Special Black History Month concert at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church

Christopher Jenkins, viola

On Sunday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m., you are invited to attend a special concert in honor of Black History Month to be held in the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church Sanctuary, located at 20401 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River. The concert is free and open to the public. Masks are required to be worn in the church at all times.

The concert features Oberlin Conservatory’s Associate Dean Christopher Jenkins on viola with soloist, accompanist and educator Dianna White-Gould on piano. The music will focus on African-American composers, particularly those with significant relations to Cleveland and Ohio.

According to David Blazer, West Shore’s Director of Music, the concert is being paid for through a grant by the Music Settlement, located in University Circle, that offers a wide variety of music instruction. “This special concert marks the return of a long-standing pre-Covid era collaboration between West Shore and The Music Settlement, which is underwriting the cost of the concert.”

Founded in 1912, The Music Settlement is a centuries-old community music school forged out of the Settlement Movement as a way to welcome immigrants to Cleveland and unite them through the common language of music.

Violist Christopher Jenkins is the Associate Dean for Academic Support at Oberlin Conservatory. He is currently earning a DMA in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Ph.D. in musicology from Case Western Reserve University, where his performance and research focuses on the music of African-American composers. The American Society for Aesthetics awarded him a curriculum diversification grant for his annotated bibliography on sources related to the aesthetics of African-American classical music, and the Irene H. Chayes “New Voices” award for his paper reimagining the practice of classical music through the lens of Black aesthetics. Mr. Jenkins was a 2003 laureate of the Sphinx Competition, and was Dean of the Sphinx Performance Academy for seven years prior to coming to Oberlin. His alma maters include Harvard University, Columbia University, New England Conservatory, and the Manhattan School of Music.

Dianna White-Gould is an active soloist, accompanist and educator. She was born into a musical family. Her father was a cellist with The Cleveland Orchestra and her mother a composer and pianist. She graduated from Oberlin College Conservatory. She later received a Master’s in Piano Performance from Cleveland State University. She attended L’Ecole de Fontainebleau in France as a student of Gaby Casadesus. She has also toured Germany performing as accompanist and soloist at The Odenwald Summer Music Festival. Ms. White-Gould has appeared as the featured soloist with The Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, and twice as soloist with the Heights Civic Orchestra. Other performing appearances include solo and collaborative performances at Severance Hall, Oberlin College, Ursuline College, Cuyahoga Community College, The Music Settlement, Cleveland State University, Cleveland Public Library, Wooster College and The South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago. She has a strong interest in new music and music of African-American composers and has given world premieres by composers Dolores White, H. Leslie Adams, Hale Smith, and George Walker. She is on faculty at the Cleveland Music Settlement and the Dike School of the Arts, where she directs the Choir and Keyboard program.

For more information, contact the church office at 440-333-2255.

Dorothy Richards

20+ year member of West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church. Assistant Programs staff.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 10:13 AM, 02.01.2022