Expanding our network
This is a conversational series with the leaders of several outstanding music organizations representing Black artists. Ashleigh Gordon and Anthony R. Green - the Co-Founders of Castle of our Skins - hold discussions with an international roster of Black women - the leaders of these music organizations.
Tune in on our Facebook homepage for these weekly interviews to learn:
About their musical journey.
The origin stories of each organization.
How their work has changed and evolved.
And of course more...
Organizations involved in this conversational series
the string queens
Authentic -|- Soulful -|- Orchestral
Praised for its “authentic, soulful, and orchestral sound”, The String Queens (TSQ) is a dynamic trio that creates stimulating musical experiences that inspire diverse audiences to love, hope, feel, and imagine!
With an array of repertoire spanning from the Baroque era to the Jazz Age to today’s Billboard Hot 100 Chart, TSQ performs versatile programs that transport audiences through time and a multitude of musical genres.
Based in Washington, D.C., TSQ members have been featured in famed performance venues across four continents including: Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Howard Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Shanghai Grand Theatre, The Moscow Conservatory, and Blues Alley, to name a few.
Tune in 7.9.2020 12PM. Watch the recording HERE.
D-Composed is a Chicago-based chamber music experience that honors Black creativity and culture through the music of Black composers. Since 2017, they have created intimate, out-of-the-box experiences that celebrate a mix of genres and sounds of Black music throughout history. They take music out of the concert halls and share it in spaces like art galleries and cafes.
D-Composed / dee-kuhm-pohzd/ - Adverb : Their creative process involves the breaking down of pre-conceived notions, barriers, and opinions of what people think classical music should be to re-writing their own narrative to reflect what the classical world could be.
They are architects of creativity and merge various artistic mediums to properly honor the legacy and brilliance of Black composers. With their platform, they plan to change an entire field - and they’re doing it on their own terms.
Tune in 7.16.2020 at 12PM. Watch the recording HERE.
Dr. Louise Toppin
Louise Toppin is a noted performer, scholar and professor who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers. In the span of her career, more than 30 songs and 2 operas have been written expressly for her voice. In addition, she has sung the world premiere of 30 more songs and arias of contemporary composers. As the administrator of the George Shirley Vocal Competition for the past nine years and Videmus (a non-profit organization that promotes the concert repertoire of African American and women composers) for more than twenty-five years, she encourages the performance and scholarship of African American compositions by students and scholars through recordings, conference presentation, live performances, and lectures.
Tune in 7.23.20 at 12PM. Watch the recording HERE.
Challenge the Stats
Challenge the Stats (CTS) exists to empower artists of color by creating communities devoted to diversity, inclusion, and equity in the classical performing arts. CTS seeks to equip audiences and artists with the tools needed to advocate for justice both inside and outside of the concert hall.
Challenge the Stats Founder Angelica Hairston is passionate about creating spaces that support diversity, inclusion, and equity in the performing arts.
Tune in 7.30.20 at 12PM.
We free strings
"[WeFreeStrings] combine free jazz with the music of African-American string bands and classical avant-garde; it picks up where the likes of The Revolutionary Ensemble and James 'Blood' Ulmer's Odyssey left off, adding sounds previously heard in Ornette Coleman's writing for strings. This is surging, stabbing, thumping music...massive pulse...real sting." - Phil Freeman, The Wire, Oct. 2018.
"...positive collective synergy...a deep sense of freedom" - Filipe Freitas, JazzTrail, 9/5/2018
Tune in 8.6.20 at 12PM.
the string archestra
The String Archestra is a chamber, string ensemble made up of professional and non-professional musicians. This ensemble was created in 2016 to empower musicians of color in classical music and to recognize composers who have been overlooked in music history because of their ethnicity and gender.
"Classical music has always been composed, conducted and played by People of Color."
~Dr. Dr. Daniele G. Daude, Founder of The String Archestra
Tune in 8.13.20 at 12PM.
Sinfonietta VivazzA, named after Rossinis restless and adventuresome Father, is a ensemble (flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, violoncello, contrabass, harp) that made up of passionate musicians who present high quality concerts for a diverse public.
The motto of VivazzA is that, Chamber Music should be performed for the enjoyment of everyone“. To be able to achieve this goal, VivazzA, presents concert programs in flexible formations as well as collaborates with other art genres, such as theater, opera, dance and film.
Tune in 8.20.20 at 12PM.