New World Symphony Announces I Dream a World: The Harlem Renaissance in Europe February 3 – 15, 2023

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New World Symphony announces I Dream a World: The Harlem Renaissance in Europe. Taking place from February 3-15, 2023, this multi-disciplinary Festival builds on 2022’s inaugural I Dream a World Festival and underlines New World Symphony’s ongoing commitment to inclusive programming and representation of Black musicians and creatives.

This season’s Festival is a two-week exploration of the trans-Atlantic movement and influence of the Harlem Renaissance in Europe. Amid America’s cultural explosion, racial inequality limited artistic freedom and expression for Black creatives – sparking a widespread movement to Europe in search of better opportunities.

I Dream a World: The Harlem Renaissance in Europe will focus on the artists who found success in Europe between 1917 and 1935, exploring the impact of World War I, the rise and spread of Nazism, and World War II on the spread of Harlem Renaissance ideology and Black music in Europe. Festival collaborators include Dr. Tammy Kernodle (University Distinguished Professor of Musicology at Miami University of Ohio), Dr. Samantha Ege (Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, University of Oxford), Conductor William Eddins and Branford Marsalis (composer, bandleader, and GRAMMY Award-winning saxophonist). In addition to a robust series of concerts, the Festival will feature an exhibition curated by Christopher Norwood, a lecture presented by FIU/Wolfsonian, and a film presented by the City of Miami Beach and the American Black Film Festival.

“This year, the I Dream a World Festival extends its cultural lens and musical ear to consider the sounds and personalities that preceded the Harlem Renaissance in America and how they influenced cultural trends in Post-World War I Europe,” shared Festival curator Dr. Tammy L. Kernodle. “It is more than just an exploration of the ideological and cultural reach of the movement. I Dream a World seeks to challenge the dualities of concert and popular music, provincial and cosmopolitan culture to illuminate how black music, the cultural spaces that incubated it, and the communities of artisans and intellectuals that engaged with it through performance, color, movement, and word shaped the modern world.”

This Festival is funded in part by the NWS Collaborations Fund and the NWS Fund for New Ventures.


February 3 – 15, 2023

Cabaret Concert

Friday, February 3, 2023, 7:30PM EST & 9:30PM EST, at New World Center (Truist Pavilion)The New World Center’s Truist Pavilion will transform into a Parisian nightclub inspired by the legendary Chez Bricktop. Proprietress Ada “Bricktop” Smith, an American dancer, jazz singer and Vaudevillian, set the tone for Paris’s “café society” and was known for entertaining royalty, movie stars, and writers.

American sopranos Julia Bullock and Louise Toppin, pianist Christian Reif, and NWS Fellows pay homage to Black jazz and blues culture with works by Billie Holiday, Alberta Hunter, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, and Bricktop herself.

I Dream a World: Symphonic Persuasion

Saturday, February 4, 2023, 7:30PM EST, at New World Center (John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Stage, Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall), WALLCAST® Concert in SoundScape Park and live webcast at

Sunday, February 5, 2023, 2:00PM EST, at New World Center (John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Stage, Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall)

Conductor William Eddins takes the New World Symphony podium to lead a two-night celebration of works influenced by the art and artists of the Jazz Age. These concerts will be hosted by Festival curator, Dr. Tammy Kernodle. The NWS will be joined by soprano Louise Toppin in works by Coleridge Taylor, James P. Johnson, Scott Joplin, Igor Stravinsky, and Maurice Ravel.

These concerts will be preceded by a discussion on the African Diaspora hosted by Shawn Anthony Christian, Associate Professor and Chair, Dept of English, Florida International University and Nathaniel Cadle, Associate Professor of English at Florida International University, joined by NWS Fellows.

The Sound Heard Around the World: The Music of James Reese Europe Tuesday, February 7, 2023, 7:30PM, at New World Center (John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Stage, Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall)

GRAMMY Award-winning saxophonist and bandleader Branford Marsalis and Florida Memorial University broadcast journalism professor Russell Motley present an exploration of American ragtime bandleader, arranger, and composer, James Reese Europe, who is easily characterized as one of the most dynamic musical figures to emerge out of America’s music scene during the first two decades of the 20th century, He and the many musicians with whom he collaborated contributed to not only the global popularity of blues, early jazz, and orchestral ragtime, but also elevated readings of Black music culture.

Music for Keyboard

Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 7:30PM EST, at New World Center (Truist Pavillion)

Hosted by British musicologist and pianist, Dr. Samantha Ege, this concert features keyboard centric music by Black composers. Dr. Ege will be joined by William Eddins and the NWS PianoFellows to showcase this work from artists including Florence Price. Recordings from this concert will be included in the NWS’s, a digital resource library to ensure this work is available to students, teachers, programmers, and music lovers.

Chamber Music

Friday, February 10, 2023, 7:30PM EST, at Lyric Theater, Overtown

Festival Curator Dr. Tammy Kernodle and NWS Dean of Instrumental Performance Michael Linville curate a special evening of chamber music from Black composers working in or inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. In collaboration with the Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc this concert will be presented at the Lyric Theater in Historic Overtown, a historically Black neighborhood. Overtown’s cultural growth in the 1930s mirrored the renaissance happening in Harlem during the same years and earned the area the nickname “Little Broadway.” Overtown served as a place of refuge for Black performers including Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and many others who were not welcome to lodge overnight in the prominent Miami and Miami Beach hotels where they were invited to perform.

Concert for Kids: I Dream a World

Sunday, February 12, 2022, 11:30AM EST, at New World Center (John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Stage, Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall)

This celebratory program, designed to engage audience members aged four to nine, brings the music from this era to life in exciting and educational ways, with pre-concert activities and an interactive performance. Led by New World Symphony Conducting Fellow Chad Goodman, this concert features jazz, blues, and ragtime and will bring out the bandleader in everyone.

WALLCAST® Film: The Harlem Hellfighters Great War (2019)

Wednesday, February 15, 2022, 8:00PM EST SoundScape Park, New World Center, WALLCAST® presentation

Presented in partnership with the City of Miami Beach and the American Black Film Festival, this free WALLCAST® film tells the story of the 15th Regiment of the New York National Guard, made up entirely of African American soldiers, who served in the French Army in WWI. The documentary features archival footage of President Barack Obama honoring the Hellfighters and commentary from American and French scholars.

Festival Exhibition: Le Paris Noir: Henry Ossawa Tanner & Lois Mailou Jones

February 3-12 New World Center Atrium Lobby

Christopher Norwood, curator and founder of Hampton Art Lovers at the Historic Ward Rooming House curates an installation from The Norwood Collection with art and related works of African American painters Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) & Lois Mailou Jones (1905- 1998). The first internationally recognized male and female African American artists, both foundhuman and artistic freedom in France. The exhibition can be viewed throughout the duration of the festival.

I Dream a World

Festival Artists and Collaborators

Julia Bullock

Julia Bullock is an American classical singer who “communicates intense, authentic feeling, as if she were singing right from her soul” (Opera News). Combining versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, she has headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world. An innovative curator in high demand from a diverse group of organizations, her notable positions have included collaborative partner of Esa-Pekka Salonen and 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence at the San Francisco Symphony, 2020–22

Artist-in-Residence of London’s Guildhall School, and 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of Musical America’s 2021 “Artists of the Year,” Bullock’s opera debuts include San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West; Santa Fe Opera in Doctor Atomic; Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Dutch National Opera in The Rake’s Progress; the English National Opera, Teatro Real and Bolshoi Theatre in the title role of The Indian Queen; and Dutch National Opera, Bregenzer Festspiele, and Park Avenue Armory in the premiere of Michel van der Aa’s Upload. In concert, she has collaborated with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, London’s Philharmonia and London Symphony Orchestras, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, while her recital highlights include appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Mostly Mozart and Ojai Music festivals. Her growing discography features Grammy-nominated accounts of West Side Story and Doctor Atomic, and she will release her debut solo album on Nonesuch in 2022.

Bullock also appears on the soundtrack of Amazon Prime Video’s 2021 The Underground Railroad composed by Nicholas Britell. Committed to integrating community activism with her musical life, Bullock is also a prominent voice for social consciousness and change.

Nathaniel Cadle

Nathaniel Cadle is associate professor of English at Florida International University, where he teaches late 19th- and early 20th-century American literature. He is the author of The Mediating Nation: Late American Realism, Globalization, and the Progressive State, which explores the role literary realism played in shaping Progressive-era political and social discourse.

Shawn Anthony ChristianShawn Anthony Christian, associate professor of English, teaches American and African American literature at Florida International University. He also lectures and writes on 20th- century, African American literary and print culture, especially during the Harlem Renaissance. His book The Harlem Renaissance and the Idea of a New Negro Reader examines how writers and editors cultivated and engaged Black readers during the period.

William Eddins

William Eddins is the Music Director Emeritus of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and a frequent guest conductor of major orchestras throughout the world.

Recent engagements include conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra with Yo-Yo Ma, and collaborations with Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with both the Detroit Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra.

Eddins has conducted the New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, the symphony orchestras of Boston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Houston, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Internationally, Eddins was Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland). He has also conducted the Berlin Staatskapelle, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Career highlights include taking the Edmonton Symphony Orchestras to Carnegie Hall in May of 2012 and leading the Natal Philharmonic on tour in South Africa with soprano Rene Fleming. An accomplished pianist and chamber musician, he regularly conducts from the piano in works by Mozart, Beethoven, Gershwin and Ravel.

Mr. Eddins has performed at the Ravinia Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, Chautauqua Festival, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Dr. Samantha EgeDr Samantha Ege is an Anniversary Research Fellow at the University of Southampton. She was the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, University of Oxford, from 2020 to 2022. She holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of York and a BA with honours in Music from the University of Bristol. She spent her second undergraduate year at McGill University as an exchange student. She taught music internationally for almost a decade after graduating from Bristol.

Dr Ege is a leading interpreter and scholar of the African American composer Florence B. Price. Dr Ege’s publications and performances shed an important light on composers from underrepresented backgrounds. In 2021, she received the American Musicological Society’s Noah Greenberg Award for her Black Renaissance Woman recording project. In 2019, she received both the Society for American Music’s Eileen Southern Fellowship and a Newberry Library Short-Term Residential Fellowship for her work on women’s contributions to concert life in interwar Chicago. Dr Ege’s first book is called South Side Impresarios: Race Women in the Realm of Music (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming). She has been contracted as co- author alongside Douglas Shadle of Price (Master Musicians Series, Oxford University Press) and co-editor alongside A. Kori Hill of The Cambridge Companion to Florence B. Price (Cambridge University Press).

As a concert pianist, Dr Ege made her Barbican debut in 2021 with a “vivid, relevatory recital” (Michael Church, iNews) in which she gave the UK premiere of Vítězslava Kaprálová’s Sonata Appassionata. In her London debut at the 2021 London Festival of American Music she gave the world premiere of Florence Price’s complete Fantasie Nègre set. In 2018, she made her international lecture-recitalist debut at the Chicago Symphony Center with her event A Celebration of Women in Music: Composing the Black Chicago Renaissance. She has additionally presented her research and repertoire at a number of other institutions and venues in the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Dr Ege released her debut album in May 2018 with Wave Theory Records called Four Women: Music for solo piano by Price, Kaprálová, Bilsland & Bonds. The album featured the world premiere recording of Bilsland’s The Birthday Party, which led to Dr Ege preparing an edition of the suite, now published by Faber Music. She released her critically acclaimed second album in March 2021 called Fantasie Nègre: The Piano Music of Florence Price with Lorelt (Lontano Records Ltd.). Her third album (also with Lorelt) is out now and called Black Renaissance Women: Piano Music by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Nora Holt, Betty Jackson King & Helen Hagan. Her fourth album is a collaborative project with the Castle of our Skins string quartet, called Homage: Chamber Music from the African Continent and Diaspora (Lorelt), out on October 28, 2022.Dr. Tammy L. Kernodle

Dr. Tammy L. Kernodle is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Music at Miami University (Ohio), who specializes in African American music (concert and popular) and gender studies in music.

Her scholarship explores the intersection of gender and racial identity, performance practice and musical genre. Her work has appeared in major peer-reviewed journals including American Studies, Musical Quarterly, Black Music Research Journal, The Journal of the Society of American Music (JSAM), American Music Research Journal, The U.S Catholic Historian, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society (JAMS). She also was a contributor to The African American Lectionary Project, the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap and the Carnegie Hall Digital Timeline of African American Music. Her scholarship also appears in numerous anthologies and reference works including Women’s Voices Across Musical Worlds, John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music, and The Cambridge Companion to Women in Music Since 1900.

Kernodle is the author of biography Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams (new edition, University of Illinois Press, 2020) She also served as Associate Editor of the three- volume Encyclopedia of African American Music and as one of the Editors for the revision of the New Grove Encyclopedia of American Music.

Kernodle served as the Scholar in Residence for the Women in Jazz Initiative at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City from 1999 until 2001. She has worked closely with a number of educational programs including the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, Jazz@Lincoln Center, NPR, Canadian Public Radio, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and the BBC.

From 2012-2016, Kernodle served as a scholarly consultant for the exhibits entitled “Musical Crossroads” at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She appears in a number of award-winning documentaries including Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band, Girls in the Band, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, and How It Feels to Be Free.

In 2014, she received the Effective Educator Award from the Miami University Alumni Association and in 2018 was awarded the Benjamin Harrison Medallion. The Harrison Award is the highest award given to a Miami University faculty member in recognition of their research, teaching and service. She is the immediate Past President of the Society for American Music.

Branford Marsalis

Branford Marsalis continues to thrill audiences around the world while racking up achievements across diverse musical platforms, even after four decades in the international spotlight. From his initial recognition as a young jazz lion, he has expanded his vision as aninstrumentalist, composer, bandleader and educator, crossing stylistic boundaries while maintaining an unwavering creative integrity. In the process, he has become an avatar of contemporary artistic excellence winning three Grammy Awards, a Tony nomination for his work as a composer on Broadway, a citation by the National Endowment for the Arts as Jazz Master, and a 2021 Primetime EMMY nomination for the score he composed for the Tulsa Burning documentary.

Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator, the late Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. The Branford Marsalis Quartet, formed in 1986, remains his primary performance vehicle. In its virtually uninterrupted three-plus decades of existence, the Quartet has established a rare breadth of stylistic range as demonstrated on the band’s latest release: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul. But Branford has not confined his music to the jazz quartet context. A frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Branford has become increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with acclaimed orchestras around the world,

performing works by composers such as Copeland, Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud, Rorem, Vaughan Williams and Villa-Lobos. And his legendary guest performances with the Grateful Dead and collaborations with Sting have made him a fan favorite in the pop arena.

Branford’s screen credits as a composer include original music for: Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman and the History Channel’s documentary Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre. The critically acclaimed Ma Rainey is the Netflix film adaptation of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, produced by Denzel Washington. And in reviewing the score Vanity Fair proclaimed “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a story in which the music has to be authentic and the details need to be correct. It requires the musical oversight of someone who has this history in his blood. It requires Branford Marsalis.” While The Guardian noted “Marsalis’s work, both recreation and original composition, is as close to perfection as I could imagine.” He recently received a 2021 EMMY nomination for the original music he composed and produced for Tulsa Burning in the Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score) category. His work on Broadway has garnered a Drama Desk Award and a Tony nomination for the acclaimed revival of Fences. His previous Broadway efforts include music for the revivals of Children of a Lesser God and A Raisin in the Sun, as well as The Mountaintop which starred Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson.

Branford has also shared his knowledge as an educator, forming extended teaching relationships at Michigan State, San Francisco State and North Carolina Central Universities and conducting workshops at sites throughout the United States and the world.In the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Branford, along with friend Harry Connick, Jr., conceived of “Musicians’ Village,” a residential community in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The centerpiece of the Village is the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, honoring Branford’s father. The Center uses music as the focal point of a holistic strategy to build a healthy community and to deliver a broad range of services to underserved children, youth and musicians from neighborhoods battling poverty and social injustice.

Christopher Norwood

Originally from Newark, New Jersey, Norwood attended the prestigious Newark Boy Chorus School, a world-renowned professional boy choir. He studied at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia where he received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (1995). He pursued a Masters of Public Administration at Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs (1997) and a Juris Doctorate from St. Thomas University School of Law (2002). In 2003, Norwood established The Norwood Consulting Group to further his goal of Community Organization and Policy Advocacy. TNCG is a resource for public, private and non-profit institutions engaged in community building and development. Offering services to support public policy advocacy/analysis, program management, community advocacy and political consulting.

In 2019, Norwood founded Hampton Art Lovers with friends to accentuate the inspirational unifying and enriching aspects of African-American fine art in new and old settings. As passionate supporters of Hampton University’s long-standing commitment to African-American art, and its Hampton University Museum Collection, Norwood serves on the editorial board of the International Review of African American Art (Published by the University since 1976) and past National Treasurer of the National Hampton Alumni Association.

Hampton Art Lovers operates and curates the Historic Ward Rooming House Gallery in Historic Overtown. Built in 1925, the Historic Ward Rooming House opened its doors to both out-of- town African-American and Native Americans, who were typically unable to find welcoming accommodations in Downtown Miami during the first half of the 20th century. It has been transformed from a safehouse for African Americans and Indigenous people gathered during segregation to an immaculate gallery under the curatorial direction of Hampton Art Lovers.

Featuring the elites of the Black Art world, hosting exhibitions that include works from Maya Angelou’s personal collection, sculptures and artwork of Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and Ernie Barnes. Historic Overtown and its Arts & Culture District has experienced a renaissance, of which the Historic Ward Rooming House Gallery is a centerpiece.

Norwood is committed to public service, he is a Founding Board Member of the Social Work Program at Florida Memorial University where he was inducted into the Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work, Pi Theta Chapter. Norwood services as the Chairman of the the Audit and Budget Advisory Committee of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (4th largest school district in the country) and past Chairman of the City of Miami Education Advisory Board andFounder of the Florida Association of Independent Public Schools and the Governance Institute for School Accountability.

Christian Reif

Music Director of the Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota, German conductor Christian Reif has quickly established a reputation for his natural musicality, innovative programming and technical command.

Reif’s 2022/23 season highlights include appearances with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, SWR Symphonieorchester, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra. In Summer 2023, he leads concerts at the Enescu Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen. In December 2022, he will be conducting his own arrangement of John Adams’ El Niño at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC with the American Modern Opera Company.

From 2016 to 2019, Christian was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, after being the Conducting Fellow at the New World Symphony from 2014 to 2016 and at Tanglewood Music Center in 2015 and 2016. He studied conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at The Juilliard School in New York City. It was there that he first met his wife Julia Bullock, with whom he resides in Munich.

Louise Toppin

Louise Toppin has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral, oratorio and recital performances world-wide.

Toppin has appeared in recital on many concert series including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center. Orchestral appearances include: the Norrköping Symphony (Sweden), the Czech National Symphony, Mälmo Symphony Orchestra, (Sweden), Tokyo City Orchestra (Japan), The Montevideo Philharmonic (Uruguay), the Scotland Festival Orchestra (Aberdeen, Scotland), the Honolulu, Toledo, Akron, Canton, North Carolina, Charlotte, Lafayette, Manhattan Chamber, Experiential Chamber, Erie Chamber and Raleigh Chamber Symphony Orchestras, The Bach Aria Group, Phoenix Bach Consort, and the Washington D.C. Bach Consort with conductors such as: Murry Sidlin, Paul Freeman, Richard Aulden Clark, Justin Brown, James Meena, Vladmir Ashkenazy, and Gearhart Zimmerman.

Represented by Joanne Rile Artist Management, she toured in “Gershwin on Broadway” with pianist Leon Bates and currently tours with Joseph Joubert, piano and Robert Sims, baritone. She has recorded more than nineteen compact disks of primarily American Music songs withpiano and with orchestra including solo CDs Songs of Illumination, (Centaur Records), and on Albany Records Ah love, but a day (with John O’Brien) He’ll Bring it to Pass, (Joseph Joubert, piano), Heart on the Wall with the Prague Radio Symphony and La Saison des fleurs with John Obrien. Her newest release is Vol. I Songs of Love and Justice is the songs for soprano by Adolphus Hailstork with John O’Brien at the piano. Due for release in 2023 are Summer.Life. Songs (songs by Adolphus Hailstork, Vol. 2); Duos (with countertenor Darryl Taylor; vocal chamber music) and The Soprano songs of T. J. Anderson.

She edited and published 8 anthologies and collections of songs by African American composers with Classical Vocal Reprints in 2020-2021 including An Anthology of African and African Diaspora Songs, Rediscovering Margaret Bonds: Spiritual Suite for piano and Bonds Songs, five volumes of Songs by Adolphus Hailstork and an edition of Margaret Bonds’s choral work “St.

Francis’ Prayer” for SATB with Hildegard Press in March 2021. She is currently collaborating on several other anthology and collection projects including new anthologies of Harry Burleigh, Undine Smith Moore and Margaret Bonds songs.

Her most recent performances include co-curating and hosting the Minnesota Orchestra concert of all African Diaspora compositions (10/6/22), co-curating and singing a festival in May 2021 of four concerts on Black Music in Hamburg, Germany with Thomas Hampson with Larry Brownlee, and Leah Hawkins, and in October 2021 appearing as soloist with the renowned Experiential Orchestra in New York City conducted by James Blachly, conductor, and a recital of the songs of Harry Burleigh on the Oxford Lieder Festival in Oxford, England. The Oxford appearance marked the first appearance of African American Art Song on this prestigious festival. Other performances include the 150th celebration of the ratification of the 13th amendment for Congress and President Obama at the U.S. Capitol; a performance in Havana, Cuba with the women’s orchestra Camerata Romeu and the opening of the Smithsonian’s African American Heritage Museum. She currently tours in the “New Generation Project” with soprano Marquita Lister. This project is a multi-cultural response to African American poetry.

Since 2010, she has been on the summer faculties of the Baltimore Summer Opera Workshop (Baltimore, MD), the Vocal Course for The National Conservatory (Bogota, Colombia), the Amalfi Coast Music Festival (Maiori, Italy), and the Accra Symphony Operatic Course (Accra, Ghana).

As a scholar, she has lectured on the music of African American composers and has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered for many broadcasts; for many national conventions and on many college campuses including Harvard, Yale, Tufts, and Duke Universities. As the co- founder and director of the George Shirley Vocal Competition that focuses exclusively on repertoire by African American art song, and Videmus (a non-profit organization that promotes the concert repertoire of African American and women composers), she encourages the performance and scholarship of African American compositions by students and scholars.Toppin studied with George Shirley, Phyllis Bryn Julson, Reri Grist, and was a fellow at the Britten Aldeburgh Festival studying with Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge, and Elly Ameling. She also coached with Sylvia Olden Lee and Charlotte Holloman on a regular basis.

Toppin was the recipient of many teaching awards, including the North Carolina Board of Governor’s Excellence in Teaching Award (the state’s highest award). She is also a recipient of the National Opera Association Legacy Award and the African American Art Song Achievement Award.

She served on several boards including the appointments by four North Carolina Governors to the North Carolina Arts Council, NCAC Executive Board, and the African American Heritage Commission. In addition to serving on the education committee for the Denyce Graves Foundation, she is on the boards of Opera Ebony and The Hampsong Foundation. She is the co- founder and Director of the George Shirley Vocal Competition and Videmus (promoting African American music). She is also the founder/editor of the that is a research tool to locate the repertoire of composers of the African Diaspora from the 1600s to the present.

Previously, Dr. Toppin was the Distinguished University Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is currently Professor of Music (Voice) at The University of Michigan.

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