Terrance McKnight, speaker
Chauncey Packer, tenor
David Norville, oboe
Kyle Walker, piano
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A pairing of the poetry of Langston Hughes with music by Beethoven, two commanding talents separated by a hundred years’ time and vastly different worlds of experience, yet each found inspiration and the spark of creativity in the universality of the other’s art form.
Presented by The Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
About the Performers:
Terrance McKnight: radio host, commentator, curator, writer, author, pianist
Terrance McKnight serves humanity and music by “bringing everyone’s culture to the table, by not putting one above the other, but rather by ensuring a big enough table with a place for all.”
Terrance is the author of “Concert Black,” anticipating a 2023 release by Abrams Press. Also in the 2022-23 season, he hosts diverse evenings of music that celebrate the centennial of New York’s Town Hall. These productions include Laura Kaminsky’s opera “Hometown to the World,” “Pioneering Black Voices in Opera” and a tribute to gospel singer Twinkie Clark. His latest creative project, Langston & Beethoven: Black & Proud, will be produced at Lincoln Center’s Sidewalk Studio during February 2023, and he lends his voice as narrator in Peter & the Wolf for two performances with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony at New York’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music.
McKnight is the weekday evening host for WQXR, New York’s only all-classical music station. In association with the station, his production company Concert Black LLC launches a podcast series in February 2023. The first topic, representations of blackness in opera, will be captured in 16 weekly episodes and distilled into 4-one hour radio documentaries. Prior audio documentaries he has authored, voiced and produced feature Langston Hughes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hazel Scott, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Florence Beatrice Price, Leonard Bernstein and Harry Belafonte. Another of his radio shows for WQXR, All Ears with Terrance McKnight, a series about musical discovery, was honored with an ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award.
Chauncey Packer is an American tenor hailing from southern Alabama. In the 2022-2023 season, Packer returns to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Bardolfo in “Falstaff” and Luis Rodrigo Griffith in “Champion”. He also makes his role debut as the Witch in “Hansel and Gretel” at New Orleans Opera and brings his celebrated Sportin’ Life in “Porgy and Bess” to Germany’s NDR Elbphilharmonic Orchestra. Recent roles were Cavaradossi in “Tosca” and Jo the Loiterer in “Mother of us All” at Chautauqua Opera and at The Metropolitan Opera as Spinner in Terrence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” for The Metropolitan Opera. Packer is featured on several commercial releases including Nashville Symphony’s “Porgy and Bess” on Decca Records, Paragon Ragtime Symphony’s “Treemonisha” on New World Records and San Francisco Opera’s DVD release of Francesca Zambello’s “Porgy and Bess”. Packer apprenticed with Des Moines Metro Opera and Utah Festival Opera, received his bachelor’s degree from University of Mobile, pursued a Master of Music from University of New Orleans and postgraduate studies at Louisiana State University in music and theater. chaunceypacker.com
David A. Norville
David A. Norville is an American oboist and media producer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, David has been recognized by organizations like YoungArts, Sphinx, and The Jack Kent Cooke foundation for his merits as an oboist and young artist. He is known for producing works like The Of Freedom Podcast, Black Music Seen, as well as Castle of Our Skins’ Black Student Union Intercollegiate Fellowship Program. David currently serves as an Associate
Producer for New York Public Radio’s WQXR and is a founding member of The Black Orchestral Network. Unity, self-determination, collective work & responsibility, and cooperative economics undergird David’s work deconstructing race and social-class through multifaceted artistic lenses. He aspires to use his platforms to creatively empower artists of the African diaspora through the production of online educational platforms and concert curation.
Kyle P. Walker
Pianist Kyle P. Walker believes music can speak social issues. He brings this understanding to performances of traditional Western repertoire and that of the living composers with whom he collaborates including Vijay Iyer, John Link, Courtney Bryan, Jeffery Scott, Evan Williams, Matthew Lyon Hazzard, Joan Szymko, Tania León and Mary D. Watkins. He is a founding member of The Dream Unfinished, an activist orchestra and pianist of DARA + KYLE, innovative piano/cello duo. Walker also performs with The Harlem Chamber Players, an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. He can be heard on broadcasts from WNYC’s The Greene Space, on CNN and PBS, and has appeared at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theater and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a teaching artist and educator, he has co-presented at the Human Rights Center,New York Society for Ethical Culture and the Brooklyn Public Library. Kyle Walker holds degrees from Mannes College, The New School for Music, East Carolina University and from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His principal teachers include Thomas Sauer, Benjamin Hochman, Keiko Sekino and Clifton Matthews. He is currently touring with a solo performance project entitled Bach to BlackNotes, featuring works of J.S. Bach juxtaposed with music of neglected composers who speak to issues of oppression and inequality. Walker resides in New Jersey with his wife, violinist Katherine Dennis, and their daughter Khloe. kylewalkerpiano.com