Houston Prepares For Historic Event with First Ever All-Black Classical Music Festival

Musicians Travel From Across the World to Perform at The 2018 Colour Of Music Festival at University Of Houston – September 12-16, 2018

The University of Houston’s College of Liberal and Social Sciences, the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts, H-E-B Corporation and the City of Houston have joined forces to present the first ever all-Black classical music Festival in Houston. The Colour of Music Festival Petit’ runs September 12-16, 2018.

Scores of Classical Conductors, Composers, Musicians and Operatic Singers will travel from France, Great Britain, Columbia, Russia and cities across the United States to participate in this Historic event.

The Festival will feature full classical performances in organ, piano, vocal, chamber and orchestral works. Classical Musical enthusiasts, supporters and average citizens have shown amazing interest in the festival and plan to attend

Lee Pringle, of Charleston North Carolina, founded the Colour of Music Festival, in 2013. Mr. Pringle, a singer and classical music aficionado, felt there was little representation of Black musicians in the classical genre’. Despite hundreds of well-educated classically trained musicians, only 3 percent were part of big city orchestras across the nation. Many Black classical artists travel abroad for work. In his research, Mr. Pringle found, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an 18th century African-French composer, and contemporary of Mozart. He wrote opera and classical masterpieces that equaled or far exceeded those of his contemporaries. Though highly recognized overseas, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ contributions have gathered little notice in the U.S. Armed with this history and the plight of today’s classical musicians, Mr. Pringle founded The Colour of Music.

Today, The Colour of Music Festival is comprised of Black classical musicians trained at the worlds’ most prestigious institutions. Many are award winning, have written original works, lead orchestras from around the world and one was asked (Sheku Kanneh-Mason) to play at the Royal Wedding of Megan Markel and Prince Harry. Since its inception, the Colour of Music Festival has brought classically trained Black musicians together to offer the public an opportunity to experience diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical, and twentieth century music at the highest of musical standards. It also showcases the historical significance and impact of Black classical composers and performers in American culture.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and hundreds of Houstonians are planning to attend this first-ever historic event. The pubic will witness performances some of the worlds’ most prodigiously gifted classical principals, composers, and musicians of African ancestry. The Colour of Music Festival will also feature renowned Black maestros Kirk Smith and David E. Morrow, serving, as guest conductors to lead the Masterwork Series and AnyangoYarbo-Davenport will lead an all-female Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi. The Colour of Music Festival in Houston, Texas is set to educate, inspire and entertain Houston Audiences.

The mission of the Colour of Music Festival is to provide distinctive, extraordinary opportunities for composers, musicians and vocalists of African descent. It presents a wide-ranging repertoire of classical music at the highest musical standards to diverse audiences nationally and internationally. It has developed outreach educational programs for families, children and professionals alike.

The Colour of Music Festival débuted in Charleston, North Carolina. The Festival drew over 4,000 guests from across the nation and was hailed by Mayor Joseph P. Riley. Mayor Riley commented, “…a crowning achievement in Charleston’s cultural life that gives residents and visitors alike yet another reason to enjoy Charleston.” This was the first time in our nation’s history when an all-Black professional philharmonic came together to present the classic liturgical and secular work of the common practice period in synergy with the works of prominent composers of African descent from the 1700s to present time.

The Colour of Music Festival has presented outstanding performances in Atlanta, Charleston SC, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC and now in Houston, TX. As said by Founder and Artistic director Lee Pringle, “The Colour of Music Festival delivers a global offering of the most talented musicians of African Ancestry in the United States and across the globe.”

For more information, please visit www.colourofmusic.org.