Archive for December 15th, 2009

Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Led by Conductor Thomas Wilkins, Releases New Naxos CD: Hannibal Lokumbe’s Dear Mrs. Parks

On December 15, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) releases a new recording on the Naxos label, the second in four months. The CD features a single composition, a stirring oratorio by Hannibal Lokumbe inspired by Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks titled Dear Mrs. Parks. It is led by Thomas Wilkins, who was DSO Resident Conductor at the time of the recording, and features the Brazeal Dennard Chorale, the Rackham Symphony Choir and vocal soloists Janice Chandler-Eteme (soprano), Jevetta Steele (mezzo-soprano), Kevin Deas (baritone) and Taylor Lee Gardner (child soprano).

 The work was commissioned and premiered by the DSO in 2005 and was recorded in live performances of the DSO’s annual “Classical Roots” concerts at Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in 2009. Funding for this recording was provided in part by JPMorgan Chase with additional support from the Classical Roots Circle of Friends and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dear Mrs. Parks was made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).


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