South Bend Symphony to feature music by Black composers, past and present: William Levi Dawson, Quinn Mason, Florence Price

Posted on: March 31, 2022

“When the South Bend Symphony Orchestra decided to make its April 2 concert the first in its history with a program composed entirely of works by Black composers, Alastair Willis says, he knew it wasn’t a matter of whether to include Quinn Mason on the program but what work by the young composer,” writes Andrew S. Hughes in Monday’s (3/28) South Bend Tribune (IN). “The SBSO’s music director chose Mason’s ‘A Joyous Trilogy’ to open the concert…. The composer plans to be in South Bend for the concert and to join Willis for his pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. April 2 at the Morris Performing Arts Center…. ‘A Joyous Trilogy,’ Mason says, has quickly become the most popular piece in his catalog… Its title describes it perfectly. ‘The orchestra,” Willis says, … ‘bubbles with activity…. This piece is just so happy and brilliant.’ … Florence Price’s Piano Concert in One Movement follows, with Michelle Cann as the guest soloist…. William Levi Dawson’s [1934] ‘Negro Folk Symphony’ concludes the concert.… The first time he heard [Dawson’s work, Willis] says, ‘it blew me away.… The orchestration, the pacing—it’s very dramatic with its climaxes. It’s so direct.’ ”