An invigorating hour of music by African-American women composers featuring the B.E. Boykin song cycle “Moments in Sonder”

March 19, 2024 | DAVIDSON & CHARLOTTE, NC – WDAV Classical Public Radio is delighted to announce a recital celebrating its Recording Inclusivity Initiative project, to be presented as part of the 2024 Charlotte SHOUT! Festival on Sunday, April 14 at 4 PM. Soprano Sequina DuBose and pianist Emily Jarrell Urbanek will perform the music of prolific African-American women composers from Bonds to León, culminating with the B.E. Boykin song cycle Moments in Sonder on lesser-known texts of Maya Angelou. Moments in Sonder is one of three works selected and professionally recorded during the first round of WDAV’s RII project. Tickets are available at this link and are required, but free of charge.

The recital will be held at Uptown Charlotte’s Pianodrome at Grace A.M.E. Zion Church, a unique, intimate indoor amphitheater crafted entirely out of upcycled pianos. Audience members can expect bench seating in the round for this performance.

Originated by All Classical Radio in Portland, OR, the Recording Inclusivity Initiative seeks to actively confront systemic inequities in classical music through the production of new high-quality recordings of works by composers from underrepresented communities. WDAV joins peer stations nationwide who have committed to record additional works, which will be shared for download and broadcast in a database accessible to public radio stations across the country, allowing the recordings to reach a much broader audience. Together, we’re changing America’s playlist, one recording at a time – and one community at a time.

“We need everyone to have an opportunity to be exposed to as much art and music as possible, invest in it, and understand the value that it adds to society,” DuBose said of the Recording Inclusivity Initiative’s importance. “If [RII] catches on like wildfire with radio stations across the country, it will really push the envelope and expand the audience for classical music.” A second concert event to culminate the first year of WDAV’s RII project is in development with details forthcoming. The first round of three WDAV RII recordings have been completed and are slated to be released into the national database shortly after the culminating concert. A release date will be announced in the near future.

More information about WDAV’s Recording Inclusivity Initiative project can be found at the WDAV RII webpage.

 


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Sequina DuBose, soprano

An interpreter of contemporary and hybrid works, Dr. Sequina DuBose recently recorded composer B.E. Boykin’s provocative song cycle, Moments in Sonder, set to lesser-known text by Maya Angelou, as part of the WDAV (89.9 Classical Public Radio) Recording Inclusivity Initiative in 2023. In 2022, DuBose launched her debut album entitled Blurred Lines: 21st Century Hybrid Vocal Literature on the Albany Records label. She also performed in the same season as Donna Elvira in Eve Summer’s modern adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Opera Carolina, as well as with the Virginia Arts Festival in two chamber operas, Companionship by Rachel Peters and Tales From the Briar Patch by Nkeiru Okoye. She returned to Opera Carolina as Clara in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in 2023. Dr. DuBose regularly performs with prestigious ensembles such as The American Spiritual Ensemble (Dr. Everett McCorvey, Dir.) and Chorale Le Chateau (Damien Sneed, Dir.). Other notable engagements include performances with the Michigan Opera Theater (now Detroit Opera), Tulsa Symphony and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), Royal Danish Opera, Ojai Youth Opera Company, and as a soloist and ensemble member with Kathleen Battle in Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey at the Metropolitan Opera.

Dr. DuBose currently serves as Assistant Professor of Classical and Contemporary Voice, and Coordinator of the Musical Theater Certificate program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. An avid arts advocate, in addition to her role serving on the WDAV Community Advisory Board, she concurrently serves with The International Florence Price Festival (Board Vice-President), and as a founding board member with Baltimore-based, African-American-led theatre, ArtsCentric.

Emily Jarrell Urbanek, piano

Emily Jarrell Urbanek has been Opera Carolina’s Director of Music Preparation since 2007, serving as chief coach, pianist and chorus director, and she has performed with the company since 2003. During Opera Carolina’s 2019-2020 season, Emily conducted a joint production of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg for Opera Carolina and Opera Grand Rapids, as well as Opera Carolina’s March 2022 performances of Zach Redler and Jerre Dye’s opera, The Falling and the Rising, and their 2023 performances of La Traviata. Emily is also an extra keyboardist with the Charlotte Symphony and frequently performs chamber music with area musicians. Recent performances include Shostakovich’s Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok with Opera Carolina and Chamber Music 4 All, music for piano and strings by women composers with the Bechtler Ensemble, and Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, with the principal strings of the Charlotte Symphony in a collaboration with the Charlotte Ballet entitled Ibsen’s House. From 2007 to 2023 Emily was part of the musical staff of the Chautauqua Opera, and she has also served as repetiteur for a variety of companies, including New York City Opera, San Diego Opera, Austin Opera, Fort Worth Opera Festival, New Orleans Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Cincinnati Opera. This summer she will be joining the music staff of the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center.

B.E. Boykin (Moments in Sonder)

Composer B.E. Boykin is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. After graduating from Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in Music, Ms. Boykin continued her studies at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. She continued to compose music during her time at Westminster and was awarded the R & R Young Composition Prize just a few months shy of graduating. In May of 2013,

Ms. Boykin graduated from Westminster Choir College with a M.M. in Sacred Music with a concentration in choral studies. Among her professional endeavors, Ms. Boykin is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She recently obtained her PhD from Georgia State University with an emphasis in Music Education. Read B.E. Boykin’s full bio at her official website.

About Moments in Sonder: Scored for soprano and piano, B.E. Boykin’s contemplative song cycle Moments in Sonder is comprised of 14 song settings of texts by Maya Angelou. While sifting through Angelou’s poetry in search of short, “almost Haiku-length” texts, Boykin explains that she came across many with “similar themes about the human experience and time,” which became the basis for the work. Boykin hopes that audiences who hear Moments in Sonder for the first time will find brief moments of contemplation that resonate with their own lived experiences.

WDAV RII PANELISTS

Frank Dominguez

Dr. Marcus Pyle

Brenda Porter-Dewitt

Tara Villa Keith

Keenan Harmon

Dr. Sequina DuBose


 

SPONSORS

 

ASC logo            City of Charlotte | Infusion Fund: A partnership for Arts + Culture | Foundation for the Carolinas

WDAV’s Recording Inclusivity Initiative is funded, in part, by ASC. This project is made possible with generous support from Catherine and Wilton Connor.

WDAV’s Recording Inclusivity Initiative is supported, in part, by the Infusion Fund and its generous donors:

Multimillion Dollar Commitment
City of Charlotte

$1.5 million and above
Bank of America
C.D. Spangler Foundation / National Gypsum Company
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Trane Technologies

$600,000 – $1 million
Albemarle Foundation
Atrium Health
Barings
Duke Energy
Honeywell
JELD-WEN, Inc.
LendingTree Foundation
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Novant Health
Red Ventures
Truist

$300,000-$600,000
Ally Financial
The Centene Charitable Foundation
Childress Klein Properties
Coca-Cola Consolidated
Deloitte
EY
The Gambrell Foundation
Moore & Van Allen
PwC
Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
Rodgers Builders
Wells Fargo

Up to $300,000
Fifth Third Bank
Foundation For The Carolinas
Deidre and Clay Grubb
Leslie and Michael Marsicano
Jane and Hugh McColl
Nucor Corporation
PNC Bank
Premier, Inc.
Jane and Nelson Schwab


 

 

WDAV Classical Public RadioWDAV Classical Public Radio is dedicated to building a community focused on classical music by providing easy access to the art form, as well as opportunities for exploration and discovery. In addition to producing 149 hours per week for its own broadcast use on 89.9FM, HD-1, HD-2, and wdav.org channels, the station produces nationally distributed programs, including Concierto, and, in partnership with South Carolina Public Radio, Carolina Live. A service of Davidson College in Davidson, NC, WDAV’s main source of operating revenue comes from annual member contributions. The station’s 89.9FM signal reaches a 22-county region centered in the Charlotte, NC metro area and ranges from Rock Hill, SC to Galax, VA. WDAV’s broadcasts can also be heard live online 24 hours a day at wdav.org and iTunes, as well as on any Android, iPhone, or iPad device equipped with the WDAV Classical Public Radio app, or the TuneIn, NPR Music, or Public Radio Player apps.