(PLAINFIELD, NJ) -- The Plainfield Symphony continues their annual tradition of offering a free family concert with a “Cultural Salute” on Saturday January 22 at 3:00pm. Under the baton of Maestro Charles Prince, the program will introduce you to musical selections by two prominent 20th Century black composers and a Venezuela composer performed by our talented strings. The event will be available by livestream on the symphony's website and YouTube channel.
Ulysses S. Kay (1917-1995) was one of the leading black composers and teachers in the classical music industry in the 20th Century. He wrote over 135 pieces in genres ranging from solo piano works to full-length opera. His Six Dances for String Orchestra will be featured. Kay wrote the six dances in batches of two. At least two movements were composed in 1953, when a friend of Kay’s who was a CBS radio producer suggested he write a new work for its Sunday afternoon String Serenade program.
Many exceedingly talented musicians of color have contributed to our classical music heritage, and William Grant Still (1895–1978) was one the greatest. He was born into a musical golden era – early 20th-century America, where jazz, pop, classical, and even film music overlapped. Because of all the firsts he managed to achieve, he became known as the Dean of African American Composers with nearly 200 works created. His 1948 composition Danzas de Panama was composed after listening to traditional Panamanian folk music. This music blends an African beat with a Latin melody.
Venezuelan Aldemaro Romero (1928-2007) established himself internationally as a pianist, composer, author and arranger. Known for his ability to mix popular songs and folk elements with classical forms and techniques, his Fuga con Pajarillo, a movement from his Suite No. 1 for Strings, showcases this.
While there will not be any in-person audience, you can still join us virtually for this “Cultural Salute” and experience the music by three important but less well-known composers. You may view the livestream performance on their website and on their YouTube Channel.
This Arts Program is made possible in part by a HEART Grant from the Union County Board of Commissioners.
The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra is operated for educational and charitable purposes by the Plainfield Symphony Society, Inc. The Society’s mission is to prepare and present musical programs; stimulate interest in symphonic music in the central New Jersey area; provide educational opportunities through youth and family-oriented concerts and other educational opportunities; and provide a forum in which talented non-professional musicians can perform in an orchestral setting.
PHOTO: Charles Prince, Music Director