African-American History Month: James Reese Europe

“He was our benefactor and inspiration. Even more, he was the Martin Luther King of Music.” Pianist Eubie Blake said this of  composer/bandleader James Reese Europe,  who was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 22, 1881. Europe’s accomplishments run from the grand “Concert of Negro Music” that he conducted for a 125-man orchestra at Carnegie Hall in […]

Concerto Soave: Rome on the Potomac

Next Thursday, February 25, 8:00, the Coolidge Auditorium will ring with the sounds of seventeenth-century Italy as the Music Division hosts Concerto Soave. This intimate ensemble from southern France was founded by Jean-Marc Ayme and Grammy-winning soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr. Their tapestry of instrumental timbres is woven from harp, cello, harpsichord, and portative organ for […]

Happy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before the Christian season of Lent begins.  In New Orleans, this is the *last* day of carnival: the party started on Twelfth Night, January 6th. With the New Orlean’s Saints‘ victory in Super Bowl XLIV, this Mardi Gras season has given the  City of New Orleans something […]

Happy Birthday Mister President, Happy Birthday to You

We all can’t be Marilyn Monroe cooing a personal birthday greeting to the Commander-in-Chief. But this President’s Day weekend gives all Americans a chance to remember our iconic leaders and take advantage of holiday sales — and gives the Mid-Atlantic States more time to dig out from the record-breaking snowfall that brought the region to […]

Boy Scouts of America

This week the Boy Scouts of America turn one hundred years young – and they still look like kids! Earn your merit badge in Music with this piece from The March King: John Philip Sousa on the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. More scout-related material can be found in An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides […]

African-American History Month

Celebrate African-American History month with a presentation of  African-American Band Stocks on the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. This collection of “stock” arrangements – published orchestrations for instrumental groups – is written by some of the most important African-American composers of the early 20th century. Among those represented are J. Rosamond Johnson,  whose most famous song,  ”Lift Ev’ry Voice […]