Anyango Yarbo-Davenport

NASHVILLE, TN — The Colour of Music Festival announces the Nashville, TN début of Colour of Music Festival ‘Petit’ November 6-9, 2019 at multiple noted venues throughout downtown Nashville, a five-day festival featuring black classical artists and scholars from France, Britain, Colombia, the Caribbean, and the United States performing organ, piano, vocal, chamber and orchestral works showcasing the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture.

Since 2013, the Colour of Music Festival has brought classically trained black musicians together to offer the public an opportunity to experience the talent of prodigiously gifted classical principals, composers, and performers of African descent share their musical talents, knowledge, and inspiration. 

Few classical music enthusiasts are aware of the tremendous contributions of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an African-French composer, and contemporary of Mozart, whose opera and classical masterpieces equaled or far exceeded those of his 18th century contemporaries. Though highly recognized overseas, his contributions have gathered little notice in the U.S. Today thousands of tremendously talented black classical principals, composers, and performers have few opportunities to grace concert stages of major American orchestras.

Maestro Chelsea Tipton, II will serve as guest conductor to lead the Masterwork performance and Anyango Yarbo-Davenport will lead an all-female Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi.

2019 Colour of Music Festival ‘Petit’ highlights include:

• An all-female Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi honors opera legend Leontyne Price, the most famous soprano of her generation and major contributor to black classical music advancement, highlighting her work with composer Samuel Barber featuring soprano Laquita Mitchell performing Barber’s Hermit Songs

• Four spotlight recitals feature Laquita Mitchell soprano, Rodrick Dixon tenor, Kyle P. Walker, piano and Anthony Williams, organ will feature a rarely performed composition of Robert Nathaniel Dett’s Chariot Jubilee for organ, chorus, and tenor solo. Internationally renowned tenor Rodrick Dixon was a standout in the PBS presentation of Three Mo’ Tenors. 

• The Festival’s Masterworks Saturday, November 9  features Texas-based Maestro Chelsea Tipton conducting Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer 1915 featuring soloist Laquita Mitchell, William Grant Still’s Ennanga Harp Concerto for Harp and Strings, Jordan W. Thomas, harp, Requiem for Rice a Tennessee premier of the groundbreaking composition by Emmy Award-wining composer John Christopher Wineglass, with libretto by Edda Fields-Black and Jonathan Grimbert-Barré’s Tribal Triple Concerto for Trio and Orchestra.

• Morehouse College’s conductor David Morrow will lead the Colour of Music Festival Chorale in a grand performance to honor black composers of yesteryear featuring Robert Nathaniel Dett’s Chariot Jubilee for organ, chorus, Rodrick Dixon, tenor as guest soloist and Nashville-based organist, Anthony Williams.  

• A  symposium presentation An Ode to Leontyne Price, chronicling the career and legacy of one of the most celebrated African-American voices of her generation will be facilitated by Dr. Christopher Brooks and joined by her brother and manager retired Brigadier General, George B. Price, along with a literary presentation on the life and legacy of Fisk University alumni, tenor Roland Hayes.

 • The Festival will also engage Nashville Metro Public School’s K-12 students with educational and engagement activities.

“Nashville and the history of black music in North America started with the African-American spiritual. We look forward to reaching new musical heights in Nashville with talent from around the globe as we highlight black women and their contributions to the classical genre featuring an all-female chamber orchestra led by conductor and soloist Anyango Yarbo-Davenport honoring opera legend Leontyne Price,” said Lee Pringle, Founder and Artistic Director.