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The Souls of Black Folk: Rediscovering Black Classical Music

November 14, 2021 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Presented by PostClassical Ensemble in partnership with Howard University and the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts

PCE explores the roots of Black classical music, from the sorrow songs that speak to the suffering of enslaved Africans in the United States to the spiritual arrangements of composer Harry Burleigh and the musical prophecies of Antonin Dvorak.

With music by Burleigh, Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, and readings from W. E. B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes, we look back at the founders of Black classical music, recall their words, and experiences and examine the times in which they lived.

‍This concert is the first of three in PCE’s season-long project, The Rediscovery and Renewal of Black Classical Music, which seeks to elevate consequential composers who have too long been neglected for all their profound contributions to American orchestral music. PCE has long been a national leader in unearthing this buried history. By contextualizing this story– where the music came from, why it disappeared, and what to make of it today– we reflect on our nation’s complex cultural history and gain insight into how to nurture understanding and dialogue.

The project coincides with Joe Horowitz’s new book  Dvorak’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music, to be released by Norton in November 2021.

The Souls of Black Folk: Rediscovering Black Classical Music

Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

All Souls Church: 1500 Harvard St NW (@16th), Washington, DC

Elizabeth G. Hill, piano

Melissa Constantin, soprano

Howard University student actors

CAAPA Chorale conducted by Music Director Greg Watkins

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Jenn White, host

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All Souls Church
1500 Harvard St NW
Washington, DC 20009 United States
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PostClassical Ensemble
(240) 630-4322
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