Sunday, July 31, 2022 "William Grant Still, Music for Violin and Orchestra" on Naxos includes "world premiere orchestral versions" of Still compositions

 William Grant Still (1895-1978)

July 29, 2022

Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

William Grant Still: Music for Violin and Orchestra
Zina Schiff, violin
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Avlana Eisenberg conducting


Violinist Zina Schiff, a Heifetz protégé who recalls meeting William Grant Still as a young student, joins her daughter, conductor Avlana Eisenberg, in this recording that includes world premiere orchestral versions of Summerland, Violin Suite, Pastorela, American Suite, Threnody, Serenade, Fanfare for the 99th Fighter Squadron, Can’t You Line ‘Em and Quit Dat Fool’nish. 

Aaron Dworkin Interviews Rebecca Geoffrey Schwinden, Coordinator of BA Critical Studies at University of North Texas!

 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 University
of North Texas College of Music ,and our guest is Rebecca Geoffrey-
Schwinden, Associate Professor of Music History and Program
Coordinator of BA Critical Studies in Music and Society at UNT
, as
she talks about the importance of evolving our curriculum to
prepare students for today’s arts world.  Enjoy... and have a creative

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

John Malveaux: Dr Samantha Ege releases third album celebrating historical women composers

Faculty of Music

University of Oxford

Dr Samantha Ege has released an album of piano music by five trailblazing early twentieth-century African American female composers. The album is called Black Renaissance Woman: Piano Music by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Nora Holt, Betty Jackson King, and Helen Hagan (LORELT). As an album that brings more women composers of African descent to light and contextualises them in the historical era of the Black Chicago Renaissance, this project has been recognised as a significant contribution to scholarship and performance. It received the prestigious 2021 Noah Greenberg Award of the American Musicological Society in recognition of its outstanding contribution to historical performing practices. The sleeve notes additionally feature the scholarly and creative insights of Dr Artina McCain (University of Memphis), Dr Lucy Caplan (Harvard University), and A. Kori Hill (UNC Chapel Hill).

Black Renaissance Woman launched on 28 February 2022, with the support of Lincoln College’s Michael Zilkha Fund. Then, on 8 March 2022 - International Women’s Day - Dr Ege presented and performed aspects of the recording in an event called “Florence Price, Black Renaissance Women,” supported by Lincoln College, TORCH, and the Music Faculty.

Since its release, Black Renaissance Woman has been widely praised. In a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine, critic Michael Church wrote, “Lorelt (Lontano Records) is a musical salon des refusés set up in 1992 with the aim of promoting important repertoire neglected by major labels. And this is its second recording from pianist and musicologist Samantha Ege, who wears her mission on her sleeve: her discovery of Florence Price set her on the path she is now successfully pursuing, as a champion of forgotten women composers from the early and mid-20th century.” Colin Clarke of International Piano Magazine wrote, “Samantha’s work on the music of Florence Price has already been revelatory.” Clarke also praised her “faultless” playing on this new recording.

Black Renaissance Woman is available now on CD and all digital and streaming platforms.

John Malveaux: George Walker and Latonia Moore

John Malveaux and Latonia Moore

John Malveaux of writes:

Sunday July 24, 2022 WCRB classical 99.5 Tanglewood Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcast included composer William Grant Still's "In Memoriam, The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy" and soprano Latonia Moore singing composer George Walker's Pulitzer Prize "Lilac" (text by Walt Whitman). I was a close friend of George Walker and current friend of Latonia Moore. RIP George Walker. See pic of Latonia Moore and John Malveaux

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Sergio A. Mims - The Baltimore Sun: Jonathon Heyward named BSO music director, replacing Marin Alsop...

Jonathon Heyward
(Laura Thiesbrummel/Laura Thiesbrummel)

Sergio A. Mims forwards:

The Baltimore Sun

July 21, 2022 

Jonathon Heyward named BSO music director, replacing Marin Alsop and becoming only Black conductor to helm major U.S. symphony orchestra

Jonathon Heyward, the 29-year-old classical music phenom whose skill on the conductor’s podium has generated international headlines, was named Thursday as the next music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

When Heyward begins his five-year contract in the fall of 2023, he will be the only Black American conductor leading a major U.S. symphony orchestra and just the second in history. He will be the BSO’s 13th music director.

“I think we are poised for great things at this moment,” said Brian Prechtl, chairman of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and a member of the search committee seeking a successor for former music director Marin Alsop. “The hiring of Jonathon Heyward is going to be a marquee moment for The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.”

Heyward’s appointment occurred at warp speed in classical music terms, where the search for a new music director frequently can take two or three years. Initially, symphony officials said that a successor to Alsop, the first woman to helm a major American symphony, might not be appointed until the spring of 2024.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Jeri Lynne Johnson: Press Release: Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra Receives Major Support From The Mellon Foundation

Jeri Lynne Johnson

 Press Release: 

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra/The Mellon Foundation

Jeri Lynne Johnson
Founder and Artistic Director,
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
30 South 15th Street, 15th floor
Philadelphia, PA  19102
p  267.702.2809

Mellon Foundation makes $300,000 grant to Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra to support diversity and excellence in Classical music

Philadelphia, PA – July 21, 2022. Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, the nation’s most diverse professional orchestra, was awarded a major grant from The Mellon Foundation. Founded in 2008, Black Pearl Chamber
Orchestra has spent the last ten years proving that a visible commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion can have a lasting and positive impact on communities AND the orchestra. With the purpose of supporting its
community-centered programming for the next three years, the $300,000 grant represents a significant recognition of the organization’s work and impact over the last 13 years. 

Based in Philadelphia, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra was established as a model for the 21st-century American orchestra with a mission to take the audience beyond spectatorship to participation in the musical experience by combining artistic excellence with cultural diversity and innovative community engagement. In recognition of its world-class performance quality, Black Pearl has received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. And Maestro Johnson's innovative projects have made Black Pearl the only organization in the country to have been awarded three prestigious Knight Arts Challenge grants from the JohnS. and James L. Knight Foundation. But this grant from the Mellon Foundation is the largest investment in the organization’s mission to date.

As part of this grant, Black Pearl will undertake a new project, called the “Kaleidoscope Initiative” to support the next generation of rising young composers, especially composers of color. This project represents an
expansion of Black Pearl’s mandate to normalize diversity in classical music by focusing on creating access and opportunities in the creative process of music-making. Spread across its concert season, the works of three talented young composers will receive a premiere performance that will be recorded so the composers can promote their works through high quality live instrument versions of their works rather than digital MIDI realizations. Such recordings play an important role in building a creative career through competitions, prizes, fellowships, job positions, and promotion for performance with other orchestras.

Black Pearl’s Founder, Maestro Jeri Lynne Johnson, was delighted to receive the news that the important and impactful work of the organization would be supported for the next three years.

“Given the incredibly difficult circumstances ALL arts and culture organizations have had to weather during the COVID-19 pandemic, this grant from the Mellon Foundation will provide Black Pearl with the resources to continue to deliver concert and community programming to diverse communities across Philadelphia that enjoy our work. We are deeply grateful for this support and excited to begin this new
relationship with the Mellon Foundation to continue to create more inclusive, equitable Classical music experiences and to foster compositional talent that will continue to impact ll continue to impact the field far into the future."

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Givonna Joseph: OperaCreole in BreakThru Media Magazine!

          *Special Recognition 
for Creative Achievement in Opera
For our original opera 
2019 Gambit's Tribute to the 
Classical Arts Awards

*National recognition:
Southern Living Magazine's

Monday, July 11, 2022

Chicago Sinfonietta: Lights, Camera, MUSIC! A formal invitation to MORE LIFE, July 16th from Chicago President and CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson

 Lights, Camera, MUSIC!

A formal invitation to MORE LIFE, July 16th 

from Chicago President and CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson

Chicago Sinfonietta is proud to be a part of Chicago. The City of Chicago is  lauded as the number one, most-diversified economy among the largest U.S metropolitan districts*  and there is a reason for this! Chicago’s creative industries (arts & culture) not only are a key part of the collective economic body, but we are the connective tissue that supports, protects, and gives structure to our world-class city.

A vibrant cultural landscape is more than just a fun evening of entertainment; the creative industry sector is instrumental in the economic development and job creation of every city and town in which it operates.  The arts are the shiny jewels businesses spotlight when luring talent to Choose Chicago, as well as the anchor to the community needed to retain both the familiar and new. The arts are the digital and physical cultural corridors that support socio-economic development, small local businesses, community investments, tourism, consumer purchases, and a city-wide culture of innovative ideation across sectors.

The arts are also a bridge between the old and the new, and Chicago Sinfonietta in particular is an active vanguard in this area. In 2020, I had the pleasure of introducing two new Chicago Sinfonietta (CS) programs: an expansion to our internationally acclaimed Freeman Fellowship Program (formerly named Project Inclusion) by adding composition as a fourth discipline, and our inaugural 2020-2023 Artist in Residence partnership - with  Kathryn Bostic, a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the first female African American score composer in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Bostic was the perfect partner to highlight Chicago’s national film score connections and CS’ work both on and off stage (including working with our new composition fellow). Did you know that Illinois is the 3rd largest movie and recording workforce in the country - and growing! In 2021, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced a new initiative to strengthen Chicago’s TV and film industry titled Chicago Made.

Chicago Sinfonietta, fellow alumni, and affiliate artists have an extensive list of credits and partnerships within film & television. CS Music Director Mei-Ann Chen chose Michael Abels (score composer for Get Out which CS performed in 2019) as a partner for her first recording with Chicago Sinfonietta as Music Director in Delight & Dances.  Too many credits to list;  you can hear the global impact of Chicago Sinfonietta’s network in small independent films up to mega hits like Jordan Peele’s US, the Lion King directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, and so much more!

Beyond Chicago Sinfonietta, the city of Chicago has dominated the scores of recent films. Both Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings franchises utilized talent nurtured by the city of Chicago’s nationally acclaimed film score composition & recording collegiate programs, not to mention Chicago being home to some of the biggest living legends in the industry  - Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. Chicago Sinfonietta’s industry - the TV, Film, & Music industry, is just one of the many connective tissues that supports, protects, and gives structure to this word-class city.

The arts offer so much to the communities in which we live, and connect through collaborations across the genres. We invite you to see collaborative arts in action - join us, the Chicago Sinfonietta, this Saturday, July 16 at Millennium Park for the third installment of our new SINFONIETTA IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD series with  MORE LIFE,  an all-day event from 3 - 7 pm. Free and open to the public celebrating Chicago’s legacy and influence in art, design, and entertainment, this unique program allows you to experience the best of  “Summer Chi”  while highlighting homegrown talent with an all-star fashion design panel, and performances by DJs and musicians supporting Chicago’s cultural ecology of regional entrepreneurs in art, design, and music! We look forward to seeing  you there! 

Happy Summer,

Blake-Anthony Johnson

President & CEO, Chicago Sinfonietta
2022 Chicago Community Trust Daniel Burnham Fellow
Voting Member, Recording Academy
Cultural Advisory Council, City of Chicago (DCASE)

Friday, July 8, 2022

Sinfo-Nia's 2K22 Summer Orchestra Academy Update


Summer Academy Schedule Change

Tremendous Tuition Discount

We appreciate your continued interest and support of Sinfo-Nia Youth Orchestra. In our efforts to restart, we are experiencing extremely low registration numbers and have therefore streamlined the Summer program to a One-week Day Camp taking place July 18 - 22, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM (drop-off as early as 6:45 AM, pick-up as late as 6:00 PM). The culminating performance will occur on Friday, July 29, 4:00 PM. The Camp and Performance location is Open Word Christian Ministries, 6230 Highway 92, Fairburn, Georgia 30213.

We are offering a tremendous discount of $80.00 for the entire week of camp. Breakfast and Sandwich Lunch are included. 

Our summer program really provides musicians an opportunity to be ahead of their classmates when they return to their school orchestra for fall session.  We accept students as young as seven years old and welcome string students on all levels for violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Advanced level band students in winds, brass and percussion can attend as well. The camp consists of fun-filled musical days emphasizing proper technical execution to include posture, bow hold, reading music, scales, expression and performance.

For more information:,, (404) 428-3804.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Sergio A. Mims - Interview with pianist Stewart Goodyear on WHPK-FM Chicago Tuesday July 12

Stewart Goodyear

Sergio A. Mims writes:


I am very happy to announce that on my classical music radio show on WHPK-FM Chicago on Tuesday July 12 an exclusive interview with the acclaimed international pianist Stewart Goodyear who will be performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Marin Alsop conducting later that same week at the Ravinia Music Festival

Also on the show will by Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 which Goodyear will be performing with the CSO and Saint-Saens Symphony No 3 ("organ") As always my show can be heard on Tuesday from 12 Noon to 3 PM (Central Standard Time) on 88.5FM locally and worldwide livestream on the station's website on

Monday, July 4, 2022 The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "The players recognized the 81-year-old American composer Adolphus Hailstork with his 1992 Sonata da Chiesa"

Adolphus Hailstork

Virtuosic Vivaldi

by Stephen Martorella

July 3, 2022

Violinist Chad Hoopes with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra wowed Friday’s opening night audience of Newport Classical Music Festival.

In the opulent splendor and magnificent acoustics of the Breakers Great Hall, overlooking the sea, the Grammy Award winning conductorless ensemble delivered with virtuosity, precision, and joie de vivre on a sonic palette rich and vibrant. A glance at the program suggested a bow to the Baroque, but the realization provided interpretations, techniques, arrangements, and stylings that were at times lush and romantic, and elsewhere quite novel, modern, even jazzy.


The players recognized the 81-year-old American composer Adolphus Hailstork with his 1992 Sonata da Chiesa, a work of reverent lyric and tonal writing, much of it in counterpoint. The orchestra made use of textures in this work by using three levels of orchestras, recalling Ralph Vaughan Williams’s three orchestras for the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, pitting a solo group against a mid-layer of first desk players, with the full complement for the thickest and richest sections. Movement titles Exaltation, O Great Mystery, Adoration, Jubiliation, O Lamb of God, Grant Us Thy Peace, Exaltation—appeared in the printed essay, but not on the title page. Orpheus’s sensitivity and expressivity, left us with a serene sense of peace and wonder, ending on a note of quiet joy.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Patrick D. McCoy: Jason Max Ferdinand Singers Set to Make Début in Nation’s Capital August 13

Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand

Patrick D. McCoy writes:

Please join me in sharing the excitement of the Washington, D.C. début of The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers on Saturday, August 13th at 5 p.m. in the iconic sacred splendor of National City Christian Church under the direction of the incomparable Jason Max Ferdinand.  I 'sat down' with Ferdinand about the genesis of his ensemble and the unforgettable evening of music set to take place in the Nation's Capital!  Spread the word!  This is the choral music ticket of the summer!

ON THE HORIZON:  After several acclaimed performances, including a highly heralded Canada appearance, The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers will make their official Washington, D.C. début in the grandeur of National City Christian Church.

by Patrick D. McCoy

For those who adventure into the world of concert choral music it is not unusual to encounter a vocal ensemble named and fashioned after a specific namesake.  The Dale Warland Singers, The Robert Shaw Festival Singers, The Robert DeCormier Singers, The Albert McNeill Jubilee Singers or The Lloyd Mallory Singers may initially come to mind.  A game-changer has arrived on the scene-ready to add its name to the marquee of this grand tradition.  Named for, created and led by celebrated conductor Jason Max Ferdinand, it is with great excitement that we share in announcing the second season of The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers.

Premiering in March 2021, the ensemble appeared with Decca Classics recording artists Voces8, to create a live virtual concert experience for music lovers around the world who were quarantined during in the midst of the COVID-10 pandemic entitled, Live from London. Since then,the group has toured both nationally and internationally. The twenty-eight member mixed vocal ensemble will make its Washington, D.C. début on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 5 p.m. in the iconic sacred splendor of National City Christian Church.

In regards to his newly formed brainchild, Jason says, “This is not a nascent concept, and I’ve been conceptualizing it for about twenty years. I am anxious and ready to create it. With some prodding and a team in place, I have been encouraged to set it free. The voices are exciting, their repertoire will reach hearts and minds, and bring hope for a better tomorrow.”

We caught up with Ferdinand to chat about the significance of his ensemble and the big DC début:

PDM:   What specifically inspired the formation of The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers?

JMF:  The seed for this endeavor was planted way back in 2001.  It was after my Master’s recital at Morgan State University, where my professor was Dr. Nathan Carter, many members of that ensemble pleased for me to keep the group together. Angelo Johnson, my dear friend and member of this present ensemble, would constantly remind me for the next 20+ years.  Honestly, I was scared to venture out.  It was at the asking of Robin Tyson, manager of Voces8, that compelled me to strongly consider it and here we are.

PDM:  Musically speaking, what would you say is (or will be) the hallmark of your ensemble?

JMF:  The beauty of this aggregation, and the ongoing response to that question, is that, we are enjoying discovering the answer.  We have a total blast enjoying the varying talents and everyone literal brings their own voice to the mix.  Time will tell and perhaps, the answer should be left as an ongoing quest.

PDM:  Your upcoming DC dèbut concert is in one of Washington’s most iconic sacred spaces. What led you to National City as the performance venue?

JMF:   It is interesting how the stars align.  It was a mutual friend that connected Gerald Lee Ricks and I together.  Gerald serves as musical director at the historic church and he presented the idea and more. We are so humbled to now be connected.

PDM:  Tell us about the composition of the group.

JMF: The composition is what makes this such a beautiful thing.  We have as some examples:

  • 10-time Grammy winner
  • Law students
  • Harpist
  • Police Officer
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students
  • Music Teachers
  • Music Producers

Most importantly, we have a great group of citizens.  

Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand is perhaps most well known for his most recent tenure as the conductor of the award-winning Aeolians of Oakwood University, in Huntsville Alabama.  Recently, he been appointed as the new Director of Choral Activities at his alma mater, the University of Maryland, College Park, succeeding his long time mentor and professor Dr. Edward Maclary.  Additionally, Ferdinand’s choral series, his recently released book:   Teaching With Heart, a Conductor’s Compendium for  Addressing Societal Challenges through Music and the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers’ album Solace, are all available through GIA Publishing and on all streaming platforms.

In addition to the big event on the 13th, there will be an exciting free pop-up concert on Friday, August 12th at 2 p.m. that promises to pique your curiosity for the main event.


A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications, including The Washington Post, Early Music America Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, CBS Washington and Most recently, he was named as a new contributor to Washington Classical Classical Review. He is a Board Member of the Music Critics Association of North America, a member of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., The American Choral Directors’ Association, The Association of Anglican Musicians a former member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors, the Shenandoah University Black Alumni Network and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Just recently he was named to the Dean’s Circle of the Shenandoah Conservatory Advisory Board.  He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD and is Interim Director of Choral Activities and Instructor of Music at Virginia State University. Visit and follow him on twitter @PatrickDMcCoy, IG: PDM06. and subscribe to “Across the Arts” on YouTube.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Sergio A. Mims - Chineke! Orchestra Announces Recording Partnership With Decca Classics


Sergio A. Mims writes:


The Chineke! Orchestra has announced a new recording partnership with the major classical music label Decca Classics. The orchestra and label will form a new label to be called Chineke! Classics and the first release will be a recording of the music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor including  a performance of his violin concerto in G Minor with Elena Urioste as soloist. The recording will be released in September.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Orange County Breeze: "the chorus will present the West Coast premiere of Florence Price’s newly discovered anti-war piece Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight"

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

June 30, 2022

Pacific Chorale to hold tenor and bass auditions

The Grammy Award-winning Pacific Chorale, the resident chorus at Segerstrom Center for the Arts led by Artistic Director Robert Istad, is holding auditions for tenor and bass singers for entry in the ensemble’s 2022-23 season. Singers can apply online at The deadline to apply is July 21, 2022, for tenor staff applicants and July 28 for tenor and bass volunteer applicants.

There is no application fee. In-person auditions will be scheduled in August on a first-applied, first-served basis. All new singers admitted to Pacific Chorale, considered among the nation’s leading choirs, must be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

Pacific Chorale is a warm and welcoming ensemble comprised of 220 diverse, accomplished and passionate singers. The choir’s extensive repertoire ranges from choral and choral/orchestral masterworks to a cappella treasures and world-premiere compositions. Among numerous highlights during the 2022-23 season, the chorus will present the West Coast premiere of Florence Price’s newly discovered anti-war piece Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight setting poetry by Vachel Lindsay; Jocelyn Hagen’s stunning multi-media work The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci inspired by the iconic Renaissance artist; Duruflé’s Requiem; and its signature holiday program “Tis the Season!” Additionally, the choir will appear with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in August and Pacific Symphony in several programs, including the orchestra’s annual Lunar New Year celebration, a semi-staged opera production of Rigoletto, and the world premiere of James MacMillan’s oratorio Fiat Lux.

Pacific Chorale, an Orange County “treasure” with a “fresh viewpoint” that “can sing anything you put in front of it with polish, poise and tonal splendor” (Orange County Register), has “risen to national prominence” (Los Angeles Times) since its inception in 1968. Hailed for delivering “thrilling entertainment” (Voice of OC), the resident choir at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is noted for its artistic innovation and commitment to expanding the choral repertoire. It has given the world, U.S., and West Coast premieres of more than 35 works, including numerous commissions, by such lauded composers as John Adams, Jake Heggie, James Hopkins, David Lang, Morten Lauridsen, Tarik O’Regan, Karen Thomas, Frank Ticheli, András Gábor Virágh, and Eric Whitacre.