Let Freedom Ring: The Resounding Music of African American Composers

Sunday, January 26, 2014 3 pm

Eastside College Preparatory School Performing Arts Center

The Eastside Preparatory School Choir, David Chaidez, Director
Jansen Verplank, keyboard
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano
LaDoris Cordell, Deanne Tucker, vocalist/pianists
Josephine Gandolfi, pianist, Picasso Ensemble
Susan C. Brown, violinist, Picasso Ensemble
Victoria Ehrlich, cellist, Picasso Ensemble
Carol Somersille, clarinetist
with guest artists
Valerie Capers, pianist/composer
John Robinson III, bass, recorder
Jim Kassis, percussion
John Worley Jr., trumpet
Lauren Sibley, narrator
Featuring music by:

Regina Baiocchi
Margaret Bonds
Valerie Capers
Thomas Andrew Dorsey
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington
Sargent Johnson
Joshua McGhee
Florence B. Price
John H. Robinson III
William Grant Still
Dolores White

I. “Tomorrow,” The Brothers Johnson; lyrics - Siedah Garrett
Eastside Preparatory School Choir, David Chaidez, Director,
Jansen Verplank, keyboard
II. “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” by Duke Ellington, arr. Capers
LaDoris Cordell, vocal, Valerie Capers, vocal and piano,
John Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, percussion,
Susan C. Brown, violin, Victoria Ehrlich, cello
III. “One Note Samba,” by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Valerie Capers, piano, John Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, percussion
IV. from “Variations on a Theme of Valerie Capers –
Variation 7: Finale" (adapted for four-hands by Gandolfi)
LaDoris Cordell and Josephine Gandolfi, piano
V. “Musique” for piano, violin, and cello by John Robinson (2013)
Picasso Ensemble: Susan C. Brown, violin,
Josephine Gandolfi, piano, Victoria Ehrlich, cello
VI. Three Spirituals
“I’m Workin’ on my Buildin’,” by Florence Price
“Go Down Moses,” by Dolores White
“You Can Tell the World,” by Margaret Bonds
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, LaDoris Cordell
and Josephine Gandolfi, piano
VII. Dedicated to Trayvon Martin
“Grief,” by William Grant Still
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, Deanne Tucker, piano
“Elegy for a Child,” a Tribute to Trayvon Martin
by Joshua McGhee (2013)
Picasso Ensemble with John Robinson, cello
“Hold Out for Joy,” (text based on Psalm 30:5)
by Regina Baiocchi
LaDoris Cordell, vocal, Josephine Gandolfi, piano
VIII. “Precious Lord,” by Thomas A. Dorsey
John Robinson, recorder, Valerie Capers, piano, Jim Kassis, percussion
IX. Piano Solos
“Spiritual,” (A Deserted Plantation) by William Grant Still
“Nimble Feet,” (Dances in the Canebrakes) by Florence Price
Deanne Tucker, piano
X. “Mother and Child,” by William Grant Still, suggested by Sargent Johnson’s “Mother and Child” (transcribed by Gandolfi for trio)
Picasso Ensemble
XI. “Ruby,” music and lyrics by Valerie Capers (2013)
Valerie Capers Introduces Ruby
Tableau 1 – “Lullaby” (narrated) (music only)
Tableau 2 – “Mardi Gras”(narrated) (music only)
Tableau 3 – “Where are all the children?” (narrated) (music only)
Tableau 4 – “Reflections” (narrated) (music only)
Postlude – “Change”
XII. “Let Freedom Ring”
Company and Eastside Choir

Susan C. Brown, violinist, has performed in the Bay Area, New York, and in Germany. She is director of strings at Cabrillo College, is author of numerous string methods publications, and is recipient of A.S.C.A.P. awards for her compositions. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

Dr. Valerie Capers, a native of New York City, received her early education at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. She earned her BA and MA degrees at Juilliard and established herself as a classical as well as jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and recording artist. She is the recipient of three honorary doctorates in music, given by the University of Susquehanna, Bloomfield College (along with Wynton Marsalis on the same day), and Doane College. She founded the jazz program at the Manhattan School of Music and served as chair of the Department of Music at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. With bassist John Robinson she performs as a duo, and together with other outstanding jazz artists, they perform as a trio and quintet. In 2012, Dr. Capers was honored twice by the Borough of the Bronx, New York, where she lives: first with the "Bronx Walk of Fame Award," followed several months later with the "Bronx Living Legend Award of 2012."

David Chaidez received his BA in jazz/world music studies from San Jose State University. He has performed as a featured soloist at venues such as the Monterey Jazz Festival and formed several music groups, including the Higher Ground Players, a soul/hip-hop group dedicated to positivity and creative expression. David has played in jazz combos, salsa groups, soul bands, vocal jazz groups, a cappella groups, and classical ensembles. Having experience first-hand the transformative power of music and education, David notes, "I want our students to aim high, and be exposed to as much as possible, because it helps them know there are many ways to grow."

LaDoris Cordell’s early musical training included piano and violin lessons and vocalizing with her two sisters. She received her B.A. from Antioch College and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. A retired state court judge, she has worked as a lawyer in East Palo Alto, as Vice Provost at Stanford, and is currently Independent Police Auditor for the City of San Jose.

Victoria Ehrlich, a native Texan, studied at Southern Methodist University, the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has been a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1984 and performs with numerous California orchestras and chamber ensembles.

Josephine Gandolfi grew up in Boston and began study of piano in childhood. She received further musical education at Cornell University, U. of Wisconsin, Conservatory of Cologne, Germany, and Stanford. An active performer and teacher, she has taught at Stanford, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and U.C. Santa Cruz, and privately.

Jim Kassis, percussion, received his BA in Music from San Jose State University. He has taught at the Soundsation Jazz Camp and has performed with many California symphonies, ensembles, and festivals, including the Cabrillo Festival. He studied under Tony Cirone, Jack VanGeem, and Alfred Kanwisher.

John Monroe, trombone, is principal trombone in the Ohlone Wind Orchestra and solo euphonium in the Mission Peak Brass Band. A retired Hewlett-Packard manufacturing and quality executive, John also volunteers as a music aide in the Palo Alto schools.

Yolanda Rhodes, a native of East Palo Alto, began to develop her musical gifts as a young adult. She worked with mentors in the worlds of classical music, jazz, and theatre. Ms. Rhodes presents programs of music, stories, and dance schools throughout the Bay Area.

John Robinson III, bass, cello, recorder, is an alumnus of the High School of Music and Art in New York City and is a graduate of Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, where he served on the music faculty. In addition to his busy performance schedule as a jazz, Latin, and classical bassist, Mr. Robinson plays cello and recorder and is a composer, copyist, and arranger. He has recorded with the artists Angel Canales, Dakota Staton, Abbey Lincoln, Valerie Capers, and others. He has appeared on radio and television and in live concerts all over the world with Jose Alberto, Celia Cruz, Dizzie Gillespie, Tito Fuente, Ray Barretto, Wynton Marsalis, and Max Roach, to mention a few. The multi-talented John Robinson is a permanent member of the Valerie Capers Trio and Ensemble.

Carol A. Somersille was born in New York and began playing the clarinet as a child.  While receiving her B.A. in biochemistry from Harvard College, she played in the Harvard Wind Ensemble.  Further schooling included a M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a residency at Baylor College of Medicine.

Lauren Sibley is a sixth grader at Castilleja School. She enjoys making music with her family, playing the pocket trumpet, singing, and playing basketball.

Deanne Tucker is a native of Denver, Colorado, where she began her study of piano at age eight. After receiving a Physics degree from Stanford University, she worked in remote sensing and robotics at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Ames Research Center.  She is now pursuing her interests in music as a pianist and singer.

Jansen Verplank works in Eastside's development department, which raises the money required to run the school each year. He is a jazz pianist and studied with Dan Wall at the Oberlin Conservatory while attending Oberlin College. He also sings in Ragazzi Continuo, a men's a capella chamber choir.

John Worley Jr., trumpet, is an accomplished trumpet/flugelhorn/post-horn artist and leader of the bands Mo-Chi Quartet, WorlView and Bari Bari. John has played in many of the Bay Area's creative music ensembles for the last 30+ years. Being adept at a multitude of styles, he has played with national and international artists in Canada, Europe, Central and North America.