Black Music Lab Performance Series

Thomas Brothers, Anthony Kelley


Type: Lab

Performances organized by the Black Music Lab brought musicians to Duke to engage with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

On The Persistence of the Spiritual in Black Music

October 22, 2021
Lee headshot

Concert featuring Tenor Albert Lee; the Ciompi Quartet; Duke Chorale, conducted by Rodney Wynkoop; NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Lenora Helms Hammonds; cellist Timothy Holley, and pianist Anthony Kelley perform works by Florence Price, Olly Wilson, William Banfield, and others.

Full program available here.

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A Century of Black Song: Louise Toppin, soprano

October 22, 2022

Featuring music, lyrics, and performances by: Louise Toppin [Soprano and Narrator], John O'Brien [Piano], Tyrese Byrd [Vocalist], Lori Hicks [Composer, Vocalist], Jaki Shelton Green [Poet], Regina Harris Baiocchi [Composer], Anthony "Ay-Jaye" Nelson, Jr. [Choreographer, Dancer].

Works by Undine Smith Moore, David Baker, Leslie Adams, Bill Banfield, and others.

Toppin headshot

Louise Toppin is Professor of Voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Michigan, she was the Kappa Kappa Gamma Distinguished University Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the music of African-American composers, and she has edited anthologies of art songs by Black composers including the first anthology of songs by Margaret Bonds.

A finalist in the Munich International Competition and winner of the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions, Professor Toppin has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral, and oratorio performances in the United States, Czech Republic, Scotland, Japan, China, Uruguay, Sweden, the Caribbean, Bermuda, New Zealand, England, and Spain. She has appeared in recital on concert series including Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Licieu Theatre in Barcelona, Spain and the International Albeniz Festival in Camprodon, Spain.

The Soul of America: A Celebration of Black Music

April 27, 2023

Black Music Lab finale concert featuring performances by Damilola Adewale (soprano), Ciompi Quartet, Duke Improv Ensemble, Timothy Holley (violoncello), Anthony Kelley (piano), Julia Leeman (soprano), Elizabeth Linnartz (soprano), Daniel Seyfried (piano), Ernest Turner (piano), and more.

Works by H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932), Edward Boatner (1898-1981), Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), Edward Cobb (1938-1999), Ryan Harrison (b. 1985), Mark A. Lomax (b.1979), Dorothy Rudd Moore (1940-2022), Robert Owens (b. 1961), and Smokey Robinson (b. 1940) performed.

Organized by Black Music Lab graduate assistant Ryan Harrison.