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Lectures @ Noon

Join us for this virtual lecture series presented in collaboration with The International Florence Price Festival. This series provides a comprehensive exploration of representation in classical music, showcasing the diverse voices that have often been overlooked and will not only educate participants on the contributions of underrepresented composers and performers but also encourage a broader conversation about the need for inclusivity within the classical music canon.

Collaboration with The International Florence Price Festival and Opera Philadelphia.

Part of the Reflection & Re-Vision and Sounds of America: Price and Bonds.

Thank you to our generous partners at The International Florence Price Festival.


Thu, Feb 1 12:00 p.m.
Thu, Feb 8 12:00 p.m.
Thu, Feb 15 12:00 p.m.
Thu, Feb 22 12:00 p.m.


FEBRUARY 1st: Reshaping the Vocal Canon: Does Representation Matter? 

This lecture will explore a plan of action to motivate our community to reshape vocal music curriculums, recital programming, and staged productions. The relationship with issues of race, gender, and ethnicity is troubled, yet there is an opportunity for evolution towards a more inclusive discipline. Taking this critical step to diversify and enhance inclusivity in the vocal music canon is essential. Although it may be uncomfortable to engage in repeated conversations on this topic, we have the chance to redefine the norm. 

Watch the recording here >


Personnel: Dr. LaToya Lain 

Dr. LaToya Lain, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is an Associate Professor of Voice at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well a member of the Metropolitan Opera Extra Chorus.Dr. Lain’s research includes the intensive study and performance practice of Negro Spirituals.  

Dr. LaToya Lain
Dr. LaToya Lain

 FEBRUARY 8th: Florence B. Price and Marian Anderson: A Story of Sisterly Love 


Using archival material found primarily at the University of Pennsylvania, this presentation documents the professional and personal relationship that developed between composer Florence B. Price and contralto Marian Anderson from 1935 until Price's death nearly twenty years later. It focuses on both triumphs and trials, revealing a relationship built on mutual artistic respect, humor, and love. 

Personnel: Dr. Douglas Shadle 

Dr. Douglas W. Shadle is an Associate Professor of Musicology at the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music. An award-winning historian of American orchestra and orchestral music, he is the author of two books published by Oxford University Press: Orchestrating the Nation: The Nineteenth-Century American Symphonic Enterprise (2016) and Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony (2021). A founding director of the International Florence Price Festival, Shadle is also co-authoring a Price biography for Oxford's Master Musicians Series. 

Dr. Douglas Shadle
Dr. Douglas Shadle

FEBRUARY 15th: Shining a Spotlight on Female African American Composer Evelyn Simpson-Curenton 

Attendees will learn about Philadelphia's own Evelyn Simpson-Curenton. They will explore her work as a composer, her approach to performing spirituals and hymns in keeping with their traditions, and the relevance of her music in the 21st century, and enjoy a 25-minute recital of selected pieces from her repertoire. 

Personnel: Dr. Iris Fordjour-Hankins 

Dr. Iris Fordjour-Hankins,completed a Doctor of Music Arts degree at the University of Kentucky in voice in 2021. She is an assistant professor at Oakwood University. Dr. Fordjour-Hankins’ dissertation, Shining a Spotlight on Female African American Composer Evelyn Simpson-Curenton is part of her continuing effort to educate people about the beauty, elegance, and high level of craftsmanship poured into Simpson-Curenton’s music for classically trained vocalists. 

Dr. Iris Fordjour-Hankins
Dr. Iris Fordjour-Hankins

FEBRUARY 22ND: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s AFRICAN ROMANCES, Op. 17 


African Romances, Op. 17, composed in 1897 by African-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), is a collection of seven songs for high voice that uniquely embodies both African and American elements. The lyrics of this song cycle were first published in 1895 by Black American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906). This lecture on African Romances highlights Dunbar's poetic voice and his use of paradox, as well as how Coleridge-Taylor drew upon these to compose a song cycle that reflects themes of Black love, resistance, and resilience following the 1865 Emancipation from American slavery. 

Personnel: Dr. Makeda Hampton 

Delaware native Dr. Makeda has held faculty positions at the University of Delaware, University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, Alabama A&M University, Oakwood University, and currently Assistant Professor of Voice at Lincoln University, PA. She is also a voice teacher at the American Institute of Musical Studies summer festival in Graz, Austria. One of her goals as an educator and scholar is to foster competency in classical vocal music through the lens of Black history and culture. Makeda is a graduate of Oakwood University (BM), Westminster Choir College (MM), and the University of Kentucky (DMA), where she earned degrees in voice performance and pedagogy. 

Dr. Makeda Hampton
Dr. Makeda Hampton
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