The second program in the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research Urban Couch African-American Music Series,”The Voice of the Century: The Life and Work of Marian Anderson,”is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in the Mountainlair Gluck Theater.
The program features soprano Janis-Rozena Peri, WVU associate professor of voice, performing works made famous by black opera star Marian Anderson. Peri, a specialist in works of women composers, has made guest appearances and performed recitals throughout the United States, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.
Peri will be accompanied by pianist John E. Crotty, associate professor of music theory and coordinator of theory-composition in the WVU Division of Music. Dr. Crottys research has focused on the generative and formative processes of the 18th and 19th century compositional practice.
Also during the program, Christopher Wilkinson, WVU professor of music history, will lecture on the life of Anderson. Currently, his research focuses on the reception of jazz in the African-American communities of West Virginia during the Swing Era. He has also studied the developments in the history of African-American music with particular attention to jazz and to the history of art music from a multicultural perspective.
“This series of programs was inspired by former WVU professor Urban Couch,”said Todd McFadden, assistant director of CBC &R.”He is a strong supporter of cultural diversity and holds a great appreciation of all cultures, with great interest in African-American musical practices. Through his generous donation, we are able to share the African-American musical experience with others.”
In September 2002, Urban S. Couch, professor emeritus of art at WVU , donated a collection of videotapes and other artifacts to the Centers Grace Edwards Waters Africana Studies Library so that a series of programs could be initiated to discuss and demonstrate that African-American music is responsible for much of the modern music performed in the United States and around the world.
A noted artist and art educator, Couch began his career in art in 1955 and continues to be a vital voice in the art community and a distinguished educator and scholar. He has served in many important capacities at WVU , including director and curator of WVUArtGalleries and Collections and chair of the ArtDepartment.
The program, which is free and open to the public, is being developed in conjunction with the WVU Division of Music. More information on Marian Anderson is available athttp://www.afrovoices.com/anderson.html. For more information on the Urban Couch African-American Music Series, contact the CBC &R at 293-7029.