Work by three Yaddo composers - David Del Tredici, George Tsontakis, and Carolyn Yarnell - will be featured in an Albany Symphony Orchestra concert to be presented February 19-20 in Saratoga Springs and Troy, New York, in celebration of Black History Month.
The Spirituals Project, new arrangements of traditional spirituals by contemporary American composers, will include pieces by composers Bun-Ching Lam, John Harbison, Michael Woods, and Daniel Roumain, in addition to the three Yaddo composers. David Alan Miller, the orchestra's music director and conductor, said the intent of the project was to "rediscover and reinvent" a classic American art form that is not as universally recognized as it deserves to be. When looking for composers to commission for the project, Mr. Miller purposely overlooked folk composers and sought "interesting and compelling" composers representing a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, he said. Baritone Nathan Myers will be the guest soloist for The Spirituals Project presentation, which will include the following songs:
A new piece by composer David Dramm, Underground Railroad, a tribute to Harriet Tubman inspired by an incident that took place April 27, 1860, in Troy, will receive its world premiere in the February 19-20 concerts and Mozart's Symphony No. 39 in Eb will round out the program.
The "A Celebration of Black History Month" concerts will be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 19, at Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs and 8 p.m. Friday, February 20, at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy. The February 19 concert is part of the Adirondack Trust Company Saratoga Series. Tickets for the Saratoga Springs concert may be purchased in advance by telephoning the Albany Symphony Orchestra office, 465-4755, or the Saratoga County Arts Council, 584-4132. Tickets for the Troy concert are available through the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall box office, 273-0038.
Mr. Miller, the guest composers, and the guest soloist will offer a free, informal 30-minute talk before the Troy concert. It will be held 7 p.m. Friday, February 20, at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy. An expanded free, public discussion of "A Celebration of Black History Month" will be held noon Thursday, February 19, at the Albany Public Library, 141 Washington Avenue, Albany. The lunchtime program, presented by Vanguard-Albany Symphony, Inc., a volunteer auxiliary, also will feature the conductor, the guest composers, and the guest soloist. Coffee and desserts will be served; guests may bring their own lunch.