Historically, the arts have been a means to address social and community issues. With the sociopolitical events and discussions that have occurred in our country over the past few years, artists and arts organizations have felt a responsibility to augment their recognition of these issues and address them. February has been recognized as Black History Month since 1976 (America’s Bicentennial) when President Gerald Ford expanded the celebration from a week to a month in tribute to African American men and women who have made significant contributions. President Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
This presents The Chamber with an ideal opportunity to highlight the works of a number of Black composers, some of whom have not been in the mainstream of concert performances. The music to be performed on Monday’s concert “Suites, Spirituals and Dances” is not there just because it was written by Black composers…….it is on the program because it is music that I think you will enjoy hearing. In my remarks to the audience at our Valentine’s Day concert a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Duke Ellington’s quote ““There are simply two kinds of music…. good music and the other kind”. The repertoire on Monday is the in The Duke’s former category.
To perform all the composers and pieces available would have amounted to an endless concert. We hope you walk out of our concerts wishing there was more. So, for some works we will perform a single movement so that we can include more composers.
We are grateful to Concert Sponsor Dorsey and Sondra Ellis for their support of this celebration and hope you will join us Monday for “Suites, Spirituals and Dances” to hear CMSSL musicians Patti Wolf, Megan Stout, Jennifer Nitchman, Angie Smart, Adrian Walker, Susan Gordon, Alvin McCall and Tzuying Huang perform music by some very familiar and some less familiar composers.
Chamber Music Society of St. Louis