News and music to start your week!

On the first day of Black History Month (which should be every month) let’s look at Colorado Public Radio’s list of Contemporary Black Composers You Should Know.  Included in the list are Valerie Coleman, Jessie Montgomery (pictured above), Quinn Mason (who has guest blogged for us!), Nkeiru Okoye, Mary Watkins, and Eleanor Alberga.

Music educators who are looking for more diverse examples to use in theory courses have another resource at their disposal!  Dr. Paula Maust has launched Expanding the Music Theory Canon to include examples by women and BIPOC.  What a fantastic resource to use and share!

The Washington Post highlights 21 composers for 2021!  Included are Flannery Cunningham, Reena Esmail, Adeliia Faizullina, Inti Figgis-Vizueta, Jiji, Yaz Lancaster, Angélica Negrón, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Mary Prescott, Nadia Sirota, and Wang Lu.  Though there are some familiar names, there are many others that I’m looking forward to discovering!

And The New York Times features some classical musicians and ensembles who have always incorporated topics of racial equity into their work.  Featured is conductor Mei-Ann Chen and the Chicago Sinfonietta, and The Dream Unfinished – both of which have won multiple Performance Grants in the past for their amazing work!  Here’s to more ensembles following their lead moving forward!

The distinguished Hildegard Music Publishing (established in 1988) announces the Margaret Bonds Signature Series, with the publication of “Six Songs on Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay,” edited by Edited by John Michael Cooper.  The series also offers two large ensemble works by Bonds: Credo (for Soprano and Baritone Soloists, SATB chorus and orchestra) based on text of W.E. Du Bois; and Montgomery Variations (for full orchestra).