GUILFORD -- On Saturday, Feb. 22, at 3 p.m., Friends of Music at Guilford presents "Lucy Terry Prince & The Black Man in Song" at Guilford Community Church (snow date IS Feb. 23).
Co-sponsored by Guilford Historical Society, this Black History Month event includes a talk by Linda Hecker on early Guilford resident Lucy Terry Prince (1730-1821) and a concert of works by African-American composers featuring tenor Irwin Reese and pianist Julia Bady.
African-born Lucy Terry grew up as a slave in the Ebenezer Wells household of Deerfield, Mass. Considered the earliest African-American literary figure, she authored a poem about a 1746 Indian attack on Deerfield that was handed down orally for many years before its first publication. She married Abijah Prince, a free Black and raised a large family on land they bought in Guilford.
"The Black Man in Song" opens with "Three Dream Portraits" by Margaret Bonds and other art songs by William Grant Still, J. Rosamond Johnson, John W. Work, Jr., and Camille Nickerson. The concert’s centerpiece is "The Letters" by Richard Pearson Thomas (b. 1957), the one living composer represented; commissioned by Reese in 2003, this four-part work was based on letters by noted African-American scientist, educator and inventor George Washington Carver (1864-1943). The final concert segment, includes works in the style of traditional Spirituals composed or arranged by James Miller, Virginia Lewis, Hall Johnson and Edward Boatner.
Admission is $10 per person at the door and includes a Colonial-style Tea Reception. This event is presented with partial funding support by a Small and Inspiring grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.