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The Africana Studies Program

East Tennessee State University

Lecture Series



A Song-Lecture by Charles Charlton

 "Black Americans’ Contributions to United States Music and Culture"

Date: Friday, February 23, 2018

Time:1 p.m.

Location: Culp Center 271-J

Charles CharltonCharles Edward Charlton is a native of Johnson City, Tenn. His mother, Ms. Tammie Charlton, is a lifelong educator who has taught in the TriCities for more than 20 years. He is a graduate of Science Hill High School, magna cum laude; at Science Hill he was active in choir and theater, including the annual school musical.

Mr. Charlton is also a cum laude graduate of the Blair School of Music (B.Mus., 2003) and Peabody College of Education (M.Ed., 2004), both at Vanderbilt University, where he received the Benjamin E. Mays Award for notable academic acheivement by an African-American student. He performs regularly with the Nashville Opera Ensemble and is active in Nashville church music as a freelance hired chorister/conductor.

Mr. Charlton premiered the baritone solos in Charles Heimermann's A Symphony of Psalms in 2016, and appeared as baritone soloist with chatterbird in April 2017, in Ted Hearne's oratorio Katrina Ballads. Other appearances as soloist include: Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra (2016), Nashville Community Choir (2015) and the Music City Community Chorus (2009). Mr. Charlton has also: served as associate conductor with the Music City Community Chorus (2006-2009), taught private voice since 2005, and led workshops focused on developing young singers in the greater Nashville area. He will appear next as a soloist in J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion this coming March.

In Mr. Charlton's own words, "This song lecture is an opportunity to present (along with a few favorite jazz standards, musical theatre numbers and popular tunes) a facet of American music that is not widely known - art songs by Black composers. All these pieces represent a tiny sample of the Black contribution to American art/culture that has slowly but steadily eroded many old ideas/attitudes about Black people, Blackness itself and even about what 'America' as an idea(l) means OR SHOULD MEAN. I am excited and honored to take this journey and to be the guide along the way."

Songs to be played include:

Will Marion Cook's "Whoop 'Er Up"
Duke Ellington's "Satin Doll"
Billy Strayhorn's "Something To Live For"
Florence Price's "Song to the Dark Virgin"
H.T. Burleigh's "Weepin' Mary"
Margaret Bonds's "I, Too"
Charlie Smalls's "Home"
Howard Swanson's "A Death Song"
Charles Brown's "Song Without Words"
Robert Owens's "Genius Child/Faithful One"
Dave Ragland's "Martin Luther King, Jr."



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