The Nubian Conservatory of Music held firm to its mission to preserve the music of the African Diaspora at its annual spring concert at Brooklyn’s historical Siloam Presbyterian Church this past Sunday. Featured in the concert were the works of accomplished artists such as Henry “Harry” Thacker Burleigh, African-American classical composer, arranger and professional singer; the arranger of Deep River Moses Hogan and Dr. Jewel Thompson; arranger of Hush Somebody’s Calling My Name.
The recital showcased the talents of young music students who proudly demonstrated their newly-found skills on piano, violin and song. It’s been shown that the young and not so young, enjoy heightened self-esteem and pride in demonstrating these skills in front of a live audience.
The concert included contemporary classics like Cole Porter’s Night and Day sung by bass baritone Steven Jean Baptiste. Long-time member Baritone Ricky Brackett knocked it out of the ball park with his rendition of By and By. In the spiritual realm, Soprano Lenora Sharpe-Bell performed the soprano part in heavenly tones, Hush Somebody’s Calling My Name.
In full ancient Egyptian regalia, Asia Lucas and Harrison W. Gordon performed the death scene from Aida. With her wonderful ability to change facial expressions and use of hand gestures, you are transferred with Aida to the death cave where she reassures Radames (played by Harrison W. Gordon) that they will be in heaven together. Hopefully, the Conservatory will be able to stage the entire production of this truly great classic in the future.
For a seasoned concert goer, this was the first occasion for Amina Muhammad to hear the Nubian Conservatory in concert. This is some of what she had to say, “A good life is growth and appreciation.” I am full of thanksgiving for the musical performance and display of hard work, dedication and talent. My congratulations and love to all!”
New York City Public Advocate, Leticia James, sent a representative to give a citation to the Nubian Conservatory and Siloam’s interim pastor, Reverend Eric Thomas, for holding the concert on Father’s Day. The fathers in the audience were asked to stand and be acknowledged. This added a nice touch for this celebration of dads.
Many of the arias were sung in French, German, Italian or Russian and attached to the program was translations and explanations.
The founder of the Nubian Conservatory of Music, E. Harrison Gordon, is a retired NYC educator where he taught music for more than 30 years. He has appeared on ABC’s Like It Is with Sandra Bookman; and is a member of the oldest Brooklyn branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians.
You can watch Nubian Conservatory videos at: youtube.com/nubianconservatory1. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or website nubianconservatoryofmusic.com. Their address is 892 Eastern Parkway, 1st Floor, and Brooklyn, NY 11213.