The Dessoff Choirs celebrates the late African American composer Margaret Bonds, at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, in New York City, on April 28 at 7:30 p.m., a pre-concert talk begins at 6:45 p.m.
Born in Chicago, Margaret Bonds (1913-1972) was a pianist, a composer, an arranger, and a music teacher. She was one of the first Black composers and performers to gain popular recognition in the U.S., being the first Black soloist to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She was also a strong fighter for civil rights, and is remembered for her arrangements of African American spirituals.
The Dessoff Choirs concert features the New York premieres of the orchestral versions of two neglected Bonds cantatas: Credo inspired by a W.E.B. Du Bois essay, and Simon Bore the Cross (edition by Malcolm J. Merriweather), a collaboration with Langston Hughes.