Thursday, July 29, 2021

Colour of Music Festival in "Residency" University of South Carolina Sept 9-11

 Mahogany Music Festival

2021 Colour of Music Festival ‘UofSC-Columbia Residency’ Sept. 9-11

Black Professional Classical Musicians • University of South Carolina

Vanessa Williams
(Rod Spicer)

July 28, 2021 Charleston SC—The Colour of Music Festival (COMF) announces its return to Columbia, South Carolina, in “Residency” at the University of South Carolina School of Music (UofSC), Sept. 9-11, presenting performances and a masterclass at the UofSC Koger Center for the Performing Arts, the UofSC School of Music Recital Hall and Hootie Johnson Hall at the Darla Moore School of Business.

Since 2013, the Colour of Music Festival has brought classically trained black musicians together to offer the public an opportunity to experience the talent of prodigiously gifted classical principals, composers and performers of African descent share their musical talents, knowledge, and inspiration and showcase the impact and significance of black classical composers and performers on America and world culture.

Presented by the UofSC School of Music in collaboration with the Auntie Karen Foundation whose mission is to empower, enlighten and educate through the arts, the Mahogany Music Festival will present three days of diverse classical performances.

Mahogany Music Festival highlights include:

  • Colour of Music Festival Octet and UofSC Alumni will perform a special chamber presentation of the Mendelssohn Octet and chamber works by Joseph Haydn, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and William Grant Still at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9.
  • The Festival’s Masterworks program Friday, September 10 opens at 8 p.m. with the Auntie Karen Foundation All-Star Band, then Maestro Julius P. Williams, conductor, will lead the Festival Orchestra in an evening with international vocal sensation Vanessa Williams performing an array of her international hits featuring orchestral arrangements by Ms. Williams’ long-time music director, Rob Mathis. A special cello solo Mr. Mathis arranged for YoYo Ma will also be performed by Ms. Williams and Kenneth Laws, cellist and Columbia, SC native.
  • On Sept. 11, the Colour of Music Orchestra will perform a FREE Masterworks concert featuring music that honors the 20th anniversary of September 11. This performance is conducted by Julius P. Williams at 7:30 p.m.
  • The Festival will also engage UofSC students in Masterclass settings and the area’s K-12 schoolchildren with educational and engagement activities throughout Richland County.    

“I am delighted the University of South Carolina is partnering with the Colour of Music Festival to recognize contributions of classical artists of African descent,” said Tayloe Harding, dean, UofSC School of Music. “This event is in line with the School of Music ‘practicing what we preach’ regarding diversity at UofSC while allowing students and classical music fans to experience new voices and perspectives showcasing successful black artists in traditional classical settings, many of whom have walked the halls of UofSC’s School of Music.” 

“The Mahogany Music Festival supports the vision of UofSC University’s Board in leveraging music and the arts to make higher education accessible and relevant to the widest possible cross-section of our diverse Columbia community with music and artists of the highest caliber in an event unlike any we have seen to date,” said Harris Pastides, former president of UofSC and current Interim president.

“Columbia is anchored by its state university (UofSC) and two historically black colleges. This community bridge is the perfect way to showcase many black artists whose ancestors did not even have the opportunity to partake in higher education’s music offerings at UofSC for many decades, now accessible to a younger black generation. We look forward to our return to Columbia with black talent from around the globe showcasing their contributions to the classical genre,” said Lee Pringle, COMF founder and artistic director.   

Colour of Music Festival | UofSC Residency Schedule: Mahogany Music Festival

Thursday, Sept. 9 | 7:30 p.m.

Chamber Music Presentation | UofSC School of Music Recital Hall

UofSC Alumni Chamber Players and Colour of Music Festival Octet | Free                                                                                                   

Friday, Sept. 10 | 8 p.m.

Opening Night Masterworks Series I | Koger Center for the Arts

Auntie Karen Foundation Legends of…featuring the All-Star Band at 8 p.m. and Colour of Music Festival Orchestra with guest artist Vanessa Williams conducted by Julius P. Williams, 9 p.m. | Tickets: $55-$77

Saturday Sept. 11 | 7:30 p.m.

Masterwork Series II | Koger Center for the Arts

September 11 20th Anniversary Memorial Performance

Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, guest conductor Julius P. Williams, and Lori C. Hicks, soprano | Free; ticket required

In person
: Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene Street, Columbia SC

By phone: 803-251-2222


About the Colour of Music Festival

The Colour of Music Festival, Inc. presents a diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical and 20th-century music at the highest of musical standards to diverse audiences nationally. The festival has presented in Atlanta; Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston; Pittsburgh; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington, D.C.

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