The Colour of Music Festival announces the fifth annual Colour of Music Festival October 18-22, 2017 offering a musical kaleidoscope showcasing the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture at various venues in historic Charleston, South Carolina.
Since 2013 the Colour of Music Festival (COMF) has brought international, national, and regional classically trained black musicians to fill the streets and halls of Charleston with musical sounds that have been a part of the world stage for more than 300 years. Its goal is to give the public an opportunity to experience the talent of prodigiously gifted classical principals, composers, and performers of African descent the opportunity to share their musical talents, knowledge, and inspiration.
Few classical music enthusiasts are aware of the tremendous contributions of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an African-French composer, and contemporary of Mozart, whose opera and classical masterpieces equaled or far exceeded those of his 18th century contemporaries. Though highly recognized overseas, his contributions have gathered little notice in the U.S. Today thousands of tremendously talented black classical principals, composers, and performers have few opportunities to grace concert stages of major American orchestras.
Featuring acclaimed black chamber ensemble players and artists to form the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, the five-day festival showcases artists from across the globe trained at some of the most prestigious music schools, conservatories, and universities in the world. Programs include organ, piano, vocal, chamber, orchestral performances as well as an educational symposium series.
The 2017 Festival features leading black artists from France, Britain, Colombia, the Caribbean, and the United States performing orchestral and choral works, chamber, piano, organ, vocal recitals, and opportunities for community education.
Leading black maestros Kazem Abdullah and David E. Morrow will serve as guest conductors to lead the Masterwork Series and Anyango Yarbo-Davenport will lead an all-female Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi.
2017 Colour of Music Festival highlights include:
- An all-female Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi extends a year-long tribute acknowledging the 90th birthday (February 10, 2017) of opera sensation Leontyne Price, the most famous soprano of her generation and a major contributor to black classical music advancement, and in honor of her work with composer Samuel Barber featuring soprano Angela Brown performing Barber’s Hermit Songs
- Paris-based chamber virtuoso Grimbert-Barré Trio featuring brothers Romuald, Jonathan, and Maxence Grimbert-Barré, début Jonathan Grimbert-Barrés’ Triple Concerto for String Trio and Orchestra
- Opening the Festival’s Masterworks Series, the Saturday, October 21 Black Tie Gala performance features German-based Maestro Kazem Adbullah conducting Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s magnificent orchestra and choral masterpiece The Song of Hiawatha’s Overture and Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. The internationally acclaimed tenor Roderick Dixon will sing the solo from the Wedding Feast — the movement that made Mr. Coleridge-Taylor famous extending the composer’s name throughout the world
- Under the baton of Atlanta’s Morehouse College conductor David E. Morrow, the Sunday October 22 Matinee Memorial performance honors black composers of our past, the Emanuel-9 and survivors featuring Robert Nathaniel Dett’s Chariot Jubilee, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and the world première performance of Trevor Weston’s Unburied, Unmourned, and Unmarked for string orchestra in honor of those who perished during the Middle Passage
In addition, a two-part morning symposium series featuring thought leaders and musicians will highlight academic perspectives of the cultural contributions of black artists Topics include An Ode to Leontyne Price and The Legacy of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Revisted.
The Festival will once again expand its Education and Community Engagement activities to include schools in Berkeley and Charleston Counties with the addition of Dorchester County schools.
“Completing our first four years on an artistic high we eagerly look forward to reaching new musical heights with black classically trained talent from around the globe. Entering our fifth season we turn a corner with a program that includes an all-female chamber orchestra led by Anyango Yarbo-Davenport honoring opera legend Leontyne Price,” said Lee Pringle, General Manager and Artistic Director.
Colour of Music Festival Tickets and Information $11-$72
In person: Gaillard Center Box Office, 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston
By phone (843) 242-3099
At door: (credit card, cash or check) before each performance
Series packages with discounts up to 30% off available
All-inclusive packages for college professors/administrators, church groups, and groups of ten or more available; $10 for schools/church youth groups
COLOUR OF MUSIC FESTIVAL PROGRAM SCHEDULE
October 18-22, 2017 • Charleston South Carolina
Symposium Presentations • 10:00am
Gaillard Center Salon 1, 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston
Fri Oct 20 Ode to Leontyne Price
Sat Oct 21 The Legacy of Black Composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
High Noon Organ Recital • 12:00pm
St. Philips Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston
Fri Oct 20 Collin Richardson
Sat Oct 21 Mick Thomas Terry
Chamber Music Vocal Matinees • 2:00pm
Murray Center Salon, 14 George Street, Charleston
Wed Oct 18 Rodrick Dixon, Tenor
Thu Oct 19 Angela Brown, Soprano
Ebony and Ivory Piano Recitals • 5:00pm
Murray Center Salon, 14 George Street
Fri Oct 20 Nnenna Ogwo, Pianist
Sat Oct 21 Dynasty Battles, Pianist
Chamber Music Series • 7:00pm
Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street
Wed Oct 18 Wade Davis, cello and Leslie Paris Kwan, harpsicord
Thu Oct 19 Colour of Music Female Virtuosi (all-female chamber orchestra)
Fri Oct 20 Grimbert-Barre Trio (North American debut)
Masterworks Series I
Gaillard Center Martha & John Rivers Performance Hall and Grand Ballroom
Sat Oct 21 Gala Evening Performance
7:00pm Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer 1915 featuring soprano, Angela Brown, and The Song of Hiawatha’s Overture and Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast featuring internationally acclaimed tenor Roderick Dixon; Maestro Kazem Abdullah conducting the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra
9:00-11:00 Black Classical Renaissance Gala Benefit
Cocktails/hors-d’oeuvres, live music and dance with orchestra members)
Masterwork Series II
Gaillard Center Martha & John Rivers Performance Hall
Sun Oct 22 Matinee Memorial Honoring Black Composers of Our Past and
5:00pm Emanuel-9 Survivors
Featuring Robert Nathaniel Dett’s Chariot Jubilee, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass world premiere of Trevor Weston’s Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked under the baton of Atlanta’s Morehouse College conductor David E. Morrow