Sunday, August 22, 2021 – 3pm – Lakewold Gardens
Self-reflection over the past several years of my work as a teacher and performer, though, has brought me to the obvious and painful realization that my own training and education was full of gaps – especially when it comes to exploring and celebrating the music of composers of color. And I am not alone – in this moment, all who are working as performers and teachers, eager to share classical music with new generations, have a lot of work to do to break down the white supremacy embedded in our music-making.
All of this is shared as context for the music I have chosen to share on this program – eight pieces by eight different black composers, representing a wide array of styles and time periods. Each piece spoke to me in its own unique way, and I feel that together, they begin to share just some of the phenomenal, diverse, and vital contributions made to the piano repertoire by black composers.
In addition to solo piano works by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Robert Nathaniel Dett, Margaret Bonds, Adolphus Hailstork, and Jonathan Bailey Holland, I am delighted to collaborate with flutist Drew Shipman in sharing works for flute and piano by William Grant Still and Jasmine Barnes. Drew’s socially progressive programming and powerful musicianship have inspired me immensely over the past few years, and I don’t know that I would be sharing this program without his support – please join me in wishing him well as he heads off to graduate study at Northwestern University this fall!
Finally, it is difficult to put into words how meaningful it is for me that my mother’s work will be part of the artistic experience for those who attend this concert. A skilled musician as well as an artist, she is a rock of support for me for each new project I take on, providing feedback and inspiration every step of the way. The works she shares during this program were inspired directly by the program itself, and we hope that they provide an additional lens through which to experience the musical statements made by the featured composers.