Sunflower Performing Arts presents Our Song, Our Story: The New Generation of Black Voices Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church. Performers include pianist and musical director Damien Sneed, soprano Jacqueline Echols, baritone Justin Austin and a string quartet.
Musical performances will include operatic arias, art songs, spirituals and jazz pieces. The musicians will also pay homage to Marian Anderson and Jessye Norman, African American opera singers and civil rights pioneers. “I’m thrilled that we can present this program of world class black artists performing such a great variety of musical styles,” said Holly Swartzendruber, Sunflower Performing Arts director and music professor at Hesston College.
Music composed from a variety of time periods will be performed. Composers may include George Frederic Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppi Verdi, Richard Strauss, George Gershwin, Margaret Bonds, Harry T. Burleigh, Richard Smallwood and a newly commissioned work by Damien Sneed.
“It’s also wonderful that two of the musicians will lead a vocal master class for area high school voice students who were nominated by their choir directors and Hesston College voice students. What an important opportunity for our community!” said Swartzendruber.
Tickets are available at the door or may be purchased at the Hesston College Bookstore. For more information, call 620-327-8158 or visit sunflowerarts.org.