Community Outreach Music

Violin Students Pay Tribute to Black Artists

Seven Mason Community Arts Community violin students performed in the “Celebrating Black Composers and Musicians” virtual concert in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The concert was broadcasted in senior living facilities and made available to individual seniors in our community.

“Abby was proud to participate in the program and hear other talented young musicians’ performance,” said Elizabeth Dalton, a parent of MCAA student who participated in the virtual concert. “She was glad to pay a virtual visit to residents of care homes who have been so impacted by social distancing over the past year.”

MCAA students—Austin, Moira, Abby, Eano, Jasper, Chloe, and Sarah—highlighted the works from numerous Black composers, including: “Theme from Sonata No. 4 for Two Violins,” by Joseph Bologne; “Le Vieux Garcon,” by Ignatius Sancho; “Les Contes Des Fees,” by Ignatius Sancho; “Mele Ekpom,” by Kenneth Kafui; “Chasseurs a Pied de la Louisiane,” by Basile Jean Barès; “Feeling the Pulse,” by Juwon Ogungbe; “The Boy with the Axels in His Hand,” by Thomas Greene Wiggins; “Iya Ni Wura Iyebiye,” by Godwin Sadoh; “The Entertainer,” by Scott Joplin; “Minuet No. 15,” by Ignatius Sancho; “Balada,” by Francisca Gonzaga; “Just So in the North,” by Ignatius Sancho; and “Le PertorriqueAa: Reverie,” by Marie-Seraphine Gotay.

Prior to each performance, students shared each musician’s story and background of the pieces to help bring diversity to classical music.

“We were amazed when we learned the history of the pieces, particularly that New Orleans teen composer Basile Jean Barès who had his work published and copyrighted while he was still enslaved.”



“Creating meaningful performance experiences for my students is an essential part of my teaching,” said Ms. Claire Allen, MCAA’s Violin Teaching Artist who received the performance invitation. “In my studio, we have been working to diversify our performance repertoire to include works by Black composers, and this concert gave my students the opportunity to showcase these composers and their wonderful works.”

The concert is a part of the Sharing Smiles Concert Series, hosted by Empowering the Ages and the National Philharmonic, aiming to bridge the gap and nurture relationships across all generations.

“I was thrilled to be invited to have students perform in this concert,” said Ms. Allen. “The National Philharmonic education wing and Empowering the Ages are fulfilling multiple needs—that of young artists to have performance opportunities, and that of older adults in our community to attend live performances and connect with young people.”