Recently launched Charlotte Strings Collective, highlighting music by Black composers

Posted on: March 1, 2022

“Two summers ago, during the uncertainty of the growing COVID-19 pandemic, combined with escalating social and racial tensions, Malik Johnson did what he knows best: He played his violin,” writes Virginia Brown in Thursday’s (2/24) Charlotte Observer (NC). “Along with roughly 20 other musicians, Johnson, who teaches elementary music education at Cabarrus Charter Academy … grabbed his bow and stepped into his frame on the virtual stage…. The group, now called the Charlotte Strings Collective, aims to highlight the work of Black composers…. The group is composed of student musicians, faculty and alumni from UNC Charlotte, Winthrop University and Northwest School of the Arts, plus members of the Charlotte and Union Symphonies, Charlotte-area public school music teachers and freelance musicians…. In the summer of 2020, … they performed ‘Mother and Child,’ … from William Grant Still’s 1943 Suite for Violin and Piano…. ‘We thought that … this piece in particular would be really fitting for that moment in time,’ said violinist Kari Giles, a member of the collective and Assistant Concertmaster for the Charlotte Symphony…. On Feb. 8, the collective played [Timothy Adams, Jr.’s] ’Ode to Breonna,’ [in] homage to Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker who was shot and killed by Louisville, Kentucky, police officers in March 2020.”