I, Too, Sing America: on Race in Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest

I, Too, Sing America: on Race in Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest, Tang Teaching Museum, November 30, 2018, photo by Cindy Schultz

Join us on Friday, November 30, at 5:30 PM for a performance of selections from and a discussion of Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest. Originally commissioned to be a celebration of the American Bicentennial Year (1976), Songfest is an orchestral song-cycle in 12 movements that celebrate the words of 13 uniquely American poets. The performance and panel discussion will feature guest soprano Victoria Botero performing “A Julia de Burgos” (Julia de Burgos) and guest mezzo-soprano Christin-Marie Hill and guest baritone Eric McKeever singing the duet “I, Too, Sing America” (Langston Hughes)/"Okay Negros” (June Jordan) in collaboration with pianist Michael Clement. Following the performances, Skidmore College Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Intergroup Relations Program Jennifer C. Mueller will moderate a discussion with singers performing in Songfest on issues of race within the song-cycle.

The event is organized by Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins, Artist-in-Residence in Skidmore’s Music Department, as part of DREAM WITH ME: LEONARD BERNSTEIN AT 100, a series of performances and events at Skidmore College that celebrate the life and work of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Songfest will be performed in its entirety on December 1 at 7:00 PM in Zankel Music Center. For more information on that performance, see https://www.skidmore.edu/zankel/ticketsevents.php.

I, Too, Sing America: on Race in Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest is supported by Accelerate: Access and Inclusion at the Tang Teaching Museum, a project of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with support from the Filene Concert Series and the ELM Chamber Music Series.

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