Arts Organization Culminates 10th Anniversary Year with Gala Featuring Soloman Howard

From a "Gershwin and Grits Brunch Cruise" to a "Rossini on the Rooftop Reception", non-profit arts organization tops off year with a “Phantom of the Opera” themed Gala to help raise awareness for African American classical musicians.
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African American
Denyce Graves


Washington - District of Columbia - US

WASHINGTON - June 5, 2014 - PRLog -- The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA), a Washington, DC area based non-profit arts organization, has taken classical music to a grass roots level in order to help raise awareness of what is often thought by the African American community, as an elitist art form. Bridging the musical gap through the support and promotion of African American classical musicians and helping to “bring color to the classics”, CAAPA has been providing community outreach to that same community for the past decade.  On Thursday, June 26, 2014 at Harmony Hall Regional Center John Addison Concert Hall, 9801 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD at 6:30 pm CAAPA will again “bring color to the classics” by featuring bass/baritone Solomon Howard, who recently wooed audiences from a distance during the Kennedy Center’s recent run of Washington National Opera’s “The Magic Flute”.  Solomon’s performance on the 26th will offer audiences an up close and personal treat of classical music and opera selections in a more intimate setting. CAAPA is also providing complimentary tickets to the Gala to underserved youth interested in studying classical music.

“It is often believed the majority of African Americans lean towards gospel, R & B, jazz and hip hop to fulfill their musical needs, not ever attending an opera”, stated Pamela Simonson, Chairman of the Board of the ten-year old organization and a classically trained soprano. She stressed that while “The Magic Flute” was amazing, the African American community as a whole shies away from attending operas, symphonies and other classical musical performances. Simonson performs regularly with opera companies and rarely sees Blacks in attendance unless it’s “Porgy and Bess”.

“Our organization hopes to change that imbalance”, continued the New York native.

CAAPA’s woicv Executive Director Terri Allen agreed with Simonson stating,

“Only 3% percent of all operas and symphonies have black performers.  We hope to dispel the myth that classical music is an elitist art form, performed and has been performed by Blacks for years. Allen pointed out that it was at one of CAAPA’s 10th anniversary 2013-2014 season events that a symposium “Blacks in Classical Music” helped break down musical barriers and enlightened many that classical music has long been a staple in the musical appetites of Blacks. CAAPA’s goal for next season is to offer a similar day-long conference to the community.

“CAAPA’s fundraising events are also musically unique”, pointing out Simonson who emphasized the organization’s recent benefits like “Gershwin and Grits Brunch Cruise”, “Paintings, Poetry, Puccini and Pasta”, and “Rossini on the Rooftop” allowed audiences to attend unusual events while enjoying an infusion of classical music performed by African American musicians.  Seeing and hearing Solomon Howard perform at the upcoming Gala, she feels, will help African Americans more readily embrace classical music without feeling intimated.

CAAPA is a 501c3 organization that provides Community outreach, Arts education, Audience development, Performance opportunities and Arts partnerships. Patrons may purchase tickets to hear Howard or make tax deductible donations on the website, by telephone at 301-839-1444 or send to CAAPA, Post Office Box 44954, Fort Washington, MD 20744.

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Coalition for African Americans in Performing Arts
Source:Coalition for African Americans in Performing Arts
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Tags:CAAPA, African American, Classical, Musicians, Denyce Graves
Industry:Music, Non-profit
Location:Washington - District of Columbia - United States
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