Monday January 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
Baritone Emery Stephens and accompanist Alvin Waddles explore African-American history from 1898 – 1976 through this interactive lecture/concert honoring the legacy and musical achievements of African-American classical composers and arrangers such as Harry T. Burleigh, John Work, Margaret Bonds and Moses Hogan. Musical highlights include: “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, “It’s Me, O Lord”, “Didn’t It Rain?”, “This Little Light Of Mine” and more.
Baritone Emery Stephens has sung with Arbor Opera Theater, Ann Arbor Symphony, Main Street Opera, Orchestra Canton, Carolina Ballet, Cape Fear Chorale, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera New England, Boston University Opera Institute, University of Michigan Opera Theater, Prism Opera, Cambridge Lieder and Opera Society, Opera-at-Longy, and Operafest.
In addition to his solo engagements with the Wilmington Symphony in Handel's Messiah, Copland's Old American Songs, and Orff's Carmina Burana, he was a professional chorister with the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston for ten years with Christopher Hogwood, artistic director. He premiered the role of the Male Speaker in performances of Dan Welcher's oratorio, JFK: Voice of Peace with conductor Daniel Beckwith at Boston's Symphony Hall.
Stephens is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Wayne State University in Detroit, and music director at the Unity of Farmington Hills. He has presented his survey research at conference sessions for the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music, College Music Society (Great Plains Region), International Congress of Voice Teachers, International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and the African-American Art Song Alliance. Stephens is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, National Opera Association, African-American Art Song Alliance, College Music Society, and Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music.
A native of Detroit, Alvin Waddles studied at Interlochen Arts Academy and the University Of Michigan School Of Music. He has worked in the Fine Arts Departments of the Detroit and Ann Arbor Public School systems. Since 1994, he has served as Director of Music for Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield, MI. In addition to regular appearances at local venues and events such as the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, the Detroit Festival of the Arts, the Michigan Jazz Festival and the Detroit International Jazz Festival, he has traveled across the country and abroad both as a solo artist and as musical director for Cook, Dixon and Young, formerly of the Three Mo’ Tenors.