From April 30th through May 9th, the University of North Florida Chamber Singers (Jacksonville) will tour South Africa, where they’ll present the world premiere performances of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s (DBR) new choral piece I Need You. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I Need You is scored for SATB chorus and cello. Joined by cellist Dr. Nick Curry, Dr. Cara Tasher conducts the 20-member ensemble in its 10-day cultural exchange tour. In addition to its concerts, the choir will also interact with other South African musicians in collaborative performances. Destinations include rural and urban areas, including highlighted stops in Cape Town to perform with student singers from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (South Africa’s first integrated university), and in Port Elizabeth, a sister city to Jacksonville, FL.
From May 7th – 11th, DBR heads to the Rockies where he’ll serve as artist-in-residence at this year’s Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO. He’ll also begin participating in the two-year, music-outreach program Strings School Days 2013. This program brings in a professional musician to local schools to present music workshops, conduct rehearsals, interact with school music directors and students, and to perform in a concert hall setting and keep music education prominent in the community. DBR’s festival residency culminates on May 11th with a free community concert.
On May 18th, DBR travels to the West Coast to perform his Voodoo Violin Concerto for the Oakland East Bay Symphony’s season finale, led by Michael Morgan. “I first encountered Daniel’s music about 20 years ago when he was right out of school,” Morgan shares. “He has developed into an important voice in contemporary music and has a brilliant mind for seeing the connections between different kinds of music as well as integrating music and other arts. He’s never less than fascinating to be around and his performances are electric.”
Other recent DBR news includes BalletMet’s season finale world premiere of “Illusions of Choice,” presented as part of the company’s DanceTech multimedia and contemporary dance exploration. “Illusions of Choice” featured original music by DBR, visuals by software artist Frieder Weiss, and choreography by Amy Seiwert. DBR and Seiwert previously collaborated in spring 2011 and created the dance piece “Home in 7” for the Atlanta Ballet.