New Music Ensemble Fuses Poetry, Dance and Music March 27

Dance student rehearsing with New Music Ensemble in Ludwig Recital Hall
Kent, Ohio —
New Music at Kent State joins with partners from the Wick Poetry Center and Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance to present a special concert fusing poetry, dance and music. The program, hosted by the Glauser School of Music, celebrates and highlights the music of Black musicians and artists. 

“This program began with the intention to make space for and celebrate the diverse achievements of Black composers,” says Adam Roberts, assistant professor of composition in the Glauser School. 

Featured on the program are elegant works by Florence Price and William Grant Still alongside more abstract works by Anthony Braxton and Anthony Green. It also features an arrangement of the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” created by Roberts. The music of Jessie Montgomery is also on the program.

Joining the music with poetry and dance happened over the 2020 winter break when Roberts sought potential collaborators. “I reached out to the Wick Poetry Center and to choreographer and Associate Professor of Dance, Gregory King, to see if they might like to collaborate with me on this project. To my delight, they were both eager to be involved.”

Roberts' research also led him to discover that composers Price and Still were raised in Little Rock, Ark. He contacted Linda Holzer, D.M., an expert on the composers and a professor of piano at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Earlier in the spring semester, Holzer joined King, Green, music graduate student Alexis Hill and Wick Poetry Center graduate student Isaiah Hunt for a Zoom roundtable with the New Music Ensemble. Their conversation centered around Blackness, music and art, with elements of the dialogue becoming integrated into the concert.

“I couldn’t have asked for more inspired collaborators and am very grateful for their participation,” says Roberts. “The program exhibits a spectrum of emotions, from pain and struggle to joy and vitality.”

This one-time-only concert broadcast will be available to view on the Glauser School of Music’s Live Streaming page on Sat., March 27 at 7:30 p.m. EST. It’s free, and a complete concert program will be available to view or download.

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POSTED: Friday, March 26, 2021 - 12:57pm
UPDATED: Saturday, March 27, 2021 - 7:24am
WRITTEN BY:
Andrew Paa | musiccommunications@kent.edu