African Americans and the influence of music from the African Diaspora in classical music will be the theme of the 2013 African American Music Heritage Institute, Feb. 11 at the University of Louisville.
Sponsored by the UofL School of Music, the 17th annual event honors the musical history of African Americans through concerts, clinics, lectures and workshops for elementary and secondary school students, university students and the public.
A public performance by the Imani Winds at 8 p.m., Feb. 11, in the Margaret Comstock Concert Hall, UofL School of Music, will present â€œRhythm and Song: The Influence of the African Diaspora on Classical Music.â€ The Grammy-nominated chamber music ensemble tours the world fusing their flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn instruments with a repertoire that bridges European, American, African and Latin American traditions, as well as other performance elements.
Founded by Louisville native Valerie Coleman, the groupâ€™s Legacy Project commissions and premieres new works written by established and emerging composers of diverse musical backgrounds. Coleman plays flute with the ensemble.
Admission to the concert is $5. UofL students and children under 10 are free. Tickets may be reserved by calling 502.852.6907 or purchased at the door.
The institute will also feature a matinee program for middle and high school students at 10 a.m. on the 12th. In addition to music aspects related to the theme, the program will encourage students to pursue higher education in support of the communityâ€™s 55,000 Degrees initiative, a partnership that aims to increase the number of bachelorâ€™s degrees by 40,000 and degrees among the African American population by 15,000 by the year 2020.
According to institute founder and director Jerry Tolson, professor of music education and jazz studies at UofL, the institute helps foster better understanding among members of a culturally diverse community and student population.
The event is part of UofLâ€™s celebration of Black History Month and is supported by numerous individuals including Audwin and Rae Helton, community groups and university units including the School of Music, the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality and the vice provost for Diversity and International Affairs.