UNC festival (March 21-25) highlights music of under-represented composers

Music professor Louise Toppin directs Videmus, an organization that promotes the works of under-represented composers.

The musical works of women, African-American and other under-represented composers will be highlighted March 21-15 in a festival at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Videmus @ 25: Reflecting on the Past … Reaching Toward the Future,” features concerts, lectures, panel discussions and master classes by artists including composer and Tufts University professor emeritus T.J. Anderson, Grammy Award-winning musician Herbie Hancock, opera stars Leona Mitchell, George Shirley and Marquita Lister, and Judith Ann Still, daughter of composer William Grant Still.

Videmus (from Latin, “to see”) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the classical works of under-represented composers through recordings, concerts, scholarships and educational programming. It is under the direction of Louise Toppin, professor of music in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. The series of events honoring the 25th anniversary of Videmus is the focus of this year’s “Festival on the Hill.”

Many of the events are free. For a complete schedule and to register, visit http://www.videmus.org or call (919) 962-1039.

Highlights include:

  • March 21: Music of African-American composers, featuring compositions of Adolphus Hailstork and Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Performed by members of North Carolina Central University music faculty. 7 p.m. Person Recital Hall. Free.
  • March 22: An Evening with Herbie Hancock, part of Carolina Performing Arts season. 7:30 p.m. Memorial Hall. The legendary pianist and composer is the recipient of an Academy Award and 14 Grammys. For ticket information, call (919) 843-3333. (Note: Student tickets no longer available). http://www.carolinaperformingarts.org
  • March 23: The UNC Jazz Band, directed by music professor Jim Ketch, performs compositions of Sherisse Rogers. 4:30 p.m. Kenan Music Building rehearsal hall. Free.
  • March 23: Faculty Chamber Music Recital, featuring the works of David Baker, Zenobia Perry, Anthony Kelley, Leslie Adams and Margaret Bonds. Performed by guest artists and UNC faculty Brent Wissick, Cameron Britt, Donald Oehler, Brooks de Wetter-Smith and Thomas Otten. Conducted by UNC’s Evan Feldman. 8 p.m. Hill Hall Auditorium. Free.
  • March 24: Operas by African-American Composers: Reflections on composer William Grant Still. UNC Opera presents “Highway One USA” and “Dream Lovers,” with post-concert Q&A with Judith Ann Still. 4 p.m. Hill Hall auditorium. Free.
  • March 24: A Night at the Opera, featuring artists including Louise Toppin, George Shirley, Marquita Lister and others. 8 p.m. Hill Hall auditorium. Free.
  • March 25: Music of Living Women and African-American Composers. Part of the William S. Newman Artists Series. Featuring countertenor Darryl Taylor. 3 p.m. Hill Hall Auditorium. $15 general admission ($10 students, faculty and staff). For ticket information, call (919) 962-1039.