Harlem Renaissance Revisited
- Published: May 4, 2017
Sunday is the last chance for villagers to enjoy this spring’s locally organized series, “Relevance and Resonance,” centered on the life and work of poet Langston Hughes.
At 7:30 p.m. this Sunday, May 7, the YS Chamber Orchestra and Community Chorus will present “Harlem Renaissance Revisited” at the Foundry Theater at Antioch College. A blend of music and poetry, the program will begin with William Grant Still’s “Symphony No. 1 — Afro-American,” with each of its four movements preceded by a Paul Laurence Dunbar poem read by Dayton-based poet Herbert Martin, a Dunbar scholar. Choral music on texts by Langston Hughes, also read by Martin, will follow, and the concert will conclude with Still’s “Sahdji,” ballet for orchestra, chorus and narrator.
A Dayton “native son” like Dunbar himself, Herb Martin is a prolific poet, performer and scholar, author of eight volumes of poetry and editor of two volumes of collected works by Dunbar. He is the focus of the 2009 film, “Jump Back, Honey,” which locates his contributions in the context of African-American poets from Dunbar to Nikki Giovanni. Martin taught for many years at the University of Dayton.
Sunday’s performance is the final concert in this spring’s Langston Hughes retrospective and memorial. Hughes was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a flowering of African-American cultural, social and artistic expression in the 1920s and 1930s. The locally organized series has explored different themes touching on Hughes’ life, legacy and enduring cultural importance.
Donations will be taken at the door to benefit YS Community Music.
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William Grant Still attended Wilberforce University from 1911-1915 and later studied at Oberlin College.