Welcome to my life

            

I was first introduced to the power of music as a 3-year old sitting in church with my parents. I remember keenly watching the pianist play the hymns each week before going home to try and figure out what I had just heard. Since then, I've never lost the urge to discover all that I can about music and how it works. 

 

However, as I've grown older, I've also given more thought to the ways that music functions as part of our larger society. This stems in many ways from the time I spent in college studying broadcast journalism (my second major) and working as a field reporter for the local news station. Those experiences opened my eyes to the shocking lack of awareness that many people have surrounding not only world issues, but issues facing their local communities.
 
I attribute this mainly to a failure of all parties to clearly communicate with each other. Music can bridge these gaps and provide all of us with a digestible way to plug into the world outside of our doors. It is for this reason that I devote a significant portion of my programming to music that speaks towards current social issues, rather than limit myself solely to the wonderful, though sometimes overplayed traditional repertoire. It may be an unreachable aspiration, but I aim to be a conduit for positive social change with every program that I learn.

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Previous events

The Dream Unfinished: Deep River

New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St, New York, NY

The season finale will include speakers and activists who will provide local and global perspectives on climate change’s impact on communities of color, and premiere new orchestrations of works by Trevor Weston, Zenobia Powell Perry, and others. Hosted by WQXR’s Terrance McKnight.

May31

Deep River: Piano Palette

Soapbox Gallery, 636 Dean Street , Brooklyn NY

Music by Weston, Bonds, and Burleigh, in the newly opened Soapbox gallery, a space which presents performances and works of art that engage the issues of our time. Featuring a conversation with composer Trevor Weston.

The Kennedy Center presents: Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)

Eisenhower Theater at The John F. Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW, Washington DC

Witness the first theatrical performance granted permission to explore and integrate work of Robert Mapplethorpe. Reflecting deeply on the continued impact of the late visual artist's photography, this theater piece by librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle and composer Bryce Dessner brings together choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth, the poetry of Patti Smith and Essex Hemphill, and projections of Mapplethorpe’s breathtaking images.

National Sawdust Presents: LISTENING TO TOM-TOM: LUCY CAPLAN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AMOC

National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Renowned scholar Lucy Caplan partners with the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), one of National Sawdust’s Artists-In-Residence, to lead Listening to “Tom-Tom”, a discussion of the 1932 opera by author, musicologist, African-American civil rights activist, and composer Shirley Graham Du Bois. Following an introduction of excerpts from the work sung by bass-bariton Davóne Tines, Caplan and fellow panelists will discuss the opera’s complex representations of race, gender, and history in addition to the opportunities and challenges of presenting Tom-Tom today.

Treemonisha: Three on 3 & Opera Ebony

Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church, 12 Mt Morris Park W, New York, NY

Scenes from Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha and art songs by Hall Johnson and Harry T Burleigh. Treemonisha is about 18-year-old girl who is kidnapped by a conjurer who fears her education poses a threat to his influence over the community. Johnson and Burleigh are two of the first composers of the American Art song.

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