Recently, the Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra performed a program of cultural diversity ranging from Negro Spirituals and early African American classics to everyone’s operatic favorites concluding with a concerto covering over 3 centuries of music.
This delightful concert held at the Vallejo Drive Seventh-day Adventist Church in Glendale was performed by the internationally acclaimed Afro-American Chamber Music Society Orchestra. It was founded in 1988 by Professor Janise White to preserve the works of Black symphonists.
The orchestra debuted over KUSC Sundays Live in 1990. Since that time, the AACMSO has performed throughout Los Angeles.
The program opened with Zemira, an overture by the early Afro-Brazilian composer, Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830). This work was followed by “Lyric for Strings” by the late Pulitzer Prize winner, George T. Walker (1922-2018).
Opera singers Crystal White, Soprano from UTSA Lyric Opera and Wayne Shepperd, Baritone from the Los Angeles Opera became the highlight of the program with arias from Carmen, Don Giovanni, Porgy & Bess and Spirituals, Little David Play on Your Harp and Deep River with Maia, harpist joining the Chamber Orchestra.
Concerto by Howlett Smith
Janise White, conductor and pianist, brilliantly performed The Glory Hallelujah Variations Concerto by Honoree Howlett Smith, renowned jazz pianist and composer of “Little Altar Boy.”
George Shaw conducted the second half of the concert. (website: aacmsorchestra.org).
The informative style of orchestrated art in enhancing the concept of beautiful classical music, also promoting peace within the mind, is one of the missions of AACMSO. The old adage of “music calms the beast within us,” certainly applies to this type of orchestrated music.
Professor Janice White, an educator, is also known as a world renowned pianist and light opera vocalist. The AACMSO this February received a Congressional Award from Congresswoman Judy Chu.
Crystal White’s glowing and penetrating vocal power complimented the rich beauty of Wayne Shepperd’s bass voice as they performed operatic arias during the evening concert.
Michael Wright thrilled the audience with his stunning portrayal of Sportin’ Life.
Janise White’s pianistics thrilled the audience as she played through the full gamut of musical genres from the fugue to swing jazz.
For more information visit www.aacmsorchestra.org.
CSN News awards 5 stars to AACMSO.