WDAV Presents Recording Inclusivity Initiative

CONTACT: Mary Lathem, Marketing Director | (704) 894-2084 or malathem@wdav.org

May 24, 2024 | DAVIDSON & CHARLOTTE, NC – Following a celebratory concert event held Thursday evening, May 23, 2024, WDAV Classical Public Radio is pleased to announce that our first three Recording Inclusivity Initiative recordings have been released into a national database accessible to public radio stations across the country today. The new recordings (Damien Geter’s String Quartet No. 1, “Neo Soul”, B.E. Boykin’s Moments in Sonder, and Xinyan Li’s Mongolian Impressions) are now available to peer stations for download and broadcast, allowing the works to reach a much broader audience. Public radio stations who are interested in programming these works and other RII recordings can request access to the database by contacting RII@allclassical.org.

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 is proud to be among the first classical radio stations to record additional works.

With a goal to complete three recordings in 2023, WDAV assembled a diverse panel of musical leaders from the community to nominate and select pieces for the first phase of WDAV’s RII project. After the works were identified, each composer traveled to Davidson during the summer of 2023 to participate in recording sessions with distinguished local classical musicians, WDAV Production Manager and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Bruce Scott, and recording engineer Josh Sacco. A series of short films documenting the recording process and spotlighting each composer (Geter, Boykin, and Li) was simultaneously produced by Ben Allison of Benco Productions. The completed recordings began airing in portions on WDAV earlier this spring in anticipation of their official release. 

As a key member of Charlotte’s arts community, WDAV’s involvement in the Recording Inclusivity Initiative reinforces our desire to lead by example, advancing representation by diversifying our music library and shining a light on artists from historically marginalized communities in classical music. 

“We describe ourselves as wanting to build community through classical music, and WDAV’s RII project is a major way to ensure that our audience is represented by what we present on air,” said WDAV General Manager Frank Dominguez. “People of color, women, and artists from other marginalized groups have been making incredible strides in classical music throughout its history, and the variety of experiences and backgrounds reflected in the new music we’re seeing today is astonishing. I have a feeling that once RII recordings start getting regular airplay, more and more stations will become interested in participating, and that has the potential to diversify the classical playlist at an incredible rate.”

“WDAV was created for a project like this,” Dominguez continues. “Since 1978 we have presented classical music on the radio and later online as a way to build community using the legacy of the art form. To have the opportunity now to add to that legacy in this meaningful way is a true honor.”

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

 


WATCH: WDAV’S RECORDING INCLUSIVITY INITIATIVE

 

 


COMPOSERS AND WORKS

Damien Geter (String Quartet No. 1, Neo Soul)

Damien GeterAcclaimed composer and bass-baritone Damien Geter infuses classical music with various styles from the Black diaspora to create music that furthers the cause for social justice. Geter’s rapidly growing body of work includes chamber, vocal, orchestral, and full operatic works, with his compositions being praised for their “skillful vocal writing” (Wall Street Journal). He is Composer-in-Residence at the Richmond Symphony through the 2024-25 season, Interim Music Director and Artistic Advisor at Portland Opera, as well as the Artistic Advisor for Resonance Ensemble. Read Damien Geter’s full bio at his official website.

About Neo Soul: Inspired by the composer’s love of the Neo Soul genre, Damien Geter’s String Quartet No. 1, Neo Soul seamlessly fuses elements of classical and contemporary music in a unique sonic experience that crackles with energy. “I hope people have a good time when they listen to Neo Soul,” Geter said of the piece. “I hope it piques their curiosity and broadens their horizons of what classical music can be.”

 

Xinyan Li (Mongolian Impressions)

Xinyan LiCurrently a Visiting Professor of Music at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, award-winning composer and pianist Dr. Xinyan Li’s works are rooted in Chinese music and culture. She has extensively studied Chinese folk songs, Beijing Opera and Kunqu, and the ethnic instrumental music of various minorities, such as the Dong, Miao, Yi, and Zhuang peoples of southwest China and the Mongol and Daur peoples of northeast China. In addition to her compositional pursuits, Li is an experienced educator in music theory and composition and is skilled in piano performance and improvisation. Dr. Xinyan Li’s full bio can be found at her official website

About Mongolian Impressions: Xinyan Li’s innovative chamber work Mongolian Impressions is informed by the composer’s experiences and observations among the Mongol people. Each of the piece’s three movements are inspired by elements of Mongolian culture: the “long song” genre of traditional Mongolian music, traditional horse racing, and a lively depiction of children playing in the snow. Mongolian Impressions is scored for Western classical instruments, requiring the musicians to use special techniques to imitate the sounds of instruments common to Chinese folk music.

 

B.E. Boykin (Moments in Sonder)

B. E. BoykinB.E. (Brittney Elizabeth) Boykin first pursued her interest in music during her time at Spelman College, attending classes that inspired and challenged her musical imagination and peaked her interest in composition. After graduating with a B.A. in Music, Boykin continued her studies while attending Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, graduating with a M.M. in Sacred Music and receiving the R & R Young Composition Prize. Boykin has been commissioned by and collaborated with several organizations, including a number of ACDA divisions, the Minnesota Opera and the Kennedy Center. She obtained her Ph.D. from Georgia State University with an emphasis in Music Education and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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.

 


MUSICIANS

 

Moments in Sonder
Sequina DuBose, Soprano
Emily Jarrell Urbanek, PianoString Quartet No. 1 (Neo Soul)
Ayako Gamo, Violin I*
Alice Silva, Violin II
Marcus Pyle, Viola*
Mira Frisch, Cello
Oliver Kot, Violin I⁺
Matthew Darsey, Viola⁺
Mongolian Impressions
Kari Giles, Violin I
Lenora Leggatt, Violin II
Marcus Pyle, Viola*
Mira Frisch, Cello
Nicholas Ritter, Bassoon
Tara Villa Keith, Percussion*
William Congdon, Percussion*
Matthew Darsey, Viola⁺
Stephanie Wilson, Percussion⁺
Rick Dior, Percussion⁺

* Recording only
⁺ Concert only

 

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.