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“Gospel Cha-Cha” Themed Lectures Helps “Bring Color to the Classics!”
Tuesday, February 22, 2011  5:08:00 PM

by Thelemaque Publishing

The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) in partnership with The Washington Chorus Education Outreach effort host a series of lectures highlighting a Langston Hughes poem and African American baritone Stephen Salters.

(WASHINGTON, DC) “Gospel Cha Cha” is one of Langston Hughes’ last poems written during the Harlem Renaissance.  He wrote many others, but this one in particular must have struck a chord with world renowned composer and educator Elena Reuhr. She has taken the African American legend’s work, set it to music and will talk about the creative process, along with the historical and social relevance of the music of our time in a series of lectures throughout the Washington, DC area. Sponsored and presented by the Grammy® Award winning Washington Chorus, the lecture series is in anticipation of a concert “New Music for a New Age” with Reuhr’s compositions in April and featuring African American baritone Stephen Salters along with The Washington Chorus conducted by Julian Wachner. The special lectures are hosted by local schools, colleges and churches and are co-sponsored by the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA), an arts organization dedicated in helping to “Bring Color to the Classics!” by promoting audience support for African American classical musicians.  


“Our goal is to expose the African American community to classical music in different ways”, stated Pamela T. Simonson, CAAPA Co-Founder with her brother musician Victor Simonson.


The Washington Chorus Educational Outreach Lecture series offers students and adults an opportunity to highlight this important work which explores and celebrates the African Diaspora, using references to important historical, cultural, religious and iconic figures from Africa, Haiti, South America and the American South in celebration of an elegy to endurance.


The first thirty attendees at each lecture will receive FREE tickets to see the upcoming concert performed by The Washington Chorus “New Music for a New Age” featuring Reuhr’s works including the Hughes poem along with other works by Emily Dickinson “Cricket, Spider, Bee” and “Averno”, a world premiere with text by Louis Gluck at National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm. The concert will also feature world-renowned baritone Stephen Salters whose passionate and impeccably articulated performances of a wide range of repertoire have won him acclaim throughout Europe, the UK, Asia and the United States.


“We are confident this lecture/concert program will help shine light on the work of African American poet Langston Hughes along with the talent of baritone Stephen Salters. The Washington Chorus is helping reach CAAPA’s goal of realizing there is diversity in the arts to bring color to the classics”, concluded Simonson.


Lecture Series dates, locations and times include:


Thursday, MARCH 10TH, 2011

9:00 am – 10:00 am     

Howard University Department of Music

Childres Hall, Room 3001

2455 6th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20005

 Info: 202-806-7095

                                                                                                                          1:00 pm – 2:00 pm        Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission MNCPPC - Harmony Hall Regional Center

Battersea Room

10701 Livingston Road

Fort Washington, MD 20744

Info: 301-203-6040



3:00 pm – 4:00 pm        University of District of Columbia        

Department of Performing Arts              

4200 Connecticut Ave., NW

Fine Arts Building 46 West, Room A03

Washington, DC 20008

Info:  202-274-5803



5:00 pm – 6:00 pm      Levine School of Music – Levine – Southeast DC

THEARC - (Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus)

Recital Hall, 2nd Floor
1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, Suite 201
Washington, DC 20020
Info:  202-610-2036








FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm        Clifton Park Baptist Church                                  

Main Sanctuary

8818 Piney Branch Road

Silver Spring, MD

(Reception Immediately Following)

 Info:  301-434-2456


For information contact the CAAPA offices at 301-203-0929, access their website at or log into the CAAPA Facebook page for activities updates.


Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts

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