Walk Together: A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr, and the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

January 24 and 25, 2015

Eastside College Preparatory School Performing Arts Center

The Eastside Preparatory School Choir, David Chaidez, Director
Jansen Verplank, keyboard
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano
LaDoris Cordell and 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, cello
Jim Kassis, percussion
Rufus Olivier, bassoon
John Monroe, trombone
John Worley Jr., trumpet
Featuring music by:

Valerie Capers
Dizzy Gillespie
Des'ree and Ahsley Ingram
Joshua McGhee
Lena McLin
Zenobia Powell Perry
John H. Robinson III
William Grant Still
Fats Waller
Dolores White

View entire video
I. You Gotta Be by Des’ree and Ashley Ingram
Eastside Preparatory School Choir, David Chaidez, Director,
Jansen Verplank, keyboard
II. “In Praise of Freedom,” by Valerie Capers
Spoken introduction by Valerie Capers
1. Introduction: The Preamble to the Constitution
2. Fanfare: Let Us Sing
3. Brotherhood Begins With You and Me
Eastside Choir, David Chaidez, Director
LaDoris Cordell, Rufus Olivier, Yolanda Rhodes, Deanne Tucker, and Jansen Verplank, vocals
Valerie Capers and Josephine Gandolfi, piano
John Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, percussion, Carol Somersille, clarinet, and John Worley, trumpet
III. Spirituals
“Camp Meetin’: Walk Together Chillun,” arr. William Grant Still
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, Deanne Tucker, piano
“Up Over My Head I See Freedom in the Air,” aria from the opera, Tawawa House by Zenobia Powell Perry
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, LaDoris Cordell and Deanne Tucker, altos
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
IV. Spirituals, arranged for instruments by William Grant Still (transcribed for strings, winds, and piano by Josephine Gandolfi)
Wade in the Water from Little Folk Suite No. 2
Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen from Spiritual Medley
Get On Board from Spiritual Medley
Susan C. Brown, violin, Carol Somersille, clarinet, Rufus Olivier, bassoon, Victoria Ehrlich, cello, and Josephine Gandolfi, piano
V. Spoken introduction by Valerie Capers
Night in Tunisia by Dizzy Gillespie, arranged by Valerie Capers
Valerie Capers, piano, John Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, percussion, Rufus Olivier, bassoon, John Monroe, trombone, and John Worley, trumpet
VI. Piano solo: “A Summer Day,” by Lena McLin
Deanne Tucker, piano
VII. Piano duets:
“Ella Scats the Little Lamb,” from Portraits in Jazz, by Valerie Capers
“Variation V,” from Variations on a Theme of Valerie Capers, by John Robinson
LaDoris Cordell and Josephine Gandolfi, piano
VIII. Spoken introduction by John Robinson
“Cell-Phonium,” based on the “T-Mobile” jingle (2014) by John Robinson
Picasso Ensemble: Susan C. Brown, violin, Victoria Ehrlich, cello, and Josephine Gandolfi, piano
IX. Spoken introduction by Valerie Capers
“Jitterbug Waltz” by Fats Waller
Valerie Capers, piano, John Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, percussion
X. Dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Down by the Riverside,” spiritual, arranged by Dolores White
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, Deanne Tucker, piano
“The Color of Love,” (2014) by Joshua McGhee
Picasso Ensemble and John Robinson, cello
“He Had a Dream,” from Free at Last! A Portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Lena McLin
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, LaDoris Cordell, piano
XI. Company finale:
Spoken introduction by Valerie Capers
“Hold On, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” spiritual and freedom song, arranged by Valerie Capers
Eastside Choir and Company

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.