Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Harlem Chamber Players 9th Annual Black History Month Celebration Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 4 PM, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 521 West 126th St., NYC

9th Annual Black History Month Celebration
Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 4 PM

St. Mary's Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street, New York, NY 10027
Between Broadway and Amsterdam.
Click here for directions.
Click here to view and print a flyer.

$20 General Admission
$15 Student/Senior Discount
Save $5 off the ticket price when you buy online in advance.

Florence Price 5 Folksongs in Counterpoint for String Quartet
Carlos Oliver Simon Jr. An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave (New York Premiere)
Franz Schubert Der Erlkönig
Margaret Bonds Three Dream Portraits
George Walker String Quartet No. 1
Jules Massenet Élégie
Selected Spirituals

Steven Kirby, Baritone
Ashley Horne, Violin
Chala Yancy, Violin
Tia Allen, Viola

Hosted by
Eric K. Washington
Journalist, Historian and Author, Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem

Sergio A. Mims: Conductor Rafael Payare makes Chicago Symphony Orchestra subscription debut leading performances of Bartók, Bernstein & Mozart Jan. 18 & 20, 2018

Rafael Payare
(Elgin Symphony Orchestra)

Sergio A. Mims writes about the Afro-Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare:

Here's some exciting news just announced today by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra about their 2017/18 concert season

Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare makes his subscription concert debut, leading performances of Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto. (January 18, 20, 2018)


WATCH: Wendy Williams features South African opera star Pretty Yende

A Journey
Pretty Yende
Sony Classical

South African opera star PRETTY YENDE performed on The Wendy Williams Show where she received a standing ovation!

She is currently starring in Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera and released her debut album “A Journey.”

About Pretty:
Pretty Yende is a sensational young South African soprano whose career has risen to the top of the opera world with unparalleled speed within the past few years. Born in 1985 in the small town of Piet Retief, about two hundred miles from Johannesburg, Yende’s journey to become one of the world’s most sought-after singers is like a modern fairy-tale. She was initially introduced to singing in a manner familiar to many South Africans - in her church choir. Then at the age of sixteen, she heard the Flower Duet from Lakmé on a British Airways television advertisement, and was so enraptured by its beauty that she determined to find out what it was. On learning that it was opera, she decided at that moment to abandon her plans to become an accountant, and train to become an opera singer instead. Pretty Yende’s debut album A Journey is available now. She is currently starring in The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera. She will appear in Romeo and Juliet in March.

Website: prettyyende.com | Facebook: PrettyYendeOfficial | Twitter: @PrettyYende | Instagrampretty_yende_official

12-year-old Bronx Public School Violinist Bonds with 91-year-old Holocaust Survivor who Donated His Instrument to Her Through WQXR Drive for Public Schools


Brianna Perez is a 12-year-old Bronx public school student and a violinist who bonded with the 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold who donated his violin to her through a WQXR instrument drive in New York City 



In Joe’s Violin, a donated musical instrument forges an improbable friendship between 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold and 12-year-old Bronx school girl Brianna Perez, showing how the power of music can bring light in the darkest of times and how a small act can have a great impact.

Presented by The New Yorker / CONDÉ NAST ENTERTAINMENT

By Classroom OPERAtunit (@MzOpera2u)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cleveland.com: Sphinx Performance Academy for minority musicians coming to Cleveland Inst. of Music

Violinist Ade Williams, a winner of the Sphinx Competition, performs with the Cleveland Orchestra at its 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert in 2013. Starting in summer 2017, the Sphinx Performance Academy for gifted young artists will be held at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. (Lynn Ischay/The Plain Dealer)

By Zachary Lewis

January 30, 2017

CLEVELAND, Ohio - First came the Republican National Convention. Then the World Series and next year's All-Star Game.
Now it's the Sphinx Performance Academy, a prestigious summer camp for the best minority youth string players in the nation. Starting this summer, the event will take place annually at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University.
Longtime proponents of diversity, the two schools are now getting proactive on the subject, collaborating in a manner they hope will lead directly to more young African-Americans and Hispanic artists studying music at their schools and entering the profession.
When it comes to diversity, said CIM President Paul Hogle, "You can't just beat on the big orchestras. You have to get down to the grassroots supply level. We don't want to just talk about issues. We want to do something about them."
Efforts to expand the racial profile of classical music in America don't get much more grassroots than this.
From July 23 to Aug. 6, 32 teenagers selected by national audition will live at CWRU and spend their days performing, taking lessons, and getting coached by Sphinx teachers (some of who are Sphinx alumni) at CIM. They'll also attend performances by the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center. In recent years, the camp has been held at Oberlin College and other venues around the country.
Their expenses will be covered by Sphinx, which raises money for that purpose as part of its central mission to promote diversity in classical music. Sphinx also conducts an elite annual competition, whose winners traditionally appear with the Cleveland Orchestra on its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert.
Without proactive efforts at diversity, said Afa Dworkin, president of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, "The art form suffers, and the community suffers. The pool is out there. There's no question there's tremendous talent just waiting to be challenged."
It doesn't take an expert to sense the truth of that statement. All one needs to do is look around at concerts by just about any major orchestra in America.

National Society of Black Engineers Launches #BlackSTEMLikeMe Campaign on African Americans’ Contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

National Society of Black Engineers Launches #BlackSTEMLikeMe Campaign

Social Media Initiative Spotlights African Americans’ Contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Leveraging the immense popularity of the hit movie “Hidden Figures,” the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has launched a nationwide campaign titled #BlackSTEMLikeMe. This unique multimedia initiative is aiming to encourage black students and professionals in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to share their stories and passions; bring visibility to the important work they are doing; show black boys and girls that a future in STEM is an incredible and attainable career path; demonstrate the value of NSBE membership and celebrate the unique, wonderful and life-changing aspects of the African-American community — past and present. The campaign is designed to move NSBE toward the main goal of its 10-year strategic plan, which is to lead the U.S. to produce 10,000 African-American bachelor’s degree recipients in engineering annually by 2025, up from 3,501 graduates in 2014.

“Hidden Figures,” released in theaters nationwide on Jan. 6, tells the story of how three African-American women — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — contributed critical math, engineering and computer science work to the early missions of the U.S. space program. The movie, which is getting great reviews and was the No. 1 film at the box office in its first two weekends, is bringing a major focus to the often overlooked contributions of the black STEM community.

“NSBE is very excited about this campaign, which makes a conscious effort to highlight black men and women in STEM and show young black boys and girls that this is a career path that it’s cool for them to pursue,” said NSBE National Secretary Racheida Lewis. “Being a member of NSBE has enabled me and many other black students to successfully complete engineering and other STEM-related degree programs. And it has empowered me to pursue my passion of educating others about STEM through initiatives such as #BlackSTEMLikeMe.”
Trina Fletcher is director of Pre-College Programs for NSBE and a Ph.D. candidate in engineering education at Purdue University. Like Lewis, she places high value on presenting positive STEM role models and mentors to African-American youth.

“Without my STEM education and professional career opportunities, I would not be the leader and woman that I am today,” Fletcher said. “As a member of NSBE and now full-time employee of the organization, I've been able to see the impact we have on people of color, ranging from K–12 students to professionals on their way to retirement from their companies. I encourage all black parents and caregivers to take advantage of the opportunity to expose their children to STEM through #BlackSTEMLikeMe as well as NSBE youth programs such as our Pre-College Initiative and the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK).”
#BlackSTEMLikeME provides many avenues for STEM students and professionals to participate in the campaign through social media:
  • By sharing STEM stories on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or via the BlackSTEMLikeMe.nsbe.org website using the #BlackSTEMLikeMe hashtag. The best stories will be entered in NSBE’s national social media webisode series;
  • By tweeting STEM stories, including visuals, using the #BlackSTEMLikeMe hashtag;
  • By posting STEM stories to personal Facebook pages, tagging the NSBE Facebook page using the #BlackSTEMLikeMe hashtag;
  • By posting STEM photos or videos to Instagram, tagging @NSBE and using the #BlackSTEMLikeMe hashtag; and
  • By emailing text and video for blog posts to BlackSTEMLikeMe@nsbe.org for posting on the BlackSTEMLikeMe.nsbe.org website.
“This campaign proves, once again, the power of good partnerships: combining NSBE members’ grassroots activism and dedication to our mission with the resources of other socially progressive organizations,” said NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. “We thank our #BlackSTEMLikeMe sponsors for making this effort possible.”

A list of the #BlackSTEMLikeMe sponsors follows. Learn more about the #BlackSTEMLikeMe campaign, including upcoming events and other ways to get involved, at BlackSTEMLikeMe.nsbe.org.

About NSBE 

With 278 chapters and nearly 16,000 active members in the U.S. and abroad, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. NSBE, founded in 1975, supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.” For more information, visit www.nsbe.org.

Sign up to follow NSBE on social media. 

Twitter:            twitter.com/NSBE 
Facebook:       facebook.com/NSBE
Instagram:       instagram.com/NSBE
YouTube:        youtube.com/user/NSBETV

Read about NSBE’s “Be 1 of 10,000” Campaign at Graduate10K.NSBE.org.

NSBE 2017 #BlackSTEMLikeMe Campaign Sponsors 

The Boeing Company
Air Force STEM
Cummins, Inc.
Salesforce.com, Inc.
Intel Corporation


Pianist Clipper Erickson performs music of R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) & Others at Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley, Sun. Feb. 12, 3 PM, Bethlehem, PA

R. Nathaniel Dett: MY CUP RUNNETH OVER
Clipper Erickson, Piano
Navona Records NV 6013 (2015)

 is profiled at AfriClassical.comwhich 
features a comprehensive Works List 
and a Bibliography by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma 

Second Sunday Concert Series at
e Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley
Sunday, February 12, 3:00 PM

424 Center Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Music by Nathaniel Dett, David Finko, Richard Brodhead (world premiere), Samuel Barber, Amy Beach and Aaron Copland
or 610-866-7652
Adults $15, Students free 

Come dine and celebrate in support of the largest Black History Web Site on the Internet. Saturday, March 11, 2017, 6:00 p.m. at Washington Hall, Seattle, WA.

Come dine and celebrate in support of the largest Black History web site on the Internet.
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 6:00 p.m. at Washington Hall, Seattle, WA.

A limited amount of tickets are available right now at Brown Paper Tickets.

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: "Stand Up!" (YouTube: 3:28)

Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, Stand Up!  Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session!

Comment by email:
Thanks so much Bill... hope all is well!  Aaron  [Aaron P. Dworkin]

John Malveaux: Attended January 28, 2017 Bellflower Symphony Orchestra concert, NIGHT AT THE OPERA, conducted by Maestro Joseph Taylor

John Malveaux of 
Attended January 28, 2017 Bellflower Symphony Orchestra concert, NIGHT AT THE OPERA. Unyielding to chemotherapy, Maestro Joseph Taylor continues  to conduct the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra since 1991. Joseph Taylor's commitment to education and classical music has earned him respect in multiple communities. A retired teacher of music, mathematics and English from the Los Angeles and Compton Unified School Districts, Joseph Taylor continues to teach private music students. He coaches students at Centennial High School in Compton, the Watts-Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club Music Conservatory, the Compton Conservatory of Music, and Wildwood Music Camps. 

Joseph Taylor has held the titles of principal violist for the Peninsula Symphony, concertmaster of Holman United Methodist Church Chamber Orchestra, principal violist of Vineyard Opera, cellist in the Southeast Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of MusicUNTOLD Orchestra. The National Association of Negro Musicians awarded Joseph Taylor the 2014 National Achievement Award in Music Education. His nurturing of youngsters has impacted many who have become successful musicians while some simply appreciated music but became doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers and other professionals. See photo following NIGHT AT THE OPERA concert from left: Angela Taylor (sister), John Malveaux, Soprano Jennifer Lindsay, and Joseph Taylor.

Seattle Times: Concert brings to light forgotten works by 18th-century black composer [Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), 7:30 PM Friday, Feb. 3, 2017]

Seattle Baroque Orchestra music director Alexander Weimann says Saint-Georges was “an absolute master.” (Ben VanHouten/Ben VanHouten)       

Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799)
Arion 68093

Prof. Quinton Morris
Seattle University

January 29, 2017

John Malveaux: Charley Pride, the first African-American to play the Grand Ole Opry, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys, Feb. 12, 2017

Charley Pride

John Malveaux of 

Charley Pride, the first African-American to play the Grand Ole Opry in 1967, known for hits like "Kiss an Angel Good Morning," will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys, February 12, 2017. 

Sergio A. Mims: Chicago Maroon: Imani Winds Champions Diversity of Repertoire and Race

From left to right: Monica Ellis, Jeff Scott, Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Mark Dover, and Valerie Coleman.

Courtesy of Imami Winds

Sergio A. Mims forwards this article:

By Rebecca Julie

Jan. 24, 2017

When Valerie Coleman was studying flute performance at Mannes School of Music in 1997, she came up with the idea for the name of her wind quintet: Imani Winds. With that in mind, she asked friends for names of quality New York musicians of color in the freelancing scene and came across bassoonist Monica Ellis, French horn player Jeff Scott, oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz, and clarinetist Mariam Adam. Swahili for “faith,” imani became the new quintet’s namesake.
Today, nearly two decades later and with four of the five original members still in the ensemble, Imani Winds has gone on to receive a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album (2016). Last year, Mark Dover came on board as Imani’s clarinetist. Throughout its career, the group has been devoted to promoting diversity in classical music, and it works hard to reach as diverse an audience as possible through various outreach efforts and collaborations with other performers and composers. At the end of last academic year, UChicago named Imani Winds the new Don Michael Randel ensemble in residence on campus, succeeding the Pacifica Quartet.
On Friday, the Imanis teamed up with the University of Chicago Chamber Music Organization (CMO) to partake in the third of a series of CMO-hosted panel discussions on race, class, and privilege in classical music in the Logan Penthouse. The discussion was moderated by fourth-year Shirley Zhang.
The discussion quickly turned to the Imanis’ dedication to performing diverse music by composers of varying backgrounds. As Scott explained, wind quintets “don’t have the Mozarts, the Brahms, the Strausses, and so on. So we don’t have great literature, the great composers of the 18th and 19th centuries.”
Scott—who, along with Coleman, is a composer himself—discussed that this distinct lack of repertoire is what placed Imani Winds and other wind quintets in a unique position to influence the birth of an entirely new canon of repertoire.
“You just can’t survive without repertoire,” he continued. “So you celebrate the idea that you’re starting with a blank palette.”
From this blank palette, Imani Winds created its Legacy Commissioning Project. Through Legacy, Imani commissioned 10 composers of color for a variety of concerts, as well as recordings.
“We knew right away that it was important to commission music from underrepresented folk,” Scott said. “It’s hard enough to get your music premiered no matter who you are, but definitely if you’re African-American, or Latino, or Asian; if you’re not from the standard European canon, it’s hard to get music performed. We have a platform that we stand on, and we decided to put our money where our mouths were.”
Ultimately the musicians stressed that performing diverse genres is integral to promoting inclusivity in classical music, and integral to Imani on the whole.
“As artists, it’s our responsibility to be true to ourselves,” Coleman said.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Schomburg Center: The Harlem Chamber Players bring Jeff Scott's piece, A Hug for Harlem, to the Schomburg Center for its Harlem premiere 6:30 PM April 27, 2017

Jeff Scott plays French Horn for the Imani Winds,
but is also a composer.  One of his compositions 
is A Hug for Harlem.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

A Hug for Harlem

Thursday, April 27, 6:30 PM
Langston Hughes Auditorium

The Harlem Chamber Players bring Jeff Scott's momentous piece, A Hug for Harlem, to the Schomburg Center for its Harlem premiere.

$25 Member Discount
$30 General Admission

NOBLE Executive Update January 2017: Grant Appointed as Acting Police Commissioner; Benford Sworn in as Chief of Police, University of Houston-Downtown

NOBLE Newsletter

Novlette Grant

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Gordon Shirley announced the appointment of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Novlette Grant to act as commissioner of police as of January 7, 2017, for a period of 90 days.
This move by the PSC follows receipt of correspondence from present Commissioner of Police, Dr Carl Williams indicating his intention to proceed on early retirement as of January, 6 2017.
In a release issued, Shirley indicated that during the time of Grant's acting appointment, steps will be taken to identify a new commissioner of police.
DCP Grant is the second woman police to act in the post of commissioner following in the footsteps of the now retired Javene Bent.

Michael Benford Sworn in as Chief of Police University of Houston-Downtown
Chief Benford at his swearing in ceremony surrounded by NOBLE colleagues, family, and friends.

Sphinx Organization: Cleveland Institute of Music to host the Sphinx Performance Academy in Summer of 2017

The Sphinx Performance Academy (SPA) is a full-scholarship intensive chamber music and solo performance program designed for aspiring Black and Latino string players, ages 12-17. Sphinx is proud to have the Cleveland Institute of Music join Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts as a new home to the SPA.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 12, 2017
To Apply, visit: SphinxSPA.FluidReview.com

June 30 - July 14

July 23 - August 6

See what CIM and Sphinx presidents 
 have to say about the new partnership!

Paul Hogle, President
Cleveland Institute of Music

Afa S. Dworkin
(Kevin Kennedy)
President and Artistic Director
Sphinx Organization

Ritz Chamber Players: Sunday, January 29, 2017, National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 4 PM, Menotti, Hailstork, Beethoven

Adolphus C. Hailstork
Songs of Love and Justice
(Text by Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Alison Buchanan, Soprano
Kyle A. Lombard, Violin
Kenneth Law, Cello
Terrance L. Patterson, Clarinet
Terrence Wilson, Piano

Sergio A. Mims - Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE Receives The Association of British Orchestras Annual Award at the Bournemouth International Centre

Chi-chi Nwanoku Receives ABO Award

Sergio A. Mims writes:

Two articles about this amazing honor.



Chineke! Founder, Artistic and Executive Director, Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, has been awarded the 2017 ABO Award at the ABO annual conference, held this year at the Bournemouth International Centre.

The ABO Award, unique among the many prestigious awards and prizes in the music world because its recipient is nominated by the member orchestras of the ABO themselves, was presented to Chi-chi by Kathryn McDowell, ABO chair, for her work as a performer, educator, broadcaster and champion of diversity.

The Chineke! Foundation would like to congratulate Chi-chi on this wonderful achievement, and to thank the ABO for their recognition of the importance of Chineke!'s work.