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First-time ever --- free MasterClass Series features renowned African American classical musicians in cities throughout the United States helping to “Bring Color to the Classics”.
By definition a master class is a class given to students of a particular discipline by an expert of that discipline. It is with great pleasure that the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) announces the premiere of its national music MasterClass Series® featuring renowned African American MusicMasters® conducting the classes, with soprano Angela Renee Simpson serving as the series Coordinator. Venues include performing arts institutions, Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU’s), high schools, and other venues throughout the nation. The sessions are at no cost to the presenters, students, or attendees with goals to encourage African Americans and others to pursue classical music and the performing arts as a possible career, inspire attendees to embrace the art form as a viable option, and to engage students into honing their musical craft through expert advice.
Symbolic to the legacy of classical musicians of African heritage, the MasterClass Series® is scheduled to begin during Black History Month, continuing through the spring, and being presented in cities including, but not limited to Atlanta, GA; Salisbury, NC; Detroit, MI; Winston-Salem, NC; and on Long Island, NY, Simpson announced. The recent Baltimore, MD MasterClass®, which kicked off the nation-wide series, was held at Morgan State University with Metropolitan Opera soprano Angela M. Brown serving as the MusicMaster®. Nearly fifty students were in attendance. Setting the standard for the upcoming MasterClasses®, Brown worked one-on-one with eight of those aspiring students; coaching, vocalizing and offering solid and valuable learning tools. In addition to the sessions being available to students, patrons of the arts, and the community, they are listed on the non-profit arts organization’s website at http://4caapa.org/?page_id=787 and are underwritten by CAAPA, helping to substantially finance the venue’s desire to present top-notch MusicMasters® at no cost. While the target audience includes the overall community and are offered free-to-the-public, this season’s scheduled sessions also include Morehouse College, Winston-Salem State University and Livingstone College. CAAPA’s Board of Directors Chairperson, Pamela T. Simonson stated,
“We are extremely excited to help make an impact on students and the community throughout the nation thanks to the efforts of dedicated supporters.” Simonson is a soprano with the Washington National Opera. “Our goal is part of CAAPA’s commitment to support classical music education, create performance opportunities for aspiring musicians and foster a genuine love for classical music in an underserved community”, the New York native and co-founder of the decade-old organization continued. Simonson, along with Simpson, believes it is important to lean on the shoulders of seasoned professionals when offering the MasterClasses, which is why CAAPA called on expert MusicMasters such as George Shirley, Angela Renee Simpson, Issachah Savage, Angela M. Brown, and Morris Robinson, all expert musicians in their own right, to facilitate the MasterClasses.
The CAAPA national MasterClass Series® initiative is the first time an African American arts organization has ever offered a program specifically targeting the black audience. Contact Simpson at masterclassseries.4caapa.org or the CAAPA office at 301-839-1444 for information regarding sponsorship, hosting a MasterClass or to serve as a MusicMaster®.
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