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Piano Renewal Initiative

Please consider supporting our Piano Renewal Initiative. If you have a high-quality piano in good condition that you are no longer using, or if you would like to purchase or contribute towards a new piano, please contact the Department of Music Office for more information regarding our specific needs.

Metropolitan Club donates Steinway M grand piano

Katz Foundation donates new Steinway recital piano

Leon Bates Masterclass and Mini-Concert officially launches Piano Renewal Initiative.

Photo of Geri Allen

 

 



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Faculty and Alums Again Tapped for OSCARS

Feb 217. For the second year in a row, Howard University Department of Music alumnus Harold Wheeler, B.M.'64, served as Music Director for the Academy Awards (OSCARS).

Professor Fred Irby III , trumpet, and Michael Bearden, B.M.Ed.'86, keyboardist, were also hired to perform for the second year in a row.

As reported by listen-la.com, the 89th Annual Academy Awards telecast is one to be remembered — and not just for the Best Picture snafu. In the Oscar’s 64 years of being televised, every single person who worked on the production has been listed in the end credits — that is, except for musicians. That changed this year, when the names of all the live orchestra musicians were listed on the end crawl. Read more and view photos.


CHARLOTTE HOLLOMAN MEMORABILIA ON DISPLAY AT MLK LIBRARY

9/25/2016. A significant exhibit of items from the vast music collection of former professor of music Charlotte Holloman is now on display in the Washingtoniana Division, Room 307, of the Special Collections section of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library located at 9th and G Streets NW in Washington, DC.

Photo of Charlotte HollomanThree vitrines containing correspondence, photos, programs, performance reviews and ephemera will be on display until November 1, 2016. All of Mrs. Holloman's extensive and fascinating collection was assembled and donated to the Library by her daughter Charlotte after her death in the summer of 2015. Mrs. Holloman was a longtime member of the Friday Morning Music Club and Foundation Director from 1991-1995.


Liana Valente Appointed NFMC Representative to the United Nations

Indianapolis, IN – September 19, 2016 – The National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), a United States Congressionally chartered organization, has appointed Dr. Liana Valente, Assistant Professor of Classical Voice and Coordinator of the Classical Voice Area, to the position of NFMC Representative to the United Nations.

A music educator with over 25 years' experience teaching at the post-graduate level, Valente joined the music faculty in the fall of 2015. In addition to her teaching, Valente has served as an arts administrator for opera companies and non-profit fine arts organizations throughout the United States; for six years she directed the Sigma Alpha Iota People-to-People Project, facilitating the donation of instruments and music staples to teachers, schools, and organizations in underdeveloped and developing parts of the world.

As a musician, Valente is admired for her performances of traditional opera, oratorio, and song literature, and is recognized as an exciting performer of new music, regularly commissioning works from composers across the globe.

NFMC affirms music as a universal language and strives to enhance the musical path of mutual understanding through cultural enrichment at all levels, amateur or professional. It is committed to the survival of music in all its multiple noteworthy facets.
The National Federation of Music Clubs was accredited by the United Nations as a member of the Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations (DPI/NGO) in 1949.


Pianist Karen Walwyn Commemorates 9/11

Photo of Karen WalwynOn the 15th anniversary of 9/11, faculty pianist Karen Walwyn shares her composition inspired by the tragedies of that fateful day in 2001. She hopes that Reflections on 9/11 will "provoke thought and understanding of this day that has marked this country forever." Karen performed the national debut of her completed work on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on August 31, 2009. Listen.

Steinway Artists LogoDr. Walwyn joined the Howard University faculty in 2004. In 2012, she was awarded a Mellon Faculty Fellowship by the John Hope Franklin Institute at Duke University, where she completed her work entitled Of Dance & Struggle: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela. She became an official Steinway Artist in 2014, and is currently researching the music of ... for future performance publication.


James E. and Geraldine N. Johnson Donate Piano

8/13/2016. Drs. James and Geraldine Johnson have generously donated their piano to the Department of Music. Paul Milesi, University Piano Technician, was responsible for securing the gift.

Dr. Geraldine Johnson attended Howard University in the 1980s, and remained to teach literature and creative writing at Howard for several years.

The piano, a 1929 5'2" Hamilton grand that was partially rebuilt in the early 1990s, has been placed in the teaching studio of Dr. Eric Poole, Director of the Office of Choirs and Bands and a member of the Department of Music voice faculty.


Orchestra Concert Features Pianist Raymond Jackson

On April 24, 2016, the Howard University Symphony Orchestra presented its annual Spring Concert in Ira Aldridge Theater with Dr. Raymond Jackson, Professor of Piano Emeritus, as piano soloist. Conductor Timothy Maček and Dr. Jackson had been working toward this feature for some time. The Department of Music's new Steinway Model B piano, a gift from the Katz Foundation, was moved to Aldridge Theater for the performance.

The Orchestra opened its program with the Overture to "The Italian Girl in Algiers" by Giacomo Rossini. The first movement of Ludwig van Beetheoven's Piano Concerto No.4 in G Major, Opus 58 (Allegro moderato) featuring Dr. Jackson as soloist concluded the first half. The concert was rounded out by Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished) in the second half of the concert.


Department of Music Faculty and Alums Tapped for 2016 OSCARS

Howard University Department of Music alumnus Harold Wheeler, B.M. '64, was the Music Director for the 88th Academy Awards (OSCARS) on February 28, 2016. The Gala was televised live on ABC-TV from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

HU was also represented in the orchestra by Professor Fred Irby III , trumpet, and Michael Bearden, B.M.Ed. '86, on keyboards.


Fred Irby III Receives Jazz Service Award

Professor Fred Irby, III was one of three recipients of the "Ronnie Wells Jazz Service Award" during the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival (MAJF) in Rockville, MD. Ron Elliston and Joan Rackey also received the award.

Pictured with Professor Irby is Paul Carr, B.M. '85, Executive and Artistic Director of MAJF and a 2014 recipient of HUJE's Benny Golson Jazz Master Award.

Passionately committed to the education of children, particularly as it relates to the preservation of jazz, in 2002, Paul founded the Jazz Academy of Music, which hosts summer camps and jazz ensembles for kids throughout the year. In 2010, he re-established the East Coast Jazz Festival as the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival.


Metropolitan Club Donates Steinway Grand

2/1/2016. The Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington has generously donated a 1924 Steinway Model M grand piano to the Department of Music. Paul Milesi, University Piano Technician, was responsible for securing the gift. The piano has been placed in the teaching studio of jazz piano instructor Cyrus Chestnut.


Katz Foundation Donates New Steinway Recital Piano

The Abraham J. and Phylis Katz Foundation has graciously donated a new 7' Steinway Model B recital piano to the Department of Music. Steinway B #597670, encased in satin ebony and sporting the classic Steinway logo on its treble side, will reside on the stage of Lulu Vere Childers Recital Hall.

Dr. Charles Timbrell, Coordinator of Keyboard Studies, was responsible for securing the gift. Dr. Timbrell and fellow faculty member and Steinway Artist Dr. Karen Walwyn selected the piano at Steinway Piano Gallery in North Bethesda, MD, the local Steinway dealership.

This extraordinary gift will be officially recognized and celebrated in a Dedication Concert scheduled for Thursday, January 21, 2016 in Childers Recital Hall. The program, with Howard University pianists Charles Timbrell, Karen Walwyn, Cyrus Chestnut and Laurie Bunn, will feature a variety of piano music ranging from classical to jazz and spirituals, as well as an original composition by pianist/composer Walwyn. The concert is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.


Mickey Thomas Terry Receives Award

Dr. Mickey Thomas Terry has been awarded a 2015 DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Artist Fellowship Award. This is the third consecutive year in which Dr. Terry has received this award.


Chris Royal Named "Green Teacher of the Year"

Professor Chris Royal has been awarded The Howard University Green Teacher of the Year Award for 2015.


GRAMMY® Award Winner Patti Austin at Howard

GRAMMY® Award Winner Patti Austin visited the Department of Music on Friday, November 6, 2015 to rehearse with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE) for an upcoming engagement. She also took time to present a brief masterclass and speak with students about her extensive career in the music industry.

The following Monday, November 9, Ms Austin performed with HUJE at the DC Jazz Festival's Annual Trustee Gala at Hamilton Live.


Voices on the Hill - A Lifetime of Music

Photo of Dr. Norris conductingOn October 11, 2015, Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick hosted Distinguished Alumnus and retired Director of University Choral Activities Dr. J. Weldon Norris on The Journey, a weekly production of WHUR 96.3 FM. Listen


Alumna Dawn Wilson Travels to Abu Dhabi

Oct 2015. Dawn Wilson, M.M.E. '14, just returned from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where she provided music theory training to police musicians in the music department of the Police College.


Marching Band Participates in Honda Battle of the Bands

Pic of "Showtime" Marching Band @ Honda Battle of the Bands 2015Howard University's "Showtime" Marching Band was one of eight bands invited to participate in the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase in Atlanta, GA on January 24, 2015. Band members and faculty also participated in the HBOB Recruitment Fair, sharing information about Howard University's band and music programs with thousands of prospective students.

The Honda Battle of the Bands was created to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands and the unique academic experience offered by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Honda annually awards more than $200,000 in grants to participating marching bands during the program period.

Watch the show.


Afro Blue Releases New Christmas CD Recorded Live at NPR

Photo of Afro Blue at NPR Studio 1A tambourine jingled merrily and spirits were high when Afro Blue visited NPR's Studio 1 to share a brilliant assortment of holiday music. The group delighted the audience with fresh, thoughtful arrangements of Christmas favorites, from a rollicking "Angels We Have Heard On High" to a sublime, weighty "Silent Night." Also on the bill were a few lesser-known holiday numbers, such as director Connaitre Miller's original piece "That Is Love," which offers a meditation on the meaning of the holiday season.

... As a further treat, Afro Blue was joined by jazz master and Howard University professor Cyrus Chestnut on piano, along with Eliot Seppa, B.M. '12, on bass and Carroll Dashiell III on drums. Read More, Listen, Share.

Purchase "An Afro Blue Christmas" as an MP3 download or on CD.


Richard Smallwood Speaks To Students

Photo of Richard Smallwood - Trust Me CDOn Tuesday, September 16, 2014, in celebration of Gospel Music Heritage Month, renowned gospel artist and HU Alum Richard Smallwood, B.M. '71, returned to an overflowing Childers Recital Hall to address a rapt audience of Department of Music students and faculty. He spoke of his seminal years at Howard with fondness, described the challenges of his formative years as a young professional in the music industry, and humbly revealed his ultimate success as a brilliant gospel artist.

Throughout the evening, Mr. Smallwood delighted all in attendance whenever he turned to the Steinway concert grand upon which he had played his graduation recital and sang brief excerpts from the gospel repertoire—both his own and that of others. The evening closed with Mr. Smallwood leading the audience in a moving rendition of Total Praise.


Brent Birckhead Appointed to Morgan Faculty

Photo of Brent Birckhead playing alto saxJazz Studies program alum Brent Birckhead, B.M. '08, M.M. '10, has joined the music faculty of Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD as the saxophone instructor beginning Fall 2014.

In 2011, Brent was one of three Howard students among six students nationwide to be recognized for a Graduate College Outstanding Performance in the Jazz Soloist category in DownBeat Magazine's 34th Annual Student Music Awards.


Afro Blue and Traces of Blue Release New Videos

Photo of Afro Blue in ConertAfro Blue, Howard's premier vocal jazz ensemble under the direction of Professor Connaitre Miller, and Traces of Blue, an alumni outgrowth, have released two new videos entitled "Tribute to the Great Jazz Ladies of the Apollo" and "How I Got Over."

Recorded during the Alumni Jazz Concert that kicked off the Department of Music's 7th Annual Jazz Week this past April—part of a year-long centennial celebration for the Department—the videos feature a rich mix of current students, Afro Blue alums and a stellar rhythm section comprising pianist Geri Allen, B.M. '79, bassist Carroll Dashiell Jr., B.M. '87, M.M. '95, and drummer Carroll Dashiell III.

Watch: Tribute to the Great Jazz Ladies of the ApolloHow I Got Over


HOWARD Magazine Highlights 100 Years of Musical Excellence at Howard

The Summer 2014 issue of HOWARD magazine—complete with iconic professor James Weldon Norris on its cover— celebrates the Department of Music centennial.

The Editor's Letter, President's Perspective, and three feature articles all underscore a century of musicmaking by the Department and its alumni:

Howard Magazine Summer 2014 - Editor's Letter
Howard Magazine Summer 2014 - President's Perspective
Howard Magazine Summer 2014 - Front Cover feat. Dr. James Weldon Norris



Karen Walwyn Named Steinway Artist

Photo of Karen WalwynSteinway & Sons has designated Professor Karen Walwyn an official Steinway Artist, adding her to the ranks of an elite group of pianists worldwide awarded such stature by the famous piano maker, and making her Howard University's first "Steinway Artist-in-Residence."Steinway Artists Logo

Dr. Walwyn joined the Howard faculty in 2004. She was recently awarded a Mellon Faculty Fellowship by the John Hope Franklin Institute at Duke University, where she completed her debut work entitled Of Dance & Struggle: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela. Read more.

University Publishes New Fine Arts Video

Howard University has published a new video on its YouTube channel which provides an overview of the Division of Fine Arts. The 7-minute piece is a collage of students, alumni and faculty from the Departments of Art, Theatre and Music at work and in interviews. Watch.


Larry Jenkins Receives Appointment at Tennessee State University

Larry Jenkins, M.M. '14, was appointed Assistant Director of Bands at Tennessee State University in Nashville beginning Fall 2014. In addition to his responsibilities with the marching and concert bands, he will teach some music education courses.


Afro Blue Students Garner Top Awards

DownBeat 37th Student Awards LogoStudents in Howard's premier vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue, again earned top recognition in the annual DownBeat Student Music Awards for 2014. Afro Blue won first place for Outstanding Performance by a Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Blue Note, a sub-group of Afro Blue, was awarded first place for Outstanding Performance by a Small Vocal Jazz Group. Shacara Rogers (B.M. '12, M.M. '14) was cited for Outstanding Performance in the Vocal Jazz Soloist category.

Wammie logoAfro Blue also won a 2014 "Wammie" for Best A Cappella Group in the 28th Annual Washington Area Music Awards, awarded by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA).

Kudos to the members of Afro Blue and its director, Professor Connaitre Miller!

7th Annual Jazz Week Features Howard Jazz Program Alumni

Photo of Geri Allen at the piano.The Department of Music's 7th Annual Jazz Week featured the Department's graduates in lectures, panel discussions, workshops, films and concerts throughout the week of April 7-12, 2014. Pianist Geri Allen (B.M. '79) and acclaimed South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela highlighted the opening concert in Cramton Auditorium, which included alumni from both instrumental and vocal jazz studies programs.

Watch: Tribute to the Great Jazz Ladies of the ApolloHow I Got Over

Alumnus Damien Sneed Awarded Sphinx Medal of Excellence

On March 19, 2014, multi-genre pianist-composer-conductor Damien Sneed, B.M. '01, was honored, along with Carla Dirlikov and Pedrito Martinez, as a 2014 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient at an event Photo of Damien Sneedat the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and was among the guests of honor at a black-tie dinner at the United States Supreme Court, hosted by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Sneed was selected for the honor as one of the emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music who demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination and leadership potential. The Sphinx Medal of Excellence carries a $50,000 honorarium.


Vocal Jazz Students Participate in Jazz Ahead at the Kennedy Center

Vocal Jazz Studies students Shacara Rogers (B.M. '12, M.M. '14) and Integriti Reeves (M.M. '14) were among an elite group chosen to participate in the 2014 Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from February 24-March 7.

The Jazz Ahead program identifies outstanding, emerging jazz artist-composers in their mid-teens to age twenty-five, and brings them together under the tutelage of experienced artist-instructors who coach and counsel them, helping to polish their performance, composing, and arranging skills. The two-week residency program includes daily workshops and rehearsal with established jazz artists and culminates in three concerts on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, broadcast live over the Internet. Archived performances.

Other Howard alums who are Jazz Ahead alumni include pianist Amy Bormet (M.M. '10) and vocalist Christie Dashiell (B.M. '10).


Department of Music Students and Faculty Join With Jazz Stars in Howard University's Musical Tribute To Nelson Mandela

Kehembe Eichelberger at Musical Tribute to Nelson MandelaDepartment of Music students and faculty contributed their talents along with jazz luminaries Larry Willis and Hugh Masekela in Howard University's February 11, 2014 Musical Tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Watch videos: Part 1 and Part 2.


HUJE Collaborates With The Washington Ballet In "The Jazz/Blues Project" At Harman Hall

Jazz Blues Project Header"The [Etta] James catalogue was performed live by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble and vocalist E. Faye Butler, and the musicians proved to be the essential spark that pushed this work into overdrive." -Sarah Halzack, The Washington Post. Read the full review.

Watch the video.


President's February 2014 Bison Beat Newsletter spotlights Division of Fine Arts, Dr. Norris, Afro Blue, others. Read and Watch Video.


Pianist Leon Bates Presents Masterclass and Mini-Concert

On September 19, 2013, Department of Music students were treated to a masterclass and mini-concert by renowned concert pianist and Steinway Artist Leon Bates. The event took place in Childers Recital Hall. Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau, Interim Provost Wayne A.I. Frederick, Associate Dean Gwendolyn Everett (Division of Fine Arts) and Department of Music Interim Chair Saïs Kamalidiin offered brief remarks.

The program—the first in a series of events planned to publicize and support the Department's Piano Renewal Initiative—was made possible through the generous support of David Slan and Steinway Piano Gallery–Washington DC, who provided a C&A Steinway Model D concert grand piano and paid the expenses associated with Mr. Bates's appearance.

Leon Bates with students
L to R: Ken Saliba of Steinway Piano Gallery,
Leon Bates, Khari Sarad-Sheldon, Kayla Waters,
Kalifa Moore, La'Vonne Tynes, Basil Muhammad

Four student pianists and one Department of Music alum actively participated in the masterclass by playing for Maestro Bates in front of their peers, Departmental faculty and other guests. Mr. Bates critiqued each student's performance, offering supportive comments as well as suggestions for improvement.

Among those who participated were Kalifa Moore (Class of 2015; student of Raymond Jackson), Basil Muhammad (Class of 2016; student of Charles Timbrell), Khari Sarad-Sheldon (Class of 2014; student of Karen Walwyn), La'Vonne Tynes (Class of 2015; student of Charles Timbrell) and Kayla Waters (B.M. '13; student of Karen Walwyn). Their repertoire that day included works by Albeniz, Beethoven, Debussy, Khachaturian and Mozart.

The Department of Music hosted student and VIP receptions following the performances to provide students, faculty, and members of the Howard University administration an opportunity to meet and talk with Maestro Bates and Steinway & Sons representatives.


Tracey Stewart Awarded Fulbright

Tracey Mia Stewart, B.M. '12 (Music History), has been honored as one of six Fulbright Fellows from Howard University for 2012-2013. Tracey will spend the coming year in Jamaica, W.I., exploring the rhythmic patterns that link the music of the Akan of West Africa, Jamaican Maroons, and the Gullah of the United States.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program mission is to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. The national grant, funded by the U.S. Department of State, allows U.S. citizens or permanent residents to engage international communities through research and study or by teaching English abroad after earning Bachelor degrees. Grants cover travel and living costs for the academic year and necessary tuition at overseas universities.


Department of Music Marks 100-Years

The Department of Music began a two-year celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding with an inaugural concert on Sunday afternoon, February 12, 2012 in Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel on the Howard University main campus.

Dr. Raymond Jackson, piano, Professor Kehembe Eichelberger, voice, and Professor Fred Irby, trumpet, performed to a full house. The program included ....

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Faculty and Alums Tapped for OSCARS For 2nd Year in a Row

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Event Highlights

Many of our events are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS:

10th Annual Jazz Appreciation Month Celebration - April 2017

* Howard University Choir Spring Concert - Ira Aldridge Theater, Sun, Apr 23, 2017, 7 PM. FREE

* Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert featuring Dr. Liana Valente, Soprano Soloist - Ira Aldridge Theater, Sat, Apr 29, 2017, 3 PM. FREE

* Duo Piano Concert to Benefit the Deprtment of Music - Childers Recital Hall, Sun, May 7, 2017, 5 PM. DONATIONS ACCEPTED AT THE DOOR

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PREVIOUS HIGHLIGHTS:

* Singing South Asia: Special Guest Performance by Pakistan’s Sanam Marvi & Arieb Azhar - Childers Recital Hall, Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 12:40 PM. FREE

• Sundance Institute Film Music Program presents Peter Golub, Director. Opportunity to apply for Summer Institute - Childers Recital Hall, Fri, Mar 3, 2017, 12:40 PM. FREE

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