June 24, 2012
Annual Summer Concert: A Juneteenth Celebration
This musically and culturally rich concert will feature quartet, choral and solo performances. It will be a one-of-a-kind celebration of Black Texas music traditions (e.g. Black male quartet singing) andcomposers.
4 P.M., Sunday, June 24, 2012 at Riverside United Methodist Church, 4920 Cullen Boulevard at North MacGregor Way, Houston 77004.
General Admission: $20. Special: 2 for $35. Purchase online now.
Group Rates: $15 each for groups of 10 0r more, available by phone at 713-335-3800.
“The Most Incredible Polyrhythmic Stuff You’ve Ever Heard”: African American Male Quartets in Texas, 1880 – 1950 and Choral Music of Houston Composers
In 1936, charged by the Library of Congress with documenting America’s roots music, ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax traveled to Austin to record Texas musicians, among them a quartet of young African American men singing spirituals. Stunned by the intricacy of their vocal arrangements, he described the singing of the Houston-based quartet as “the most incredible polyrhythmic stuff you’ve ever heard.” The group named themselves the Soul Stirrers, moved to Chicago, and in 1950, hired then-unknown Sam Cooke as their lead singer, becoming along the way one of the greatest gospel quartets of their time. The Soul Stirrers and other Texas quartets who reached national popularity in the mid-twentieth century, such as the Pilgrim Travelers and the Gospel Keynotes, were the culmination of a rich quartet tradition that flourished among African Americans in East/Central Texas between the 1880s and 1950s. In those decades, hundreds of Texas quartets performed at everything from minstrel shows to political rallies to church services, singing 19th-century parlor songs, Stephen Foster hits, arranged spirituals, and, later, the newfangled gospel songs of composers such as Thomas Dorsey. Join a quartet of talented soloists including tenors Adavion Wayne and L. Wayne Ashley, baritone DuWayne Davis and bass Leon Turner singing repertoire popularized by the Soul Stirrers and The Houston Ebony Opera Guild Chorus singing works of our most-loved local composers. Dr. Carrie Allen Tipton guides us through the performances with interspersed commentary exploring the evolution of Black male quartet singing in Texas from the late 19th century through the 1950s, decades that saw the tradition evolve from the classically-influenced jubilee “quartettes” to the powerful gospel quartets that wrecked churches across the Lone Star State and beyond.
The following local composers will be featured:
A founding member of HEOG and protégé of the Guild’s founder, Lela Anderson’s works are also included in this concert. Ms. Anderson has worked consistently and with much acclaim as a pianist, choral director and clinician. Her compositions have received numerous performances by universities, high schools, churches and professional choirs. her choral arrangements and compositions reflect the best of our Spiritual tradition.
The Galveston native, educator, poet and author and composer Izola E.F. Collins’ compositions will also be featured. She has mentored generations of professional musicians and music educators throughout the region.
Jackson MS native and Houston resident, John L. Cornelius ll, is a prolific composer of chamber works, orchestral works, choral compositions and works for the musical theater stage. He is known for his inventive use of rhythm, sophisticated harmonies and counterpoint.
HEOG’s own former choir master, organist and conductor C. Vincent Fuller’s works will be featured. His choral anthems, some reminiscent of the great English tradition, have been nationally acclaimed and widely performed in both church and academic settings. He is published by GIA and Paraclete Press.
Young Texas Southern University graduate and winner of the Ithaca College Conservatory Competition Contest in 2011, Christopher Harris, is a native of Fort Worth, TX. His compositions have been described as having a beautiful and neo-romantic quality.
October 7, 2012
Opera Gems Concert
Our Stories: Staged Scenes from American Operas
This program will feature dramatic scenes with great music from American operas that reflect the racial, social and cultural complexity of American life.
4 P.M., Sunday, October 7, 2012 at Zilkha Hall/Hobby Center, 800 Bagby Street, Houston 77002.
October 21, 2012
A Guest Appearance at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
This program will celebrate the opening of “Modern Spirit,” a retrospective exhibit of the works of Henry Ossawa Tanner (18XX – 1937), the renowned painter who was first African American artist to achieve international acclaim.
Sunday, October 21, 2012, Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1001 Bissonett Street.
Admission: This event is free with your paid museum admission., but it does require a free, printed ticket. Tickets will be available soon.
Click here for details
December 9, 2012
Christmas Concert: What Sweeter Music
Christmas Carols from Europe, America and the African Diaspora
Seasonal music from American and multicultural traditions.
4 P.M., Sunday, December 9, 2012, Westbury United Methodist Church, 5200 Willowbend Boulevard Houston, TX 77096.
Admission: Free (donations accepted)
Presented by Westbury United Methodist Church.