Concert will pay tribute to historic black composer –

WABASH — A concert will pay tribute to a historic black composer. The Manchester Symphony Orchestra celebrates the “Trailblazers” at their first concert of 2022. It will be at 3pm on Sunday March 13 at the Honeywell Center in Wabash.

The concert features “Symphony No. 1 in E Minor,” written by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to have a composition performed by a major symphony orchestra.

Its pioneering symphony was “created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Frederick Stock at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair,” said OSM conductor Debra Lynn.

Lynn added: “Price was a domestic violence survivor and single mother, who had experienced extreme poverty and homelessness. Her life and legacy have become a great inspiration to women songwriters and songwriters of color around the world.

Lynn carefully curates Manchester Symphony Orchestra concerts to include works by women and others, who have never been well represented in the world of the symphony. It selects musical pieces and presents artists from a wide spectrum.

“Trailblazers” also marks the return of the MSO Young Artists Concerto and Aria Competition after six years.

Three performers have been selected to perform as soloists during the concert:

Andre Burns, a high school student from Merrillville, will perform the aria Vainement Ma Bien Aimée by Edouard-Victoire-Antoine Lalo. Lydia Kelly, a biology-chemistry major at MU, will perform Rosauro’s “Concerto No. 1 for Marimba and Orchestra, Movement IV, Despedida.” Ben Morton, a sophomore at Homestead High School, will perform “Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22, Movement 1.”

Tickets are $15 for general admission and are free for UM students, faculty, and staff with UM ID and for anyone 18 and under. Masks, proof of vaccination and proof of a negative COVID test are not required at Honeywell locations.

Visit to purchase tickets.

Lynn is Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at the University of Manchester. Composer, who will conduct for the third time this spring at Carnegie Hall, she is a collaborative musical storyteller.

The Manchester Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1939 through a partnership with the people of County Wabash and what was then Manchester College. It thrives today as an essential component of the rich performing arts culture in the region. Its members are a mix of professional and community musicians, Manchester students and several high school students.

The “Trailblazers” concert is sponsored by MPS Egg Farms.

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