and CS 1 and is adopted here from CS 2 and CS 3. Notes: Mm. 30-31, S/T solo:  b1 in CS1, CS 2, and CS 3, originally b1 in AS1, but crossed out and changed to d2 in pencil; m. 39, beat 4, T, B, Pf: f lacking in CS 1; m. 40 Pf: LH slur lacking in CS 1; 43-44 , A, T, B: slur lacking in CS 1 in 43, but completion included after the system break to m. 44.

Acknowledgments

First and foremost, I thank the family of Margaret Bonds for their permission to publish these materials. Thanks are also due to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University for granting access to the autographs used for this edition. I also thank Elinor Armsby and Nancy Hale at Hildegard Publishing Company for their interest in this project and for shepherding it through the publishing process. Finally, I thank my family for their patience and support unending.

– Michael Cooper

            [1] There is still no book-length biography of Bonds. By far the best study currently available is Helen Walker-Hill’s chapter in her From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American Women Composers and Their Music (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007), pp. 140-88.

[2] Christina Demaitre, “She Has a Musical Mission: Developing Racial Harmony; Heritage Motivates Composing Career,” The Washington Post 87, no. 253 (14 August 1964).

[3] See Margaret Bonds: Three Sacred Songs, ed. John Michael Cooper (Bryn Mawr: Hildegard Publishing, 2021). 

[4] This folder also includes Touch the Hem of His Garment in versions for chorus and piano and solo voice with piano, as well as autograph scores for three other works: Will There Be Enough?, Go Back to Leanna, and the “novelty song” The Animal Rock ’n’ Roll.

[5] A copy of this manuscript from the collection of Charlotte Holloman is in the possession of Dr. Louise Toppin and will soon be published by Videmus Editions (Ann Arbor, Michigan).

[6] The solo versions are published in Margaret Bonds: Three Sacred Songs, ed. John Michael Cooper (Bryn Mawr: Hildegard Publishing, 2021).