Kennedy-King College Community Chous and Others | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Kennedy-King College Community Chous and Others 

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Black History Month is a great time to acknowledge, at long last, the contributions of two generations of Afro-American women composers. That's exactly what American Women Composers, Inc. has in store for us in this gala concert. Admittedly never part of the active repertory, the music of this tiny minority nonetheless invites scrutiny for its strong sense of ethnic identity. The E minor Symphony of Chicagoan Florence Bea Price (1888-1953), for example, was among the first sophisticated attempts at injecting a heavy black accent into 19th-century European idioms; yet it has seldom been performed since its premiere in 1933 by the Chicago Symphony under Frederick Stock. The same can be said about the other, older pieces on this program of orchestral, choral, and chamber works: the cantata Scenes from the Life of a Martyr by Undine Smith Moore (b. 1905) and songs of Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), the first black soloist to appear with the CSO. The younger generation is represented by Dorothy Rudd Moore, Betty Jackson King, and Lena McLin. The celebrants include the Kennedy-King College Community Chorus, directed by Randall Johnson, and the Van Nir Chamber Orchestra. Saturday, 7 PM, and Sunday, 5 PM, Katherine Dunham Theatre, Kennedy-King College, 6800 S. Wentworth; 962-3705.

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