Performer Melanie DeMore Pounds, Claps into Town for WITNESS: Stomp & Sing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PERFORMER MELANIE DEMORE POUNDS, CLAPS INTO TOWN
FOR WITNESS: Stomp & Sing
VocalEssence welcomes vocal activist Melanie DeMore in
concert Sun., Feb. 9, 4 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS—November 7, 2013—The 130-voice VocalEssence Chorus will share the
Orchestra Hall stage with vocal activist Melanie
DeMore on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. for a one-time journey through the Gullah music of the Sea Islands of
Georgia and South Carolina in WITNESS: Stomp & Sing.
The performance is part of the WITNESS School Program, from
VocalEssence — an opportunity for students and teachers to learn more about the
contributions African Americans have made and are making to the fine arts
through concerts, recordings and comprehensive educational programs. The
initiative includes an annual school program, offering in-class workshops with Teaching
Artists and tickets to the WITNESS Young People’s Concerts, plus a public
concert and CD collection.
Ms. DeMore is a dynamic performer and educator with a remarkable
voice, weaving African American folk music with soulful ballads, spirituals and
her own original music. In a series of workshops at area schools and juvenile
detention centers throughout this school year, DeMore has been performing and
teaching rhythmic, powerful spirituals performed in the Gullah tradition, using
the traditional forms of stick
pounding, hand clapping and foot stomping. For more information about Melanie’s work,
visit her website at: http://www.melaniedemore.com/.
“Our WITNESS program gives the Twin Cities an opportunity to meet
fascinating musical artists we might not otherwise experience — like Melanie
DeMore,” says Philip Brunelle, founder and artistic director, VocalEssence.
“Unique among other groups of enslaved Africans, the Gullah lived in isolation,
retaining much of their pure African traditions. Communal singing and dance were seen as vital to
survival and rhythm was deep in their souls. It has been very exciting to host
Melanie this school year, and I know our audience — kids and adults
alike — will find this public performance soul-stirring and unforgettable.”
Tickets for WITNESS: Stomp & Sing are available for $10
and up; youth ages 6-18 and students with a valid college ID are eligible for
half-price tickets. For more information about this concert series and to
purchase tickets, please call 612-371-5656 or visit www.vocalessence.org. MPR’s classical
music expert John Birge will host a pre-concert conversation with DeMore at 3
called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana
Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, impacts
thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative
programs, contests, and support for innovative art. VocalEssence was founded in
1969 and has debuted more than 150 commissions and world premieres. For more
information, visit www.vocalessence.org.