Programme and more

About the performance

The Celebration of Music by Black Composers livestreamed concert features classical music, mostly in the Romantic style, dating back to the 19th century era. The program was initiated in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The music is for a variety of instruments: violin, piano, voice, saxophone and string quartet. Musicians will be joined by the award-winning playwright, screen writer and author, Cheryl Foggo, who will begin the concert with a reading of a monologue from one of her works documenting the Black experience in Alberta. Ms. Foggo is a descendant of Black Oklahomans who migrated to Alberta around 1910. The concert will also feature Michèle Moss; dancer, choreographer, and faculty member in the School of Creative and Performing Arts.



Music by Florence Price, Nathaniel Dett, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Jacqueline B. Hairston, William Foster McDaniel, Julius P. Williams, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, William Grant Still, Adolphus Hailstork, and Daniel Bernard Roumain

Featuring UCalgary Music faculty, alumni, students and guests

Edmond Agopian and Isaac Willocks, violins
Dean O’Brien, viola
Jasmine Long, cello
Michael Coburn, piano
Jeremy Brown, saxophone
Laura Hynes, soprano
Michèle Moss, dancer
Monologue by Cheryl Foggo

Live-stream production by Emil Agopian Film – Stagestream Live
Laurie Radford, audio engineer

Composer Biographies

Florence Beatrice Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887, where under her mother’s guidance, at the age of four, she played in her first piano recital. She was composing by the age of eleven. She graduated as high school valedictorian at age 14 and left Little Rock in 1904 to attend the New England Conservatory and, after following her mother’s advice to present herself as being of Mexican descent, graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1906.
Back in Little Rock, she taught music at the segregated black schools, but was refused admission to the all-white Arkansas Music Teachers Association. After moving to Chicago in 1927, she continued her education at the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago Teachers College, Central YMCA College, the University of Chicago and Chicago Musical College. Subsequently, her career flourished. Her piano music and songs were published by G. Schirmer and McKinley. In 1932 Price won first prize in the Wanamaker Competition with her Symphony No. 1 in E minor, and as a result, the symphony was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She became the first female composer of African descent to have a symphonic work performed by a major national orchestra. She gained recognition from as far as England where the famed conductor Sir John Barbirolli commissioned a suite for string instruments. She died in 1953 in Chicago, her adopted city that she had come to love; a city that, in 1964, named an elementary school for her as its own recognition of her legacy as a Chicago musician and an important black composer.*
*Program note from “Florence Price”, http://www.florenceprice.org/. Accessed September 1, 2020.

Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882 - 1943) was born in Drummondsville, Ontario, and was a descendant of African slaves who migrated north to escape slavery. Dett quickly rose to musical prominence through his education first at Oberlin Conservatory where he majored in piano and composition, and later with Arthur Foote at Harvard University. Dett travelled to Fontainebleau, France to study composition under the great Nadia Boulanger, whose past students include Aaron Copland, George Antheil, and Philip Glass.
A pianist, conductor, composer and educator, Dett was one of the first American composers to fuse African folk songs with European art music in the classical tradition. Lauded as one of the most influential American composers of his generation, his legacy remains, from his study and preservation of African spirituals through his compositions to his musical pedagogy.
Dett has over a hundred published compositions, primarily choral, vocal and piano works. His major pieces for chorus include Chariot Jubilee, an extended motet, and The Ordering of Moses, an oratorio. Both use African-American spirituals as thematic material.
“In the Bottoms”, (1913) one of Dett’s most well-known piano pieces, is a tribute to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. Dett writes, “In the Bottoms is a Suite of five numbers giving pictures of moods or scenes peculiar to Negro life in the river bottoms of the Southern sections of North America.” The “Morning” movement (Barcarolle) contains the distinct rhythmic motif that is present throughout the suite and is derived from the antebellum folk dance tradition.*
*Program note by Michael Coburn

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson was born in New York City, and was named by his mother who was a musician, for the African-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. He entered New York’s High School of Music and Art in 1945, where he came to meet Igor Stravinsky. In 1949, after he began composing, he won the LaGuardia Prize for music. From 1949 to 1951 he majored in education at New York University then transferred to the Manhattan School of Music where he was a composition major and where he also studied conducting and jazz. He also studied conducting at Princeton University, Berkshire Music Center, Netherlands Radio Union in Hilversum, and spent part of a summer at the Mozarteum, in Salzburg, Austria. During his career he composed and conducted scores for numerous award-winning theatrical productions, television shows, ballets, and documentary films. He co-founded the Symphony of the New World. From 1998 until his death in 2004, Perkinson was a member of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College, Chicago.*
*Program note from African Heritage In Classical Music, https://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/Perkinson.html . Accessed September 1, 2020.

Jacqueline Hairston, pianist, composer and arranger, received her musical training at the Juilliard School of Music and at Howard University School of Music. She earned a Master’s degree in music and music education from Columbia University in New York City. In addition to her work as a pianist and vocal coach, she is a prolific composer and arranger. Her works have been recorded by the London Symphony and the Columbia Symphony Orchestras and have been performed by the San Francisco Women's Philharmonic, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Kathleen Battle, Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano Denyce Graves and the Orlando Opera Chorus and Orchestra and many other singers worldwide. Ms. Hairston received a "Living Legend Award" from the California State University at Dominquez Hills and received Oakland 's "Living Legend Award" by the Oakland Alliance of Black Educators. Her compositions include musical settings for the inspirational words of Howard Thurman, her chaplain at Howard University. In 2001, Ms. Hairston was artist-in-residence at Northern Illinois University conducting choral classes culminating in a concert commemorating her cousin, the late Dr. Jester Hairston, the "Amen" man who directly impacted her choral arrangements of spirituals. Her recent teaching posts have included Oakland 's School for the Arts, the University of Creation Spirituality and the University of California, Berkely's Young Musicians’ Program.*
*Program note from the African American Art Song Alliance, https://artsongalliance.org/composers/jacqueline-hairston. Accessed September 9, 2020.

William Foster McDaniel (1925 - 2010), was born in Kansas City-Wyandotte, Kansas. At Sumner High School in Kansas City, Foster showed talent in playing the clarinet and was appointed student director of the Sumner High School Orchestra. In 1936, at age seventeen, he was director of an all-city band of Kansas City. Foster was one of three commencement speakers when he graduated from Sumner High School in 1937.
He received a B. A. degree in music education from the University of Kansas in 1941 and a Master's degree from Detroit's Wayne State University in 1950. Foster earned a Ph.D. in education with a major in music from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City in 1955. He taught at Lincoln University, Fort Valley State University and Tuskegee Institute, before coming to Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1946. Foster created the internationally famous 329 piece Marching "100" Band and developed over 200 half-time pageants; they have appeared in three films, three commercials, numerous magazine articles and thirty-four nationally televised network performances. In 1989, the French chose Foster as America's official representative in the Bastille Day Parade, celebrating the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. The band also appeared in the Fifteenth and the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary national telecasts from Walt Disney World in 1986 and 1996. Foster is credited with revolutionizing marching band techniques and reshaping the world's concept of marching bands. A scholar, Foster has written eighteen articles for professional journals and has received numerous awards and citations for excellence. In 1998, he was elected to the National Band Association Hall of Fame. Often imitated, Dr. William Foster is considered the dean of America's band directors.*
*Program note from the African Diaspora Music Project, http://africandiasporamusicproject.org/williamfoster_mcdaniel. Accessed September 9, 2020

Julius P. Williams (b. 1954) is an award-winning conductor, composer, recording artist, educator, author and artistic director. Maestro Williams conducted the inaugural concerts of Symphony Saint Paulia at New York's Carnegie Hall. He has conducted orchestras in Dallas, New Haven, Savannah, Hartford, Sacramento, Tulsa, Knoxville, Oklahoma, Vermont, Norwalk, Vermont Philharmonic, Wooster, Akron, Connecticut Opera, and Washington Symphony Orchestra (DC.). He has served as Assistant Conductor to Maestro Lucas Foss at The Brooklyn Philharmonic and The American Symphony. In Europe, Maestro Williams has performed and recorded with The Prague Radio, Dvorak, Volvodanksa (Serbia), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Brno Philharmonic, Bohuslav-Martinu Philharmonic symphonies. A prolific composer, Williams has created dozens of works for virtually every genre of contemporary classical performance, including opera, ballet, orchestra, chamber ensemble, chorus and solo voice, dance, musical theatre and film. His "Norman Overture" was premiered by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta. The opera "Guinevere" was performed at the Aspen Music Festival and at Dubrovnik Music Festival in Croatia. He is composer of the score for the film "What Color is Love?" and the score for the play "In Dahomey". The moving tribute to the victims of September 11, "In Memorium" was premiered by the Detroit Symphony. Maestro Williams has served as conductor-composer of the Connecticut Arts Award for Public Television. His film score for Lifetime TV's "Fighting for our Future" won the Gracie Allen Documentary Award in 2003. Julius Williams' discography includes the critically-acclaimed "Symphonic Brotherhood", "Shades of Blue" and "The New American Romanticism", all available from Albany Records. Julius Williams has served in the capacity of Artistic Director for The Washington Symphony Orchestra, The Music Festival of Costa del Sol, Spain, and the School of Choral Studies of New York State Summer School of the Arts. He is presently Artistic Director of WorldStage, Inc, a company based in New Hampshire and Geneva, which offers travel and recording opportunities to composers world-wide. Williams has served on the faculties of Wesleyan University, The University of Hartford, and The University of Vermont. He is Co-Director of Videmus Recording Company, and Visiting Associate Professor at Shenandoah University and Conservatory in Virginia. He is presently Professor of Composition and Conducting at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Julius Williams is the author of an article on Duke Ellington (Emerge Magazine, 1999), and is co-author/editor of a vocal anthology on Hall Johnson (Carl Fischer, 2003). Maestro Julius P. Williams has been featured on Public television and on CBS News Sunday Morning.*
*Program note from the African Diaspora Music Project, http://africandiasporamusicproject.org/juliusp_williams. Accessed September 9, 2020.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was born in London England and was named by his mother after the English poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge. At the age of five Samuel began playing the violin and joined the choir of a Presbyterian church in Croydon. He was admitted to the Royal College of Music in 1890. The Royal College of Music was an arena where Coleridge-Taylor encountered some of the brightest talents of his time, including Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. His mentors and supporters included Sir Edward Elgar and the Novello Publishing House.
Coleridge-Taylor won the Lesley Alexander composition prize two years running (1895 and 1896). Later, Coleridge-Taylor was resident conductor for the Rochester Choral Society, the Westmoreland Festival, and the Handel Society. He taught as professor of composition at the Trinity College of Music (1903), Crystal Palace School of Art and Music (1905), and Guildhall School of Music (1910).
Coleridge-Taylor’s success and fame did not exempt him from racial harassment, or from the insecurity which it provoked. His daughter records his response to groups of local youths who would often make comments about the colour of his skin: “When he saw them approaching along the street he held my hand more tightly, gripping it until it almost hurt.”
In 1904, on his first tour to the United States, Coleridge-Taylor was received by President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House, a rare event in those days for a man of African descent. His music was widely performed and he had great support among African Americans. Coleridge-Taylor sought to draw from African-American music and integrate it into the classical tradition. In a revealing quotation in the preface to Twenty-Four Negro Melodies, he writes: “What Brahms has done for the Hungarian folk music, Dvorak for the Bohemian, and Grieg for the Norwegian, I have tried to do for these Negro melodies.”
*Program note from the British Library, http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/blackeuro/pdf/coleridge.pdf. Accessed September 1, 2020.

William Grant Still was undoubtedly one of the most influential African-American composers of the early 20th century. He started his musical career playing oboe in the pit orchestra of an All-Black musical, Shuffle Along, in 1921. His composition career started when he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the era of Jim Crow segregation, when Oberlin was one of the few major conservatories that admitted black students. The premiere of Still’s Afro-American Symphony in 1931 signaled one of the earliest works by an African-American composer to gain a place in the orchestral canon, and it has held up well over time. In the work’s title, Still identified his race with pride, inspired by the cultural activism of the Harlem Renaissance. Prior to studying music at Oberlin, Still studied medicine at Wilberforce University and served in the Navy during World War I. Later, he moved to New York and studied composition with George Chadwick and Edgard Varèse. He then traveled to Los Angeles, where he spent his final years and died on December 3, 1978.*
*Program Note from the Montgomery Philharmonic, https://www.montgomeryphilharmonic.org/page-34/notes16c.html. Accessed August 29, 2020.

Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941) received his doctorate in composition from Michigan State University, where he was a student of H. Owen Reed. He had previously studied at the Manhattan School of Music, under Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, at the American Institute at Fontainebleau with Nadia Boulanger, and at Howard University with Mark Fax. Dr. Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, various chamber ensembles, band, and orchestra. Significant performances by major orchestras (Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York) have been conducted by leading conductors such as James de Priest, Paul Freeman Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maezel, Jo Ann Falletta and David Lockington. Recent commissions include RISE FOR FREEDOM, an opera about the Underground Railroad, premiered in the fall of 2007 by the Cincinnati Opera Company, SET ME ON A ROCK (re: Hurricane Katrina), for chorus and orchestra, commissioned by the Houston Choral Society (2008), and the choral ballet, THE GIFT OF THE MAGI, for treble chorus and orchestra, (2009). In the fall of 2011, ZORA, WE’RE CALLING YOU, a work for speaker and orchestra, was premiered by the Orlando Symphony. I SPEAK OF PEACE commissioned by the Bismarck Symphony (Beverly Everett, conductor) in honor of (and featuring the words of) President John F. Kennedy was premiered in November of 2013. Hailstork’s newest major works are ROBESON, an operatic theater work (written for the Trilogy Opera Company of Newark, New Jersey), and HERCULES (“the veriest dandy slave”) a concert overture for the Grand Rapids Symphony, which was premiered in October 2014. Current projects are BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND for the Atlanta Festival (November 2016) and NDEMARA for the Myrelinques Festival of France (May 2017). Dr. Hailstork resides in Virginia Beach Virginia, and is Professor of Music and Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.*
*Program note from the African Diaspora Music Project, http://africandiasporamusicproject.org/adolphus_hailstork. Accessed September 9, 2020

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is a prolific and endlessly collaborative composer, performer, educator, and social entrepreneur. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR has worked with artists from Philip Glass to Bill T. Jones to Lady Gaga; appeared on NPR, American Idol, and ESPN; and has collaborated with the Sydney Opera House and the City of Burlington, Vermont. Acclaimed as a violinist and activist, DBR’s career spans more than two decades, earning commissions by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. Known for his signature violin sounds infused with myriad electronic, urban, and African-American music influences, DBR takes his genre-bending music beyond the proscenium. He is a composer of chamber, orchestral, and operatic works; has won an Emmy for Outstanding Musical Composition for his collaborations with ESPN; featured as keynote performer at technology conferences; and created large scale, site-specific musical events for public spaces. DBR earned his doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan and is currently Institute Professor and Professor of Practice At Arizona State University. An avid arts industry leader, DBR serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Creative Capital, the advisory committee of the Sphinx Organization, and was co-chair of 2015 and 2016 APAP Conferences.*
*Program note from Daniel Bernard Roumain, https://www.danielroumain.com. Accessed September 9, 2020.

Programme

Monologue by Cheryl Foggo
“Alberta”

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)
“Fantasie No. 1”
Edmond Agopian, violin
Michael Coburn, piano

Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943)
“Morning: Barcarolle”
Michael Coburn, piano

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004)
“Louisiana Blues Strut”
Isaac Willocks, violin

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
“Romance”
Edmond Agopian, violin
Michael Coburn, piano

Jacqueline B. Hairston (b 1932)
“On Consciousness Streams”

“On Consciousness Streams”
“Thou Alone Canst Inspire”
“The Season of Remembrance”

William Foster McDaniel (b 1940)
“Union Square”

Julius P. Williams (b 1954)
“A Song”
Laura Hynes, soprano
Michael Coburn, piano

Adolphus Hailstork (b 1941)
“A la Mozart”
Isaac Willocks and Edmond Agopian, violins

Daniel Bernard Roumain (b 1971)
String Quartet No. 5 "Rosa Parks"
1st movement: "I made up my mind not to move"
Edmond Agopian and Isaac Willocks, violins
Dean O’Brien, viola
Jasmine Long, cello

William Grant Still (1895-1978)
Suite for Violin and Piano
2nd movement: Slowly and expressive
Edmond Agopian, violin
Michael Coburn, piano

William Grant Still (1895-1978)
“Romance”
Jeremy Brown, saxophone
Michael Coburn, piano
Michèle Moss, dancer

Coming up on Stagestream Live: Friday, November 20, 8pm MST
“Live from the Rozsa – Beethoven Anniversary Celebration”
Beethoven: String Quartets op. 18, nos. 4, 5 and 6
Featuring the UCalgary String Quartet
Edmond Agopian and Patricia Lee, violins
Dean O’Brien, viola
Beth Root Sandvoss, cello

Song Texts

“On Consciousness Streams” Jacqueline B. Hairston (b 1932) On Consciousness Streams
Thou Alone Canst Inspire
The Season of Remembrance
Union Square from “Four love Songs” William Foster McDaniel (b 1940) A Song Julius P. Williams (b 1954)

I. “On Consciousness Streams” text by Jacqueline B. Hairston

On consciousness streams soars a metaphor of delight with joy and hope for tomorrow.
Oh listen! Make haste without waste,
for tomorrow will wait for no one,
lest he knows from whence he comes. Fret not! The time to act is now!

II. “Thou Alone Canst Inspire” text by Beethoven

O lead my Spirit, O raise it from these heavy depths,
Transported by Thy art and fearlessly and joyfully it soars up to Thee. For thou knowest all things. Thou alone canst inspire.

III. “The Season of Remembrance”
text by Dr. Howard Thurman, from “Meditations of the Heart”

Again and again, it comes:
The time of Recollection,
The Season of Remembrance. Empty vessels of hope fill up again;
Forgotten treasures of dreams reclaim their place; Long-lost memories come trooping back to me.
This is my season of remembrance, My time of recollection.
Into the challenge of my anguish
I throw the strength of all my hope:
I match the darts of my despair with the treasure of my dreams; Upon the current of my heart
I float the burdens of the years;
I challenge the mind of death with my love of life. Such to me is the time of Recollection,
The Season of Remembrance.

“Union Square” from “Four love Songs” by William Foster McDaniel (b 1940) text by Sara Teasdale

With the man I love who loves me not, I walked in the street-lamps' flare;
We watched the world go home that night In a flood through Union Square.

I leaned to catch the words he said That were light as a snowflake falling; Ah well that he never leaned to hear The words my heart was calling.

And on we walked and on we walked
Past the fiery lights of the picture shows — Where the girls with thirsty eyes go by
On the errand each man knows.

And on we walked and on we walked, At the door at last we said good-bye; I knew by his smile he had not heard My heart's unuttered cry.

With the man I love who loves me not I walked in the street-lamps' flare — But oh, the girls who ask for love
In the lights of Union Square.

“A Song” by Julius P. Williams (b 1954) text by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Thou art the soul of a summer's day, Thou art the breath of the rose.
But the summer is fled
And the rose is dead
Where are they gone, who knows, who knows? Thou art the blood of my heart o' hearts,
Thou art my soul's repose, But my heart grows numb And my soul is dumb
Where art thou, love, who knows, who knows? Thou art the hope of my after years —

Sun for my winter snows But the years go by 'Neath a clouded sky.
Where shall we meet, who knows, who knows?

“On Consciousness Streams” Jacqueline B. Hairston (b 1932) On Consciousness Streams
Thou Alone Canst Inspire
The Season of Remembrance
Union Square from “Four love Songs” William Foster McDaniel (b 1940) A Song Julius P. Williams (b 1954)

I. “On Consciousness Streams” text by Jacqueline B. Hairston

On consciousness streams soars a metaphor of delight with joy and hope for tomorrow.
Oh listen! Make haste without waste,
for tomorrow will wait for no one,
lest he knows from whence he comes. Fret not! The time to act is now!

II. “Thou Alone Canst Inspire” text by Beethoven

O lead my Spirit, O raise it from these heavy depths,
Transported by Thy art and fearlessly and joyfully it soars up to Thee. For thou knowest all things. Thou alone canst inspire.

III. “The Season of Remembrance”
text by Dr. Howard Thurman, from “Meditations of the Heart”

Again and again, it comes:
The time of Recollection,
The Season of Remembrance. Empty vessels of hope fill up again;
Forgotten treasures of dreams reclaim their place; Long-lost memories come trooping back to me.
This is my season of remembrance, My time of recollection.
Into the challenge of my anguish
I throw the strength of all my hope:
I match the darts of my despair with the treasure of my dreams; Upon the current of my heart
I float the burdens of the years;
I challenge the mind of death with my love of life. Such to me is the time of Recollection,
The Season of Remembrance.

“Union Square” from “Four love Songs” by William Foster McDaniel (b 1940) text by Sara Teasdale

With the man I love who loves me not, I walked in the street-lamps' flare;
We watched the world go home that night In a flood through Union Square.

I leaned to catch the words he said That were light as a snowflake falling; Ah well that he never leaned to hear The words my heart was calling.

And on we walked and on we walked
Past the fiery lights of the picture shows — Where the girls with thirsty eyes go by
On the errand each man knows.

And on we walked and on we walked, At the door at last we said good-bye; I knew by his smile he had not heard My heart's unuttered cry.

With the man I love who loves me not I walked in the street-lamps' flare — But oh, the girls who ask for love
In the lights of Union Square.

“A Song” by Julius P. Williams (b 1954) text by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Thou art the soul of a summer's day, Thou art the breath of the rose.
But the summer is fled
And the rose is dead
Where are they gone, who knows, who knows? Thou art the blood of my heart o' hearts,
Thou art my soul's repose, But my heart grows numb And my soul is dumb
Where art thou, love, who knows, who knows? Thou art the hope of my after years —

Sun for my winter snows But the years go by 'Neath a clouded sky.
Where shall we meet, who knows, who knows?