Extensions of the Tradition: Music by Black Composers
Anne Slovin, Soprano
Anne Slovin, soprano, is a Third- year doctoral student in voice at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she currently also teaches undergraduate voice pedagogy. During her masters, she sang the role of Clara in the collegiate premiere of It’s a Wonderful Life. Anne also had the opportunity to originate the role of Mica Segal in Wlad Marhulets’ The Property with Lyric Opera of Chicago Unlimited in 2015. Other recent roles include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Micaëla in La tragédie de Carmen, both in Bloomington, Indiana. She is an award-winner from the German-American Academic Exchange (DAAD), the Joshi Foundation, and the Musicians Club of Women, and has also distinguished herself in the Franco-American Vocal Academy’s Grand Concours de Chant and the International Czech and Slovak Vocal Competition. Anne will perform the role of Susanna in a virtual “Mozart for Millennials” production of Le Nozze di Figaro with Transgressive Theatre-Opera in April 2021.
Jeremiah Sanders, Baritone
Jeremiah Sanders is a nationally awarded baritone and maintains an active schedule as a performer, educator, and conductor. Recently, they earned a Metropolitan Opera National Council District win in Kansas City, Missouri (2021), was a finalist in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Diversity Competition (2021), National Arts and Letters Vocal Competition (2021), and the Opera Mississippi John Alexander Vocal Competition (2020). Jeremiah has been a young artist at the San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto in Guanajuato, Mexico, Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance in New York City, International Opera Performing Experience in Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy, and Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York. At IU, Jeremiah has performed as the Father in Hansel and Gretel, The Preacher/Street Singer in Berstein's Mass, and Giorgio Germont in La Traviata. A native Hoosier, they received their Performer's Diploma in Voice from Indiana University (2019), Master's degree in Vocal Performance from Butler University (2017), and Bachelor of Arts degree at Manchester University (2014). They are in their 3rd year of doctoral studies under the tutelage of Jane Dutton.
Timothy Stephenson and Nicha Stapanukul, Piano
Pianists Nicha Stapanukul and Timothy Stephenson have performed individually throughout the United States and around the world as successful solo and collaborative musicians. They have been featured on the stages of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital, Aspen’s Harris Concert Hall, London’s Princess Alexandra Hall, and appeared with numerous orchestras as soloists. Emerging from the doctoral degree at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, these two artists have founded the B&T Duo with a combined passion for community outreach and creative entrepreneurship while maintaining high-quality performances.
Based in Bloomington, Indiana, B&T Duo has performed regularly at Indiana University and Franklin College, having served the community of Bloomington with performances at Meadowood Retirement Community and Autumn Hills Alzheimer’s Special Care Center. Born in the age of the coronavirus epidemic, B&T duo believes in the value of music as a powerful and uplifting art form, capable of promoting diversity through creative programming and serving as a means of unity and healing. In the summer of 2020, the duo founded the concert series Bite-Size Mondays, creatively combining technology and art to reach audiences who faced the struggles of quarantine and self-isolation by putting on short, ‘bite-sized’ live streamed concerts featuring lesser-known works for four-hands that anyone can view from the comfort of their home.
In just the first year of its formation, B&T Duo won 2nd Prize at the IU Jacobs School of Music Competition Celebrating Diversity 2021 and assisted in bringing the concert series ‘Piano Music of the African Diaspora: an e-Concert series’ to life both as administrators and performers, premiering its first episode earlier this year. B&T Duo has found great pleasure in working with living composers such as American composer Cedric Adderley and Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga, recognizing the incredible opportunity to be able to communicate with composers whose music they perform.
Mira Walker, Piano
Mira Walker began her piano study at age 5 with her mother, Susan Walker. At age 13, she began studying with Mrs. Tatiana Kasman, and in 2014, she became a student of Dr. Yakov Kasman, Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Piano at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mira earned her B.A. in Music under the instruction of Dr. Kasman at UAB, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree under the instruction of Professor Norman Krieger at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
Mira has successfully participated in many piano competitions, and her honors include Finalist in the inaugural Music International Grand Prix, Winner of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Concerto/Aria Competition, First Place in the National Federation of Music Clubs Collegiate Piano Competition, First Place in the MTNA Alabama Collegiate Piano Competition, First Place and Overall Winner in the Birmingham Music Clubs Scholarship Competition, Division and Overall Winner of the AMTA Collegiate Piano Solo Competition, Winner of the AMTA Collegiate Concerto Competition, Winner of the Southern Adventist University Concerto Competition, First Place in the AFMC Collegiate Piano Competition, Winner of The American Prize Chamber Ensemble and Career Encouragement Citation, and First Place in Stillman College’s “Zelpha Wells” Southeast Regional Piano Competition.
Mira is an active performer, and has appeared nation-wide in solo and chamber recitals, and as a soloist with the Southern Adventist University Orchestra in Tennessee and the National Ukrainian Symphony in Kiev. She was scheduled to perform with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, but unfortunately this was cancelled due to Covid-19. Mira has appeared in master classes with Ann Schein, Jeremy Denk, Antoinette Perry, and Rachel Kudo.
Mira is also a passionate teacher, and currently serves as an Associate Instructor of Piano at the Jacobs School of Music. She enjoys teaching all ages and sharing her love of music through performing and teaching.
Jude Richardson, Piano
Raised in Warwick, Bermuda, Jude Richardson is a Senior undergraduate studying piano performance and economics at Indiana University. He loves playing Chopin and Scriabin but is now trying to widen his range of musical expression with tools in electronic music. With significant experience performing in hotels, restaurants, and other public venues, Jude is now interested in broadening his business and entrepreneurship skills to better support the artistic environment of his home country.
Paula Wilson, Flute
Paula Wilson is an emerging flutist, educator, and arts administrator from San Antonio, Texas. She is a recent alumna of Indiana University where she received a Bachelors of Music in Flute Performance and a minor in Arts Management. She currently studies with Thomas Robertello and Oliver Nelson Jr. Paula is an avid contemporary and chamber music performer in both the San Antonio and Bloomington, Indiana areas. She has had the honor of performing internationally in Vienna, Budapest, and Prague and enjoys connecting with the community through music.
Alonza Lawrence, Baritone
Alonza Brandon Lawrence is a native of Richmond VA. Alonza began his musical journey at a very young age, and has been singing for well over a decade. In 2008 he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Norfolk State University. After 6 years of serving VA as a performer, Minister of Music, and Music Educator, he moved to Indiana, where he is currently completing his Doctoral Studies at the Jacobs School of Music.
Tislam Swift, Tenor
A Native of Brooklyn, New York, Tislam Swift has performed on a wide array of concert stages, theaters and opera houses. He discovered his love for Opera while he was a member of the 2013-2014 season of the Atlanta Opera chorus, under the direction of Maestro Walter Huff. In 2014, he participated in the Princeton Opera Festival’s production of Porgy and Bess. He has made Indiana University Opera Theater appearances in La Boheme, South Pacific, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, Parsifal, Die Fledermaus as Dr.Blind, as the Comic Marcellus Washburn in Meredith Wilson’s The Music man, as Scaramuccio in Strauss’ Ariadne Ariadne Auf Naxos and most recently as a street singer soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. As a Young Artist, he has spent a summer at the Utah Festival Opera Musical Theater performing in productions of Ragtime, Porgy and Bess and Peter Pan. Mr. Swift has been a World-Premier Artist with the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation. He is very passionate about bringing music to the community and was recently a featured artist in the City of Bloomington’s People’s Park Concert Series, highlighting art songs and spirituals by Black composers. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Morehouse College and a Masters of Music from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he is currently a Doctoral student under the tutelage of Tenor Russell Thomas. Tislam is currently an Associate Instructor of the African-American Choral Ensemble at IU under the Direction of Dr. Raymond Wise.
About Extensions of the Tradition
Composer and former IU Soul Revue director William C. Banfield and composer Stephen Newby established the Extensions of the Tradition Concert series in 1988 at the University of Michigan, with the purpose of publicly presenting works by African American composers. Since 1993, the African American Arts Institute has presented the series in Bloomington. According to Banfield, “Extensions of the Tradition” refers to artistic expressions that are linked to a long history of African American composers. These composers speak in several “musical tongues,” which exist, as W.E.B. Dubois has stated, “…in a double consciousness” of European and African derived artistic traditions.
Dr. Rosephanye Powell
Born and raised in Alabama, Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell began her musical journey at a very young age. She excelled in saxophone, piano, Choral, and Musical Theater performance. In high school, she was able to balance her arts with basketball. This lead to a scholarship to Alabama State University. However, unable to do both in college, she continued with her musical passions. After earning a Bachelor of Music Education Degree in Voice from Alabama State, she went further to earn her Masters from Westminster Choir College and Doctorate from Florida State University. Today, as an accomplished singer and voice faculty member at Alburn State University, Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell is also one of the leading contemporary composers of both Choral and solo voice repertoire. One of her stand out art song collections "Miss Wheatley's Garden" is named after one of America's first credited female African-American poet, Phillis Wheatly. Taking her music and marrying it to the works of historical African-American women poets like Phillis Wheatly, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Angelina Weld Grimes, and Georgia Douglas Johnson, Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell has created a grand platform by which the work and narratives of these great women of color may be universally spread and immortalized.
Florence Price (1887-1953) was the most widely known African American female composer from the 1930’s to her death in 1953. She began formal training with her mother and presented her first public recital at four years of age. Price went on to double major in organ and piano at the New England Conservatory earning a Bachelor of Music. She also studied composition and counterpoint with Frederick Converse. Price wrote in all genres except opera, producing works for piano, organ, voice, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and chorus and arranging spirituals for voice and instrumental combinations. Her music was regularly performed by personal friends and colleagues in Chicago as well as by some of the leading concert singers of the day, including Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, and Harry T. Burleigh. As an accomplished pianist, Price also premiered many of her own works for piano and organ. She is recognized as the first African American female symphonic composer. Her Symphony in E minor was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933, conducted by Frederick Stocken. Over her lifetime, Price composed over three hundred works.
Dr. Cedric Adderley
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Dr. Adderley earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education from East Carolina University and both the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of South Carolina. As a man of many musical talents, he is known for his exemplary works in composition, arranging, education, and serving as director and clinician worldwide. Cedric Adderley’s music is praised for its beauty, imaginative use of color, and for its ability to communicate powerfully with a broad concert-going public without sacrificing complexity, artistic integrity, or technical finesse. Beyond the realm of composition, Dr. Adderley has served as administrator and educator at South Carolina public schools, North Carolina A&T State University, Benedict College, Claflin University, and Capital University. He currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina and serves as the President of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.
Betty Jackson-King (February 17- June 1 1994) was an American Pianist, singer, choral conductor and composer who was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received both her B.M. in Piano Performance and her M.M. in composition from Roosevelt University with further study at Oakland University and Glassboro College. Following her education, King went on to teach at numerous institutions including the University of Chicago Laboratory School, Roosevelt University and Dillard University in New Orleans, LA. King rapidly became a sought-after conductor, composer and clinician at churches and Universities Nationwide. Her honors Include a scholarship from the Chicago Umbrian Glee Club, awards from the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., "Outstanding Leaders in Elementary and Secondary Education", and "The International Black writers conference. King also served as President of the National Association of Negro Musicians from 1980-1985.
Valerie Coleman is a Grammy nominated Flutist, composer and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Coleman began her musical studies at the age of Eleven. By the age of 14, Coleman had already composed three full-length symphonies and had won several local and State flute compositions. Coleman went on to study at Boston University where she earned a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition and earned an M.M. in Flute performance from Mannes College of Music in New York City. Currently, Coleman is the founder, resident flutist and composer of the Grammy nominated Wind Quartet, Imani Winds. Her performances and works are heard regularly throughout the country on shows such as the Ed Gordon Show, WNYC’s Soundcheck and the NPR segment, Performance today. Coleman has given Flute Masterclasses at Ithaca College, Utah State University, University of Nebraska, Norfolk state University and many other colleges and Universities Nationwide.
Dr. Wendell Whalum
Dr. Wendell Whalum, was born on September 4, 1931, in Memphis, Tennessee. When he was a very young boy, his musical talent, which was nurtured by his parents, was evident. He played for Avery Chapel A.M.E. Church, Central Baptist Church and Providence A.M.E. Church, all located in his hometown. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1952, the Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1953, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Iowa in 1965. In 1953, Dr. Whalum was appointed Director of the Morehouse College Glee Club, succeeding the late Kemper Harreld. The Glee Club earned national and international acclaim during Dr. Whalum's 34 years of leadership. He spent his entire professional career and achieved an enviable record as a professor, director of both Band and Glee Club, Chairman of the Music Department, and Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Music. Professionally, he was an active member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia of America and Alpha Phi Alpha Incorporated among several other organizations. He was also a powerhouse of a organist, conductor, clinician, arranger, and composer. His works span instrumental, orchestral, choral, and solo vocal genres. His spiritual arrangements however, are held in high regard among others in the cannon due to their infusion of traditional Gospel aesthetics and themes. Drawing from his background in the black church, he was able to create art songs that were in a league of their own as they were meant for the concert stage, but still embodied the spiritual elements encouraged by gospels. Dr. Whalum's capacity as a storyteller through his music was unparalleled, for his works have the unique ability to mesmerize his audiences with an unending reservoir of historical interpretations.
Dr. Raymond Wise
Dr. Raymond Wise is a Native of Baltimore, Maryland and began his musical career at the young age of 3 singing Gospel Music with his family singing Group, “The Wise Singers”. Wise was educated in the Baltimore City Public School System and graduated second out of a class of 500 from the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School in 1979. Dr. Wise continued his education Denison University (Granville, OH) where he earned a B.F.A. in Music. While on campus, Wise was also to reorganize the campus’ Black Student Union Choir and founded the Black Student Union Ensemble and Dance Company. He continued his musical studies at The Ohio State University where he earned his Masters in Doctorate degrees in Music Education for which his dissertation topic is “ Defining African-American Gospel Music by Tracing its Historical and Musical Development from 1900 to 2000. Dr. Wise is currently the Executive Director of the African-American Arts institute where he is also the Director of the African-American Choral Ensemble.
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