Black Art Songs Webinar
April 7, 2021
The Bienen School of Music welcomed Dr. Louise Toppin and Dr. Willis Patterson from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance for a virtual discussion on Black art songs. Bienen School Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery moderated.
This event was presented as part of the Tichio-Finnie Vocal Master Class Series.
About the Presenters
Willis Patterson is professor emeritus of voice and former associate dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. He is the editor of the Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers and the Second Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers. He concertized extensively in the U.S. and Europe and appeared as bass soloist with major American orchestras.
Louise Toppin is professor of voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. She recently published the anthology Rediscovering Margaret Bonds: Art Songs, Spirituals, Musical Theater and Popular Songs. Dr. Toppin has lectured on the music of African American composers and has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and in national conventions. Toppin has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral, and oratorio performances throughout the world.
Toni-Marie Montgomery is dean of the Bienen School of Music. An alumna of the University of Michigan, she worked for Dr. Patterson during her last year at Michigan as a research assistant for his symposium on Black music. She credits Patterson as being her first mentor for administration. Dr. Montgomery was the founding pianist of the Black Music Repertory Ensemble of Columbia College Chicago.