Thursday, March 31, 2022

Barbara Wright-Pryor comments on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's Recording of the Original Orchestration of the Florence Price Concerto in One Movement

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

Barbara Wright-Pryor comments on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's World Premiere Recording of the Composer's Original Orchestration of the Florence Price Concerto in One Movement:

Dear Bill and Joshua,

Due to multiple missing manuscripts in the Florence Price ouevre,  in 2010 The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR, established at Columbia College Chicago by researcher Samuel Floyd in 1983) commissioned Trevor Weston, associate professor of music at Drew University, to reconstruct the long-lost orchestral score for Price’s Concerto in One Movement for Piano and Orchestra in order to perform the concerto and release an album of the composer’s works which would become the third issue in the CBMR series Recorded Music of the African Diaspora.

Florence Price’s reconstructed Concerto in One Movement for Piano and Orchestra with Karen Walwyn, piano, and Symphony no. 1 in E minor with Leslie B. Dunner conducting the New Black Music Repertory Ensemble were performed at Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance on February 17, 2011, to great critical acclaim. The CD recording was released by Albany Records later that same year.

It is a treasure to learn that Price's manuscript for the Concerto was found among those located in the old abandoned vacation house in Southern Illinois.

I attach herewith program notes I wrote for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's 2013 performance of Price's "Mississippi River" Suite for additional data.

At the time I wrote these program notes I was President of The Chicago Music Association (CMA) of which Florence Price was a member. However, It was President Maude Roberts George (1932-1934) who met with Frederick Stock and personally underwrote the entire cost of the June 15, 1933 history-making performance of Symphony no. 1 in E minor. This long-established fact is recorded in CMA's Archival Records housed in the Columbia College Chicago Library seems to elude all program notes. Dominique Rene de Lerma and I received digital copies of the entire CMA Ledger when it was archived into the collection.

Congratulations on the successful recording of Florence Price's Concerto for Piano in One Movement. I await its release.

For the Love of Music
Barbara Wright-Pryor

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA)
  Planning Committee;
-The League of The
-The African American
   Network of The CSOA;
Rachel Barton Pine
   Foundation's "Music by
   Black Composers"
The Chicago Crusader
  Music Critic (Ret.)
Past President, Chicago
  Music Association (1996-

Program Notes
The Mississippi River
Florence Beatrice (Smith) Price
became the first black female
composer to have a symphony
performed by a major American
orchestra when CSO music director
Frederick Stock and the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra played the
world premiere of her Symphony
no. 1 in E minor on June 15, 1933,
at the Auditorium Theatre during
Chicago’s Century of Progress
Exposition. Price’s work had come
to Stock’s attention when it won
the prestigious Wanamaker Prize
the previous year.
The Chicago Daily News reported:
“It is a faultless work, a work
that speaks its own message
with restraint and yet with
passion . . . worthy of a place in the
regular symphonic repertory.” Later,
it would become known through
the archival records of the Chicago
Music Association (CMA) that
Maude Roberts George, classical
music critic for the Chicago Defender
and president of CMA, of which
Price was a member, underwrote
the June 15 performance.
Although this premiere brought
instant recognition and fame to
Florence Beatrice Price, success as
a composer was not to be hers. She
would “continue to wage an uphill
battle—a battle much larger than
any war that pure talent and musi-
cal skill could win. It was a battle in
which the nation was embroiled—a
dangerous mélange of segregation,
Jim Crow laws, entrenched rac-
ism, and sexism” (Women’s Voices
for Change, March 8, 2013). The
same fate would also befall fellow
Arkansan William Grant Still,
the “Dean of Black Composers”
(whose Afro-American Symphony
was performed by the Rochester
Philharmonic Symphony under
Howard Hanson, the first time
in history that a major American
orchestra had played a symphonic
work by a black composer), and
many others due to rampant,
endemic, and systemic racism.
Florence Price
Born April 9, 1887, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Died June 3, 1953, Chicago, Illinois.



First Performance
date unknown

These are the first
Chicago Symphony
Orchestra performances

three flutes and piccolo, two
oboes and english horn, two
clarinets and bass clarinet,
two bassoons and contra-
bassoon, four horns, three
trumpets, three trombones
and tuba, timpani, percus-
sion, harp, strings

erformance Time
28 minutes

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Releases World Premiere Recording of Florence Price “Piano Concerto in One Movement” with the Composer’s Orchestration

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 29, 2022) The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has released the world-premiere recording of groundbreaking Little Rock composer Florence Price’s own orchestration of her “Piano Concerto in One Movement.” Concert pianist Karen Walwyn joined ASO musicians and Artistic Director and Conductor Geoffrey Robson for the first commercial recording by ASO to be made available worldwide. This work was recorded at Robinson Center Performance Hall following a free community concert ASO performed in September 2021. The free concert celebrated the Little Rock community’s diverse musical traditions and kicked off a series of performances and events recognizing Florence Price’s musical legacy. The recording was released in advance of Florence Price Day, April 9, marking 135 years since her birth in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“It is our hope that this recording will contribute depth and clarity to the interpretation of Florence Price's unique music. We feel the spirit of Little Rock in her music and believe this is a significant step forward in our efforts to honor and recognize the rich musical heritage of this region,” said Robson. “We hope this recording will serve as inspiration to others who are learning about and performing the music of this very important American composer, Florence Price.

In 1933, Price made history when her “Symphony in E Minor” had its world premiere with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, making her the first African American woman composer to have her music performed by a major orchestra. Despite her success, her music was largely ignored by orchestras during her life and in the decades afterward because of her race and gender. During her time in Arkansas, Price lived in Little Rock’s Dunbar neighborhood. The Dunbar Historic Neighborhood Association partnered with the concert sponsor Stella Boyle Smith Trust to present the free community concert which featured Price’s work. The performance also included an outdoor livestream of the concert for residents of the Dunbar neighborhood.

“While groundbreaking in her time, many musicians and music lovers are just now discovering the catalog of Price’s music almost three generations later. Her work is not only historically important but is also truly inspired music that has the power to move hearts and minds today,” said Michael Mayton, trustee of the Stella Boyle Smith Trust. “It has been an honor to play a role in bringing the music of Florence Price to the forefront, celebrate her contributions and help inspire the next generation of musicians and composers.

“When I reflect on the life of Florence Price, I am reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who urged us to live as if we have a future no matter how many challenges and trials we encounter. In spite of spirit killing personal and professional disappointments and betrayals, Florence Price continued to compose exquisite music,” said Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton, former president of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, ion, inductee into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and Life Member of the ASO Board of Directors. “The fact that this music was little known and rarely acknowledged during Price's lifetime did not stop the quest for excellence. Florence Price had hope because she believed her work had meaning and purpose. Florence Price has given me the gift of soul satisfying music and an example of the fine art of growing roses in concrete.

ASO’s world premiere recording Florence Price: Concerto in One Movement is now available on most major streaming platforms, including Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Spotify and Tidal. Visit for the full list of platforms where this recording can be streamed.

About Karen Walwyn
Karen Walwyn, a concert pianist, composer and Albany Recording Artist, is the first female African American pianist/ composer to receive the Steinway Artist Award. Walwyn is in constant concert demand nationally and internationally for both her repertoire from Frédéric Chopin to Florence Price, as well as for performances of her own works for solo piano, choir and instrumental ensemble. For more information, please

About Geoffrey Robson
Geoffrey Robson currently serves as artistic director and associate conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra,and music director of the Arkansas Symphony Youth Ensembles. During his tenure in Arkansas, he has conducted critically acclaimed and sold-out masterworks, pops, chamber, and educational concerts throughout the state. He
also produces and writes At the Symphony, a concert preview radio series on KLRE Classical 90.5 in Little Rock. Learn more at:

About Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 56th full season in 2021-2022. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall. Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs more than sixty concerts each year for more than 165,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, Acxiom Pops Live! Series, River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series, and numerous concerts performed around the state of Arkansas, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 26,000 school children and over 200 schools. ASO's education programs include the Sturgis Music Academy, which provides violin and cello instruction to more than 350 students, and the ASO Youth Ensembles  Program, which has nearly 200 students enrolled in two full orchestras and a strings-only ensemble. ASO employs 12 full-time musicians, more than 70 part-time musicians and 15 administrative staff members with an annual operating budget of $3.5 million. Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is a member of the League of American Orchestras and a partner orchestra of the National Alliance for Audition Support, an unprecedented national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras. For more information about the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra call 501-666-1761 or visit

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Sergio A. Mims - Florence Price, William Dawson and George Walker on WHPK Tuesday April 5


Sergio A. Mims writes:


I wanted you and all your readers to know that on my classical music program on Tuesday April 5 will be a special program showcasing the music of George Walker, Florence Price and William Dawson.

On the program I will be playing the new and highly acclaimed DGG recording of Florence Price 's Symphony No. 1 played by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, The recent highly praised Naxos recording of  William Dawson's Negro Folk Symphony performed by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arthur Fagen and George Walker's Piano Sonatas 3, 4 and 5 performed by Steven Beck

As always my show can be heard locally from 12 noon to 3PM (Central time) in the Chicago area on WHPK -FM on 88.5FM and worldwide livestream on the station's website on

Monday, March 28, 2022

WNET: Friday on PBS: "Fire Shut Up in My Bones" from the Metropolitan Opera premieres April 1 at 9 PM ET (Check local listings)

 Walter Russell III and dancers in "Great Performances at the Met: Fire Shut Up in My Bones." 
Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera.

Featuring a libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons and a score by Grammy-winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard, the opera tells the story from Charles M. Blow's memoir. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown co-direct this new staging, with Brown also choreographing, becoming the first Black director to create a mainstage Met production. Baritone Will Liverman stars as Charles alongside soprano Angel Blue as Destiny/Loneliness/Greta with soprano Latonia Moore as Billie and Walter Russell III as Char’es-Baby. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

The Harlem Chamber Players: Thursday. March 31, 6 PM ET, Florence Price, Nkeiru Okoye, Beata Moon, Tania León at The Forum at Columbia University


Florence Price Quartet in G Major
Nkeiru Okoye Three Movements
Beata Moon Flowing from Quartet No. 2
Tania León Esencia
Nkeiru Okoye We Met at the Symphony for Soprano and String Quartet
(World premiere of the entire triptych; first performance of the 2nd and 3rd movements)

Jasmine Muhammad, Soprano
Ashley Horne, Violin
Claire Chan, Violin
William Frampton, Viola
Wayne Smith, Cello

This concert is FREE and open to the public. Please RSVP via this link here.

The Forum at Columbia University, located at 601 West 125th Street (corner of Broadway).

Saturday, March 26, 2022 "Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, William Grant Still, John Daniels Carter, Undine Smith Moore, Betty Jackson King, Robert Owens, H. Leslie Adams"

H. Leslie Adams

March 26, 2022

Indie classical music group LOLA Austin is staging ‘Outsides Voices,’ a free concert series at the amphitheatre Symphony Square, now a part of Waterloo Greenway.


‘Outside Voices’ is free and recommended for all ages. Registration is encouraged. Visit to register. Symphony Square is at 1111 Red River Street

  • April 10, 2 p.m.  An afternoon of classical vocal music featuring soprano Dr. Nicole Taylor and pianist Nikki Birdsong. This concert features a program of music by Black composers: Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, William Grant Still, John Daniels Carter, Undine Smith Moore, Betty Jackson King, Robert Owens, H. Leslie Adams.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins: Music Kitchen Forgotten Voices World Premiere at Carnegie Hall THIS THURSDAY March 31st at 7:30

Don't have your tickets yet?  The last remaining seats are available this weekend.  As of this writing, there are  6 tickets available online now!  If you miss those, please be sure to call the Carnegie Hall box office for any remaining seats which have not posted to the Carnegie Hall website.

What a thrill to see our Carnegie Billboard go up this week!  Check it out below as well.

Thank you so much for your support - We're very excited to see you soon!

Warmest Best,

MK Photos: Greg Routt

Friday, March 25, 2022

Sphinx: Watch now! “Classical Music’s Next Generation” from PBS for the Arts 

Watch this 9-minute video from #PBSForTheArts, "Classical Music's Next Generation," that features interviews from the new generation of Black and Latinx musicians who are paving the way in the classical music world! Hear from La Familia members Melissa WhiteJannina Kara Norpoth, and Thomas Mesa as they share their experiences and how they're paying it forward to young musicians today.

Janise White: John Malveaux REVIEW of the DERRICK SKYE CONCERT, MARCH 6th

John Malveaux of writes:

Sunday March 6, 2022 at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles the Afro-American Chamber Orchestra Music Society, under baton of dynamic Vince Womack, performed an abbreviated version of “Lift Every Voice & Sing”, “Rumpelstiltskin”-Fairy Tale Symphony, Movement III by pianist/composers Philippa Duke Schuyler and William Grant Still “Sunday Symphony No. 3” during first half.

The excitement began during an interview after intermission of Los Angeles composer Derrick Skye by Peter Allman from Celebrity News that included questions to Derrick Skye from local students.

The 2nd half spotlighted compositions by Derrick Skye titled “As I Heard When I Was Young” and “Prisms, Cycles and Leaps”. Both compositions demonstrate his concepts of inclusivity from different cultures and the “only rule is-there is no rule”. I am looking forward to more from Derrick Skye.  See pic of conductor Vince Womack.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: I am very pleased to share with you an exciting announcement about a newly created CSO Fellowship Program

Jeff Alexander writes:

Dear Mr. Zick,

I am very pleased to share with you an exciting announcement about a newly created CSO Fellowship Program, which will launch with auditions this spring for its first class of up to three Fellows to join the CSOA family in the 2022/23 Season.

In its first year, the CSO Fellowship Program seeks to welcome three outstanding early-career string players from populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in American symphony orchestras, including, but not limited to, those who identify as Black, Latino or Indigenous. Fellows will gain significant experience rehearsing and performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, have the opportunity to work with renowned conductors and receive training and mentorship from CSO musicians to better equip them to win auditions in U.S. orchestras. Fellows will play a minimum of 20 subscription weeks with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and will have access to up to 10 one-hour private lessons with a CSO Member annually. Additional benefits such as financial support for initial relocation expenses and auditions will be available.

The CSO Fellowship Program has been developed with full support from Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti as part of his ongoing commitment to training the next generation of musicians, as well as the CSO Members’ Committee and the Chicago Federation of Musicians. The program builds upon the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s longstanding focus on the training and development of musicians that began more than 100 years ago with the establishment of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The CSOA has gone on to create or participate in programs that support young musicians from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the orchestral field, specifically those interested in gaining entrance to top conservatories and post-secondary music schools as they seek a career in classical music performance. These programs include the Percussion Scholarship Program, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative and Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions.

We are excited to launch the CSO Fellowship Program, coming out of our renewed conversation about, and commitment to, expanding opportunities and support for talented musicians from diverse backgrounds eager to pursue a career performing in symphony orchestras. We must remain focused on this important work to ensure a strong and equitable future for this wonderful and life-enriching artform.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in applying for the program, the application process will open on April 1, with information available via

Thank you for your support of the CSOA, which is key to the success of important initiatives like the CSO Fellowship Program.

Jeff Alexander
Jeff Alexander
President, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association

Dessoff Choirs premieres cantatas by civil rights composer Margaret Bonds April 28 at 7:30 PM, Church of the Heavenly Rest, 1085 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY

Dashon Burton, Malcolm J Merriweather, Janinah Burnett

What: The Dessoff Choirs Performs Margaret Bonds

When: Thursday, April 28, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. (pre-concert talk 6:45 p.m.)

Where: Church of the Heavenly Rest, 1085 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY, 
Trains: 4/5/6 to 86th Street

Tickets: General $30 and Up. Seniors/Students $20. To purchase, visit  

New York City, NY (For Release 03.23.22)— Hailed as “one of the great amateur choruses of our time (New York Today) for its “full-bodied sound and suppleness (The New York Times),” The Dessoff Choirs continues its season celebrating African American composer Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), a significant figure in the fight for civil rights. This one-night only concert comprises the New York premieres of the orchestral versions of two neglected Bonds cantatas: Credo inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois’s essay, and Simon Bore the Cross (edition by Malcolm J. Merriweather), a collaboration with Langston Hughes. Conducted by Dessoff’s intrepid Music Director Malcolm J. Merriweather, The Dessoff Choirs is joined by a full orchestra, Grammy Award-winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton, renowned soprano soloist Janinah Burnett (Phantom of the Opera/The Metropolitan Opera), and the Carter Legacy Singers (Morgan State University Choir’s alumni ensemble). 

As Malcolm J. MerriweatherDessoff’s ninth Music Director explains, “Dessoff is dedicated to performing rarely heard choral masterpieces. We are thrilled to cast a spotlight on Margaret Bonds’s neglected, but important contribution to the American music canon. She is a forgotten voice for civil rights that must be remembered, appreciated, and cherished. It seems the time has come for Bonds’s voice to be heard!” 

The evening begins with Dr. Rollo Dilworth’s edition of Credo (1965-67)seven-movement choral symphony for full orchestra, chorus and soloists. Portions of the work were performed in 1972, just four weeks after the composer’s untimely death. In the mid-1960s, Bonds focused her attention on the writings of civil rights activist and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois’s essay Credo (1904) so inspired Bonds that she immediately began to compose her cantata on its text. So begins the prose: “I believe in God who made of one blood all races that dwell.” Dedicated to the memories of the poet Langston Hughes and singer-actress Abbie Mitchell, the text promotes unity and social equality which Bonds expertly portrays with rich harmonies and exciting motifs.

Credo shares the program with Bonds’s Easter cantata, Simon Bore the Cross (edition by Malcolm J. Merriweather), with text by her long-time collaborator Langston Hughes, based on the spiritual “He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word.” Bonds met Hughes in 1936, and a lifelong friendship ensued. They collaborated on numerous projects both using the arts to build pride and excitement in African American heritage, community, and identity. In much of their work, they place Black characters at the center of the action including Simon Bore the Cross pulling out an African biblical motif: Simon of Cyrene, from North Africa, figures in the Gnostic Gospels as a man who carried Jesus’s cross on the way to Calvary. Simon Bore the Cross was thought to be lost until a complete piano-vocal score was found at a book fair in a dumpster, waiting to be thrown out. 

This concert marks the latest in Dessoff’s ongoing exploration of Bonds’s important work. In 2019, Dessoff released The Ballad of the Brown King (ArkivMusic/Avie) to much acclaim. According to WQXR Radio it was one the Best Classical Recordings of the year. “Nearly 60 years after its premiere, conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather and the phenomenal New York-based Dessoff Choirs have at last provided a way to experience Margaret Bonds’ genius cantata, The Ballad of the Brown King.” Dessoff performed Bonds’s Ballad in December 2021 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. As Dessoff did with Ballad, Dessoff will produce premiere recordings of both Credo and Simon Bore the Cross, making this music accessible to audiences everywhere.  

About The Dessoff Choirs           
The Dessoff Choirs, one of the leading choruses in New York City, is an independent chorus with an established reputation for pioneering performances of choral works from the Renaissance era through the 21st century. Since its founding in 1924, Dessoff’s concerts, professional collaborations, community outreach, and educational initiatives are dedicated to stimulating public interest in and appreciation of choral music as an art form that enhances the culture and life of our times. Dessoff also collaborates with graduates of HBCUS including Carter Legacy Singers (an alumni ensemble of Morgan State University), Spelman College, Morehouse College, and many more.

With repertoire ranging over a wide variety of eras and styles, Dessoff’s musical acumen and flexibility has been recognized with invitations from major orchestras for oratorios and orchestral works. Past performances include Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Lorin Maazel in his final performances as Music Director with the New York Philharmonic. Over the course of its nearly 100-year history, Dessoff has presented many world premieres, including works by Virgil Thomson, George Perle, Paul Moravec, and Ricky Ian Gordon; the first American performance in nearly 100 years of Montemezzi’s opera La Nave with Teatro Grattacielo; and the American premieres of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 and Sir John Tavener’s all-night vigil, The Veil of the Temple.

Dessoff’s recent discography includes REFLECTIONS, featuring music by Convery, Corigliano, Moravec, and Rorem; GLORIES ON GLORIES, a collection of American song featuring composers from Billings to Ives; and MARGARET BONDS: THE BALLAD OFTHE BROWN KING AND SELECTED SONGS, a debut recording of Margaret Bonds’s crowning achievement, which was cited as a “Best Classical Recording of 2019” by WQXR-FM Radio. 

The Dessoff Choirs is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Please visit for more information.

About Malcolm J. Merriweather

Conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather is Music Director of The Dessoff Choirs, founded in 1924, and known for pathbreaking performances of choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century.  Merriweather enjoys a versatile career with performances ranging from the songs of Margaret Bonds to gems of the symphonic choral repertoire. The baritone can be heard on the GRAMMY nominated recording of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road (NAXOS). Hailed by Opera News as “moving…expertly interpreted,” Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs (AVIE) has earned considerable praise around the world.

An Associate Professor, he is Director of Choral Studies and Voice Department Coordinator at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and the Artistic Director of “Voices of Haiti,” a 60-member children’s choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, operated by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. Merriweather is excited to resume in-person rehearsals and concerts. Highlights of his 2021-2022 season include the world premiere performance and recording of Credo and Simon Bore the Cross by Margaret Bonds; a performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Margaret Bonds’s Ballad of the Brown King; and performances with Syracuse Opera, North Carolina Opera, and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. During the pandemic, Merriweather’s 2020-2021 season has been enriched with guest lectures and virtual appearances around the world, most notably at Yale University and Columbia University. He has inaugurated a series of virtual events entitled “Dessoff Dialogues.” These conversations emphasize matters of social justice, equity, and inclusion as they relate to classical music and the choral art. 

Merriweather’s 2019-2020 season included Fauré’s Requiem; Rutter’s The Sprig of Thyme; and Gregg Smith’s Continental Harmonist with The Dessoff Choirs. He was engaged by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road, and at the Eastman School of Music for the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. The COVID-19 global pandemic forced cancellations with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.

Merriweather holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the studio of Kent Tritle at the Manhattan School of Music, where his doctoral dissertation “Now I walk in Beauty, Gregg Smith: A Biography and Complete Works Catalog” constituted the first complete works list for the composer and conductor. He received Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting and in Vocal Performance from the studio of Rita Shane at the Eastman School of Music, as well as his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Syracuse University, summa cum laude.  His professional affiliations include membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram @maestroweather.