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Black History Month Concert at the Kimmel Center

February 24, 2012

Drexel Concert Band performs at the Kimmel Center
Dr. Mike Moss conducts the Drexel Concert Band in a Black History Month Concert at the Kimmel Center

The Drexel University Concert Band will take the stage at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts for the first time ever to perform a range of music by African American composers, including two newly commissioned works by Valerie Colman along with compositions by influential musicians such as Clarence Cameron White, Roger Dickerson and Margaret Bond. 

The concert, which begins with a panel discussion at 7 p.m., will take place Wednesday, February 29 at 8 p.m. at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater (300 S Broad St). Tickets are $5 with a Drexel ID and $10 general public.

The Philadelphia community will hear a wide range of concert music by black composers, including Roma and Umoja, two newly commissioned pieces by Valerie Coleman, an award-winning composer and the founder of the internationally renowned ensemble Imani Winds.

The concert also includes Clarence Cameron White’s Triumphal March, Roger Dickerson’s Essay for Band, Oliver Nelson’s Fugue and Bossa and Adolphus Hailstork’s Look to This Day with Drexel’s University Chorus and members of the Drexel University Gospel Choir. Drexel faculty member, baritone Perry Brisbon, also will present Margaret Bonds’ Dream Variation.

Dr. Mike Moss, Drexel band conductor and music program director, is a scholar on band music by African-American conductors.  His dissertation on the subject is published by Schneider Verlag in Germany. The work won the 2006 Fritz Thelen Prize, an international award for outstanding dissertation in the field of wind music research. In 2003, Moss selected the entire repertoire for the Keystone Winds’ CD Out of the Depths: Music of African-American Composers, which Fanfare magazine judged, “A wonderful collection, and an important one … Urgently recommended.”

He has consulted with bands nationwide with respect to this repertoire and has presented programs of band and chamber music of black composers at Southern Connecticut State University and the Hartt School, and served as chair of the College Band Directors Committee on Gender and Ethnic Issues from 2003 to 2007.


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