Faculty recital to celebrate African-American composers

Vocal instructor Carmen Bell performs at a choir event in Battle Creek.

Kellogg Community College’s Performing Arts Program will bring the music of African-American composers to campus for a faculty recital on Oct. 19.

The recital – titled “The Bell Hour: Songs and Arias of African-American Composers” – is free and open to the public and will begin at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the Davidson Visual and Performing Arts Center on KCC’s campus at 450 North Ave., Battle Creek.

The event will feature performances by soprano Carmen L. Bell — pictured above — and accompanying pianist Sara Cleland. Both are members of the music faculty at KCC.

The recital program features selections by African-American composers H.T. Burleigh, Scott Joplin, Will Marion Cook and William Grant Still.

Bell, an applied voice instructor in the vocal arts area at KCC, traveled to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to research the music for the recital, and said she wanted to present a selection of pieces that were not well known.

“I am extremely excited to sing ‘The Slow Drag’ from Scott Joplin’s opera ‘Treemonisha,’” Bell noted as an example. “When we think of Joplin we recall his famous ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ or ‘The Entertainer,’ not opera.”

The event will also include a performance by dancer JeNoeva Phillips, who will present an adapted section from “Revelations,” the signature choreographic work of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

For more information, contact KCC Music Coordinator Gerald Blanchard at blanchardg@kellogg.edu or 269-965-3931 ext. 2566 or visit www.kellogg.edu/music.

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