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We Shall Overcome – A Celebration of Black History Month

by David A McConnell

Feb 19, 2021

Berks Sinfonietta and Vox Philia present their annual celebration of Black History Month. The virtual concert premieres on Saturday, February 27 at 7:30 pm and is rebroadcast on Sunday, February 28 at 4:00 pm. The performance can be viewed on Facebook and YouTube. Readers can watch by visiting www.berkssinfonietta.org and/or voxphilia.org.

The program is a collaborative event, featuring performances by the Wilson High School Select Choir, conducted by Emily Fredericks, and the Lincoln University Concert Choir conducted by Dr. Camilla Horne. Wilson’s choir sings William Dawson’s exciting setting of “Soon-ah Will Be Done,” while the Concert Choir of Lincoln University performs three works, including Arnold Sevier’s stunning arrangement of Dorsey’s “Precious Lord.” Vox Philia performs Harry Burleigh’s setting of “My Lord, what a Morning,” and a moving setting of Langston Hughes “I Dream a World” by André Thomas. The choirs come together (virtually) to close with an uplifting setting of “We Shall Overcome.”

Berks Sinfonietta performs George Walker’s “Wind Set for Woodwind Quintet” and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s “Sinfonietta No. 1 for Strings.” Walker’s quintet, commissioned by the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, premiered on May 2, 1999 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. The first movement is in two sections: at first, somewhat lyrical, the music quickly becomes more rhythmical. The second movement juxtaposes lyrical and virtuosic sections, with almost constant time signature changes.

Perkinson’s Sinfonietta No.1 for Strings, composed in 1955, revels in contrapuntal writing, showing the composer’s admiration for the music of Bach. Music critic David Wolman argue the work “if composed by a young Caucasian, would be considered the work of a wunderkind.”

Interspersed between these ensemble performances are solo performances by students and faculty at Lincoln University, as well as two distinguished singers based in Chicago, IL, soprano Kimberly Jones, and tenor David Honoré.

Viewing is open to all and free, though donations equaling the usual ticket costs of a concert ($15/Adult and $5/Child) ensure these video concerts can continue. Join us for an evening (or afternoon) of fabulous music, Saturday, February 27 at 7:30 pm. And Sunday, February 28 at 4:00 pm. Streamed on Facebook and YouTube – for more information, please visit www.berkssinfonietta.org and/or www.voxphilia.org.

 

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