Thursday, September 30, 2021 Experiential Orchestra presents Renewal: An Evening with Dr. Louise Toppin in New York City October 2, 2021 at 8 PM

Dr. Louise Toppin

Jensen Artists, Neighbor

Fresh from winning its first Grammy Award, Experiential Orchestra (EXO), led by Music Director James Blachly, opens its 2021-22 season with a concert highlighting its partnership with the African Diaspora Music Project (ADMP). Featuring ADMP Founder and Editor, celebrated soprano Dr. Louise Toppin, the program includes two New York premieres by 20th century African-American composer Julia Perry – her Prelude for Strings from 1946, revised 1962 and newly orchestrated by Roger Zahab, and Symphony for Violas and Basses from 1961, a substantial one-movement work. The concert also includes Quinn Mason’s Reflections on a Memorial (2020), Jessica Meyer’s Through Which We Flow (2017), and three works for voice – “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel” by David Baker from his cycle Wisdom (1990), recorded by Toppin; “Golden Days” by William Grant Still from his opera Costaso (1950); and Jessie Montgomery’s I Want to Go Home (2015), premiered with the composer, Julia Bullock, and Blachly in 2015. Florence Price's "Ethiopia's Shadow in America" and Valerie Coleman's "Fanfare for Uncommon Times" are featured Sunday, October 3 at 3 PM

Valerie Coleman

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) announces the return to indoor orchestra concerts, beginning Sunday, October 3 at 3pm at the Shubert Theatre in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. This concert will be the Symphony’s first return to the stage as a full orchestra since March 2020.

Led by music director Alasdair Neale, the October 3 concert program will feature Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Coleman’s Fanfare for Uncommon Times, Price’s Ethiopia’s Shadow in America, and Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with guest soloist Tai Murray. Murray performed Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto with the NHSO in March 2019 and is one of the newest members of the Yale School of Music faculty.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Chicago Sinfonietta: An exclusive concert...Saturday, October 9th at six o'clock in the evening Fairmont Hotel Millennium Park


This will be music to your ears...

Keep reading for a preview of our 2021 Annual Ball Musical Program

The global influence of our One World. One Sound. ball theme is showcased in the beautifully diverse musical program for the evening.

Your exclusive concert highlights musical stylings from around the world, led by both Maestra Mei-Ann Chen, and our Project Inclusion Conducting Fellows Kyle Dickson and Taichi Fukumura.

Other highlights include a sneak-peek of Project Inclusion Composing Fellow Michelle Isaac's new work Moshe's Dream, and local mezzo-soprano soloist, Leah Dexter. The evening finishes with a Dvorak favorite in tribute to Chicago Sinfonietta Founder Paul Freeman

African Influence in Great Britain  

Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Danse Négre (mvt. IV) from African Suite, op. 35  

(Conductor: Mei-Ann Chen) 


African Rhythm Realized in America  

Florence PRICE (arr. STILL): Dances in the Canebrakes  

I. Nimble Feet (Conductor: Kyle Dickson)  


Klezmer Near Home  

Michelle ISAAC: Excerpts from Moshe’s Dream 

(Conductor: Taichi Fukumura)  



CHEN/HE: Butterfly Lovers 

(Conductor: Mei-Ann Chen) 


European Tradition with Local Soloist, Leah Dexter  

Georges BIZET: Habanera & Seguidilla from Carmen  

(Conductor: Mei-Ann Chen) 


Tribute to Maestro Freeman Honoring His Czech Connection 

DVORAK: Slavonic Dance in G minor, op. 46 no. 8  

(Conductor: Mei-Ann Chen and Dan Grossman) 


A few tickets are still available for this elegant evening. Click the button below to learn more, and see you at the Fairmont!

2021 Chicago Sinfonietta Annual Ball
Saturday, October 9th at six o'clock in the evening
Fairmont Hotel Millennium Park

Get Tickets UW-Madison alum and diverse group bring classical music back to Union Theater; Concert will be streamed online at 7:30 PM Central Time

Sphinx Virtuosi, shown here at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C., will perform Thursday at Shannon Hall on the UW-Madison campus.


September 29, 2021

Gayle Worland

After a year of separation due to COVID-19, the diverse and nationally renowned chamber orchestra Sphinx Virtuosi is back and rehearsing in what might seem like an unlikely spot: a Downtown ballroom in the Madison Concourse Hotel.

Memorial Union. It’s the first stop on Sphinx Virtuosi’s national fall tour, and also the first classical music concert with an in-person audience held in the UW-Madison theater since the pandemic halted operations in March 2020. The concert also will be streamed online.


Emilia Mettenbrink, a violinist with the ensemble and a UW-Madison alum, is a violinist with Sphinx Virtuosi.  (Emilia Mettenbrink)

For musicians, “It always feels a bit like boot camp” when a group gets back together to rehearse after months apart, said Emilia Mettenbrink, a violinist with the ensemble and a UW-Madison alum.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

John Malveaux: Sept 27, 2021 Opening night curtain call-Metropolitan Opera historic production of FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES

 John Malveaux of writes:

Sept 27, 2021 Opening night curtain call-Metropolitan Opera historic production of FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES

Monday, September 27, 2021

Sphinx Organization Inc: Special Offer: Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall, 10/15!

Join us at Carnegie Hall!                
Sphinx Virtuosi Concert and Gala                  
October 15 at 7:00 PM ET

Sphinx Organization
Special offer $5 tickets!

Available exclusively for our Sphinx 
community, $5 concert-only tickets 
are available using promo code 
SPH36236 at checkout (general 
admission). Up to 8 tickets can be 
purchased per transaction.

Gala Tickets and 
Gala tickets begin at $500 and 
sponsorships at $1,500. For additional 
information about gala sponsorships 
and other available ticket 
options, visit our website or email 

NextGen tickets are now available to 
patrons under 45 for $150 to attend 
the Concert and Gala! 

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performances September 30-October 2 include James P. Johnson's "Drums: A Symphonic Poem," lost for 40 years

James P. Johnson (1894-1955)

Postcards from Around the World begins at the Hilbert Circle Theatre

Internationally renowned violinist and International Violin Competition Gold Medalist Augustin Hadelich featured with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Augustin Hadelich, the winner of the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis gold medal and named 2018 Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America, will be the featured soloist for the September 30-October 2 performances of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as Miguel Harth-Bedoya serves as guest conductor.

The program, Welcome to the United States of America launches the ISO Postcards from Around the World -- the focus of the 2021-22 season of the DeHaan Classical Series. Hadelich will perform the Barber Violin Concerto. 


Also on the program: 

James P. Johnson’s Drums: A Symphonic Poem. This stellar piano player and jazz composer was arguably the most important Black musician in New York in the 1920s when he wrote “Drums,” which was lost for 40 years. 

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday, October 1 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, October 2. An abbreviated matinee of Coffee Classical begins at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 30.

No ticket fees this season.

Lara Downes: The First LIGHT of a New Day, from Rising Sun Music - the first of a three-part focus on the Great Migration; Price, Bonds and Burleigh

Lara Downes writes:

Happy Monday, with some new music!

I'm proud to share with you the release of LIGHT, from Rising Sun Music - the first of a three-part focus on the Great Migration. Stream the EP HERE.

This music tells the story of the millions of Black Americans who migrated out of the rural South, following a ray of light called hope in search of a better life. They left behind everything and everyone they knew. They took only what they could carry, the humblest of belongings. But what they brought with them—their dreams, their courage, their faith in a brighter tomorrow—transformed American life and culture in every possible way. 

Along with works by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Henry T. Burleigh, and others, I'm thrilled that this series is bringing you world premiere recordings of works by two of today's most important young American composers: Carlos Simon and Jessie Montgomery.

Carlos' string quartet Warmth from Other Suns, performed by the Ivalas Quartet, comes in three monthly installments beginning with today's release.  Jessie's Starburst, in a phenomenal recording by The Knights, will drop on October 22.

Sign up HERE to be notified of each monthly release as it arrives!

Sending you much love and light-


Sunday, September 26, 2021 "Hailstork’s 'Fanfare' is a skillfully written icebreaker that provided members of the brass section plenty of opportunity to display their considerable chops."

Adolphus Hailstork

Spokane, Washington

September 20, 2021

By Larry Lapidus For The Spokesman-Review

At a point when it still appeared possible that the Spokane Symphony might be able to start its season in September 2020, music director James Lowe considered programming the Symphony No. 2 of Gustav Mahler, the “Resurrection” Symphony, for the inaugural concert. As we know, the orchestra and its audience had to wait an additional 12 months, until Saturday night, for that concert to take place.

When it did, the music it offered was both truer to what people have endured and more inspiring in thinking of what remains to endure than Mahler’s great symphony, which describes mankind’s rebirth into a life free from sorrow and death. Instead, Lowe and his orchestra presented a program that guides to find joy and fulfillment in life while acknowledging its tragic nature.

The three works of the weekend program – the “Fanfare on Amazing Grace (2011),” of American composer Adolphus Hailstork (1941-); the Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47 (1905), of the Finnish Jean Sibelius (1865-1957); and Johannes Brahms’ (1833-1897) Symphony No. 2 in D major Op. 73 (1877) – project the qualities that have accounted for the continued existence of the Spokane Symphony through this period of unprecedented peril.


Hailstork’s “Fanfare” is a skillfully written icebreaker that provided members of the brass section plenty of opportunity to display their considerable chops.

After 90 seconds of joyous noise, the strings enter with a swelling statement of the great English hymn. The impact of programming the piece was greatly increased by Lowe’s decision to call on the magnificent resources of the Spokane Symphony Chorale to precede it with a brief but deeply affecting rendition of the hymn.

Leading the group was superb director Kristina Ploeger-Hekmatpanah. As the auditorium lighting dimmed, members of the chorale spread out across the balcony. I am sure that chills were not confined to my spine alone, as their voices, pure and solemn, emerged from the darkness to remind of the ultimate source of the energy that had brought everyone together.

The African Concert Series' free lunchtime concert at St. Olave's Church, 8 Hart Street, London EC3R 7NB, near Tower Hill, London on Thursday, 14 October, 1PM.

Eni Fashanu writes:

Dear Friends,

I hope this email finds you well. You are cordially invited to The African Concert Series' lunchtime concert at St. Olave's Church, 8 Hart Street, London EC3R 7NB, near Tower Hill, London on Thursday, 14 October, 1PM.
The concert will feature African Art Songs with Njabulo Madlala, Piano Music from Morocco performed by Rebeca Omordia, The South African Double Bass with Leon Bosch and Fela Sowande's African Suite arranged for piano quintet by Robert Matthew-Walker, performed by Ubuntu Ensemble. Please find attached the poster for full details of the event. 
The entry is free so please bring friends along with you!
We look forward to seeing you there. 

Best regards,

The African Concert Series
Eni Fashanu
PA, The African Concert Series

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Arts Engines: Aaron Dworkin Interviews Stephen Beaudoin, Executive Director of The Washington Chorus!

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 Washington Chorus and our guest is Stephen Beaudoin, Executive Director of The Washington Chorus as he talks about the chorus of tomorrow and the role of the arts in building community.  Enjoy... and have a creative week!

Sandra Seaton: On Friday, September 24, "The First Bluebird in The Morning," my collaboration with composer Carlos Simon, premiered on the LA Opera website.

Carlos Simon

Sandra Seaton writes:

Dear Bill,

Hope you're doing well.

On Friday, September 24, The First Bluebird in The Morning, my collaboration with composer Carlos Simon, premiered on the LA Opera website. The piece is about a young man's conversation with a bluebird in the days before he goes on parole.   I'm thrilled to share the beautiful work of Carlos Simon, Joshua Blue, Jamar Roberts, Howard Watkins, Lloyd Knight, Anja Wood, and Marlan Barry. My words were in wonderful hands!

Here's the link. It's a short piece about 10 minutes. If you use the subtitles, it adds to the experience.

Hope you get a chance to watch it.

Take care,

Friday, September 24, 2021 Stream an Operatic Rarity by a Black Composer...William Grant Still’s “Highway 1, U.S.A.,” staged by Opera Theater of St. Louis, until Sept. 30

Credit... Eric Woolsey

Seth Colter Walls

Sept. 24, 2021

Want a break from prestige TV for an evening? Good news: An important 20th-century American opera is newly available to stream, after a rare live staging this summer. And it’s about 50 minutes long, just like an episode of “The Crown.”

The bad news: It’s only available until Sept. 30. (Tight streaming windows are an all-too-regular issue in a classical field still adapting to digital formats.)

The work is “Highway 1, U.S.A,” which combines swift narrative drive and some folksy, mellifluous tunes with a look at the tension between community belonging and individual advancement. The plucky company is Opera Theater of St. Louis, which has made its summer festival slate available for rental on its website, through the end of this month.

With an excellent cast, Leonard Slatkin as conductor and a crisp production by Ron Himes, founder of The Black Rep company in St. Louis, this one-act is the work of William Grant Still (1895-1978), known in his lifetime as the “dean” of Black American composers.

Credit...Eric Woolsey

Opera Theater of St. Louis gave Blanchard an early boost, staging both “Fire” and his first opera, “Champion” (2013). The company is giving its larger competitors on the American opera scene another chance to play catch-up when it comes to Still’s “Highway,” which has rarely been performed since its 1963 premiere.

The work revolves around a married couple, Bob and Mary, who run a rural filling station. The couple has supported Bob’s younger brother Nate through his undergraduate studies, as the brothers’ mother had requested on her deathbed. But now, as Nate prepares to graduate, Mary (the soprano Nicole Cabell) is dismayed to discover that he hopes to secure their patronage for a while longer.

In this performance, Mary pivots thrillingly between the loving entreaties she makes to her husband and the hint of rising conflict with Nate. As she fulminates, Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra respond with punchy yet well-judged changes in dynamics — perhaps with an eye to the film and TV scores that Still produced after having his early operas rebuffed by the Met.

The Bob in this production is Will Liverman, who plays the leading role in “Fire” at the Met and will also play Malcolm X when Anthony Davis’s “X” arrives there in 2023. Bob gets some of the most beautiful solo music in “Highway,” which Liverman handles with affecting, even soothing grace. But he also makes the most of the moments that curdle. In the second scene, when Bob briefly comes around to Mary’s more jaundiced view of his brother, Liverman seethes along with the churning, mechanical sound that Slatkin elicits from the orchestra.

Sergio A. Mims: DGG released today their recording of Florence Price's Symphonies 1 and 3 which is their first installment of recordings of the Price Symphonies

Sergio A. Mims writes:

The classical music label Deutsche Grammophon (DGG)  released today their recording of Florence Price's Symphonies 1 and 3 which is their first installment of recordings of the Price Symphonies with the Philadelphia Orchestra and its music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin.  The second recording will be released early next year.

Thursday, September 23, 2021 Eric Owens in Verdi "Requiem": "And when Owens began the 'Mors stupebit' section with earthy deep tones, he sounded truly stunned."

 Credit...Richard Termine/Met Opera

September 12, 2021

What it meant to be in the audience at the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday evening — for the first indoor performance there since March 2020 — was clear even before the music began.

The theater’s doors had been closed to listeners for 18 months, almost to the day. After standing on lines that extended out into the Lincoln Center plaza and showing proof of vaccination, it felt almost unreal to me to be back in the gilded auditorium for Verdi’s Requiem, the company’s commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.


It began slowly, with some claps here and there. Then built into vigorous applause and bravos. And then whoops, shouts and an exuberant standing ovation. Many choristers wiped away tears. Others touched their hearts or waved in gratitude.

Things calmed down only after the Met’s concertmaster, Benjamin Bowman, came out to lead the orchestra in tuning up. Then, when Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the company’s music director, appeared with the four vocal soloists — the soprano Ailyn Pérez, the mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, the tenor Matthew Polenzani and the bass-baritone Eric Owens — another prolonged standing ovation began.

The soloists were excellent. Pérez sang beautifully, with radiant sound — sometimes seeming angelic, sometimes fiery. DeYoung balanced smoldering intensity with affecting refinement. Polenzani was ardent and earnest in a splendidly sung “Ingemisco.” And when Owens began the “Mors stupebit” section with earthy deep tones, he sounded truly stunned.

Intercultural Music Initiative: 2021/2022 Season Opening Concert Sunday, October 17, 2021, 3:00 PM CT, simulcast on Facebook and YouTube

Folks, it's time!

And we're proud to announce kick off concert to our IMI 2021-2022 Season, continuing our work highlighting African descent composers of classical music. It's going to be an in-person concert, with masks required, per venue requirement. Also to be simulbroadcast on Facebook and YouTube. Please share our FB post at


Tuesday, September 21, 2021 Sphinx Virtuosi to return to UNCSA with concert that challenges the classical canon, Oct. 5; Register for free livestream

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)
(University of Arkansas Libraries)

Jessie Montgomery

September 21, 2021

WINSTON-SALEM – Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra composed of some of the nation’s top Black and Latinx classical soloists, will return to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) to perform Tracing Visions, a program that sets out to challenge and evolve the classical canon by illuminating a new pathway for listening, sharing and expression.

The group’s third concert at UNCSA will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, in state-of-the-art Watson Hall on the UNCSA campus. Tickets are $20 regular and $15 student and are available at or by calling the box office at 336-721-1945. UNCSA performance venues will be open at full capacity and audiences will be required to wear masks. UNCSA will livestream the concert through the new series Live from Watson Hall. Register for the free livestream at

In what the ensemble refers to as a “a bit of a musical archeology project,” the program offers elements of uncovered literature by Samuel Coleridge Taylor and Florence Price, and Ginastera's epic Concerto for Strings, as well as a visit to Cuba for a glimpse into the sounds from afar that have influenced much of what we listen to today. The program seeks to tell a more complete story of America through the voice of Xavier Foley and his vision of the “Black National Anthem.” Jessie Montgomery's “Banner” unleashes the vibrancy of the many voices comprising our country and its very fabric.

“Sphinx Virtuosi is one of the most dynamic chamber orchestras in America,” said Saxton Rose, dean of the School of Music. “We’re proud to offer a performance of this caliber to our students and our patrons, continuing the School of Music’s longstanding commitment to perform music being composed today alongside classics from centuries past, by composers who represent the full mosaic of our global creative ecosystem.”

While they are at UNCSA, the members of Sphinx Virtuosi will record the work of student composers in a state-of-the-art studio that opened this fall; will visit string masterclasses; and will hold a question-and-answer session with Music students.

Sphinx Virtuosi was founded in 2004 by the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, a social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Performers are alumni of the renowned Sphinx Competition who come together each fall to reach new audiences. Through the Sphinx Virtuosi National Tour, this self-conducted ensemble brings fresh, diverse programming to leading venues around the country and engages in immersive outreach to bring classical music to communities nationwide, including students of all ages. Including annual stops at Carnegie Hall and Miami’s New World Center, the Sphinx Virtuosi perform to sold-out crowds and continue to garner critical acclaim.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Riccardi Muti Conducts Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Florence B. Price & Ludwig van Beethoven3 Sep 23-25

"Saint-Georges with Violin, watercolor for AfriClassical"
© Copyright 2020 AfriClassical; Artist: Olesia Panaseiko 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

African American Network Ticket Offers - This Week

Dear African American Network Members and Friends,

Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra reunite! Don’t miss their first performance together since February 2020, September 23-25 at Symphony Center. The program features the enchanting, lyrical gem Andante moderato by Florence Price; music from the only surviving opera by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint- Georges, and Beethoven’s stirring Eroica Symphony.

As a member of the African American Network, you can access $40 tickets for this concert and many others coming up. Visit the season calendar page, enter AAN into the promo code field and view all concerts currently available with the AAN discount for the Fall 2021 Season.

More perks for AAN members: personalize a subscription package with the Create Your Own (CYO) series — buy three or more concerts from the fall concert offerings and save 10%. To learn more, visit

Stayed tuned for more announcements from the CSO and AAN. 

Joyfully yours,

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

Monday, September 20, 2021

Congo Square Theatre announces new Artistic Director, Ericka Ratcliff

Ericka Ratcliff

Joining Executive Director Charlique C. Rolle, females now hold both top leadership roles at Congo Square Theatre for first time in Company’s 22+ year history

CHICAGO (September 20, 2021)—Congo Square Theatre Company, one of the nation’s premier African American theatres, today announced that longtime Company member Ericka Ratcliff will serve as its new Artistic Director, effective immediately. Ratcliff becomes only the fourth Artistic Director in the Company’s 22+ year history, and the first female in that role.  

Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Ratcliff first performed with Congo Square in the premiere production of Lydia Diamond's Stickfly in 2006. Other Congo Square credits include African Company Presents Richard III, Talented Tenth, The Colored Museum, 365 Plays/365 Days, and Bulrusher.  Her impressive list of regional and local theater credits also includes performances with Second City, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northlight, Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare, Collaboraction, Mixed Blood, Milwaukee Rep, CENTERSTAGE, Pittsburgh Playwrights and Alliance Theatre to name more than a few. In addition to her role with Congo Square, Ratcliff is also an emeritus ensemble member with The House Theatre of Chicago and an artistic associate with Lookingglass. She is a graduate of Roosevelt University.

“From the first time I encountered Congo Square through its production of Chadwick Boseman’s Deep Azure, I became immediately enthralled by the company because of the beauty of the work, the authenticity of Black culture being represented on stage, and the celebration of Black artists as a family through the ensemble,” said Ratcliff. “I instantly knew how special Congo was in that moment and that it would continue to be for a lifetime. Congo played a pivotal role in my development as an artist, and I am so fortunate to continue to help lead this organization, creating a space, a home, and a family, where our ensemble and Black artists can continue to call home and flourish in their work and their craft.”

“I am thrilled to be partnering with Ericka as we continue to build the legacy of Congo Square Theatre! Ericka brings a wealth of experience and passion for the theatre. She has served in a variety of roles within the organization over the years, including Community Engagement + Education Associate, Literary Manager, Casting Director, Associate Artistic Director to the late Samuel G. Roberson, and many other roles, so she is well equipped to lead and support our artists and the future of our work,” says Executive Director Charlique C. Rolle.

Board Chair Gertrude Wooten also shared the excitement of the board for Ratcliff’s hiring, stating, “As a longtime supporter of Congo Square Theatre Company and its current Board Chair, I am thrilled with the hiring of Ericka Ratcliff as our Artistic Director.  Ericka is an extremely talented actor and has been a part of the Congo Square family for many years. We fully expect her to bring the same talent and enthusiasm to this new position and strongly believe that she is the perfect person to lead the Ensemble to another level. We look forward to great things coming from Ericka’s leadership and are standing ready to fully support her.”

In addition to the hiring of Ratcliff as Artistic Director, Congo Square is pleased to welcome four new Board members including Kristopher Anderson, Director of Government & External Affairs at Chicago Association of Realtors; Jeffery Beckham Jr., CEO of Chicago Scholars; Kristen Evans, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Operations at RLM Media & Advertising; and Dorsey Norman III, Owner/Accountant of Dorsey Norman III & Associates.

Currently underway is the first offering of Congo Square’s 22nd season: a new Audio Series introducing the old school radio drama genre to a new, streaming audience; its intriguing inaugural program, THE CLINIC, is now available for tune-in through October 10 only via Then, starting October 29, the cast and crew of Congo Square’s hit sketch comedy Hit‘em On The Blackside ups the ante in Season 2 by bringing back memorable characters from Season 1 for an exciting crossover story that spans 12 new episodes.  Learn more about all of Congo Square’s upcoming season, both virtual and in-person, by visiting

About Congo Square Theatre Company

Congo Square Theatre Company is an ensemble dedicated to producing transformative work rooted in the African Diaspora. We are a haven for artists of color to challenge and redefine the theatrical canon by amplifying and creating stories that reflect the reach and complexities of Black Culture. Congo Square is one of only two African American Actors’ Equity theatre companies in Chicago. Founded in 1999, Congo Square aimed to provide a platform for black artists to perform and present classic and new work that exemplified the majesty, diversity, and intersectionality of stories from the African Diaspora.

Congo Square has risen to become one of the most well-respected African American theatres in the nation. Previously mentored by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, Congo Square would go on to cultivate talents such as playwright Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), who penned the 2006 Jeff nominated play Deep Azure, and playwright Lydia Diamond, who penned the massively successful Stick Fly, a critically acclaimed play that explores race, class, and familial friction. Stick Fly ultimately ran on Broadway and is currently being developed into a full-length series for HBO with Alicia Keys serving as a producer. Congo Square also produced the widely praised Seven Guitars, which would eventually go on to win top honors for best ensemble, best direction, and best production at the 2005 Joseph Jefferson Awards. This would earn the theatre company the distinction of being the first African American theatre company to receive such an honor.

Congo Square’s Educational Programs bring the impact of theater to young audiences. Its outreach programs, CORE (Curriculum Objectives Residency Enrichment), and CAST (Congo After School Theatre), present and teach theater arts by providing classroom and after-school residencies that provide Teaching Artists to build upon already established Chicago Public Schools literature and art curriculums. CORE and CAST impact students and schools located on the South and West sides of the city.

For more information on Congo Square’s 2021-22 Season, visit


Chicago Sinfonietta: We're back at Symphony Center TONIGHT! The evening closes with American composer William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony

William Levi Dawson (1899-1990)

Chicago Sinfonietta

Chicago Sinfonietta

September 20, 2021

It's been too long. We are so excited to be BACK at Symphony Center tonight, Monday September 20th. NEW FOLK starts at 7:30pm, and here's what to expect:

Chicago Sinfonietta’s 34th season opens with a concert that will remind you why there is no substitution for live music. The rhythmic spontaneity and seductive expression of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 opens the concert, followed by violinist Tessa Lark’s compelling energy in Michael Torke’s SKY, a fusion inspired by Irish reel and American bluegrass. The evening closes with American composer William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, a Chicago Sinfonietta signature piece full of emotion and cinematic drama.

It's an amazing concert, and we highly suggest you bring a friend! Get $5 tickets using code PWYC5FOLK at checkout! 

And don't forget your vaccination card or proof of negative test. You can view the full guidelines here.

See you soon!