By SOTG News Service
Choral Arts Link, Fisk University and Intersection continued their partnership that began in January 2017, with their new concert Voices of Today, a part of Fisk’s annual Spring Arts Festival on April 5.
This innovative concert experience allowed the audience to become more engaged with the music, the composers, the performers and one another as the organizations highlighted the compositions as the night went on.
Choral Arts Link and Intersection invited the composers of their pieces to discuss how they developed their voices and how it can be heard throughout their work. The concert offered attendees the chance to share if they were moved by something they heard by raising hearts they were handed upon entering the concert.
Intersection invited conductor of the Fisk Jazz Ensemble and composer Dr. Gary Powell Nash to speak on the pieces he composed for Intersection.Cedric Dent, Grammy-nominated composer and former member of Take 6, offered insight on his jazz-inspired arrangement of “I Shall Not Be Moved,” performed by CAL’s signature program the MET Singers.
“I grew up around two church soloists—my mother and my father—so because of that I was used to hearing harmony,” Dent said, explaining the inspiration for harmonies in his arrangement. “I always heard these additional notes within the harmonies, so I gave them a try and I added an extra chorus for feeling.”
The dominant voices of classical music in the United States have limited diversity with an under-representation of African-American composers. Choral Arts Link, Intersection, and Fisk are committed to creating a future that represents, promotes, and celebrates the diversity of voices of experiences creating music.
“Voices of Today is a cultural representation of the landscape of musicians, composers, conductors and singers whose work that many are not familiar with,” said Margaret Campbelle-Holman, executive director of CAL. “There is a tapestry of vocal styles that share the many hues, stories, and timbres of African Americans. ”
Campbelle-Holman started CAL’s MET Singers program over a decade ago to produce a national model for public schools and at-risk youth seeking an opportunity to challenge their vocal and artistic gifts. Based on over 40 years as a music educator, consultant, author and composer in public schools, Campbelle-Holman took that experience and created a program for any student who wants to extend and expand their training.