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Langston's Lot: Song is a Strong Thing

Summers are for fun, relaxation, and special rehearsals! I am using the summer months to complete my latest song-cycle, Langston’s Lot: Song is a Strong Thing. Commissioned by Jackie Edwards Henry and Gail Levinsky, two of my dearest friends and colleagues, the project is a follow up to Langston’s Lot (1996) for tenor voice, alto saxophone and piano.

In this newest project, the tenor is replaced by a mezzo-soprano. Both cycles celebrate the wonderfully musical poetry of Langston Hughes. Seven movements are planned for this cycle; four of them went into first rehearsals in June. For one week only, all three of my performers were on site at the New England Music Camp at Snow Pond. We made good use of our time together; in addition to Gail and Jackie, we welcomed soprano Marion Murphy Powell to our collaborations. Instant good vibes! All of us are looking forward to the premiere, wherever that may be, so I need to get back to work and finish this thing……

It is a small world in music-land, as many of us have noticed over the years. You walk down the street long enough and you bump into friends and colleagues. I was at the New England Music Camp in Maine, for a rehearsal of my new song cycle, Langston’s Lot: Song is a Strong Thing,” when I bumped into friends , of course. So nice to see Marylin Shrude, composer and her husband John Sampen, saxophone, from the School of Music at Bowling Green. Hello Dr. Bevelander!


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