CCM Celebrates Black Composers

CCM Celebrates Black Composers

CCM Celebrates Black Composers on Saturday, April 10th, with a series of virtual recital programs that provide students the opportunity to study and perform music written by Black composers. Throughout history, these oft-neglected composers did not share the limelight they deserved.

Students and teaching artists have chosen pieces from a wide range of genres – classical, folk, jazz, and ragtime – whose composers span the globe. Students of all ages and abilities will perform iconic and masterful music pieces by Black composers.

Each student will also share a short presentation about the composer of their piece. Learning a composer's history helps students contextualize and connect with their music. It will undoubtedly elevate the performance of the compositions.

CCM violin faculty member Nicole Parks explains, "We have organized this program to celebrate Black composers to help our students and faculty explore music that might otherwise be unknown to them. It is our duty as educators to be presenting a well-rounded and inclusive education to our students. Since most of the pedagogical repertoire, at least for strings, has been created by white men, it is important that we include music by composers who have historically been under-represented."

We are also creating a school-wide video where all available students and faculty come together virtually to perform "Le Vieux Garçon" ("The Old Boy") by Ignatius Sancho. Sancho was born on a slave ship off the coast of Guinea in 1729. He was eventually brought to England, where the Duke and Duchess of Montague taught him literature, writing, and music, and he ultimately became a free man. Demonstrating to our students that Sancho and others like him are as important and valuable as the music of more well-known composers is just one small step of the many that we must take to provide a quality music education.

Celebrating Black Composer recitals are open to the public. To receive the Zoom link, sign up today.