African American Heritage
Gershwin — Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture
with Todd Payne, Baritone
Still — Afro-American Symphony
In honor of Black History Month, the Topeka Symphony is excited to present the Afro-American Symphony by William Grant Still. Still was the first African-American to have a symphony performed by a major symphony orchestra and the first to conduct a major orchestra. In the Afro-American Symphony, Still combines blues, jazz, and spirituals into a traditional classical form, and it is instantly appealing and fresh. We will also play Gershwin’s jazzy Porgy and Bess, and welcome Todd Payne back to our stage to sing spirituals and present his very moving interpretation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, I Have a Dream speech.