On April 28, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) takes center stage at Paul Sharp Concert Hall for the Oklahoma University Civic Orchestra’s performance of his Human Songs and Stories. Christopher David Westover conducts the 20-minute work. Scored for narrator, orchestra and “The People,” Human Songs and Stories was commissioned by Texas Public Radio to celebrate the 20th anniversary of KPAC-FM in San Antonio, and was premiered in 2002 by Christopher Wilkins and the San Antonio Symphony. DBR will also be in residence at the University, and for this performance, he will serve as narrator.
“In Human Songs and Stories,” Westover shares, “I find a certain honesty in both Daniel and his music. This might be the biggest reason that I was attracted to working with him again. Our first collaboration [was] on Darwin’s Meditation for the People of Lincoln [and it] wasn’t planned. I had to step in and conduct the last rehearsals and performance because the scheduled conductor had a family emergency. Since that time, I’ve been looking for the right opportunity to bring Daniel’s music to my orchestra and audience. This season, [we’re] celebrating our 10th anniversary, and…this is the perfect opportunity to introduce Daniel to Oklahoma and to the Civic Orchestra.
“Human Songs and Stories is the perfect piece for us — not only [because it] fits our Beethoven programming, but it also fits the orchestra. Daniel’s piece calls for a large orchestra, narrator and six speakers, called “The People.” The Civic Orchestra is both a community orchestra for Norman, OK and The University of Oklahoma, so it seemed apt to choose a work that highlights the many voices that make up our ensemble. While Daniel will narrate his work, ‘The People’ will come from within the orchestra and the community; [and] the piece itself represents a world of voices singing and dancing. I think it is a remarkable work and I’m so glad we’re performing it.” The concert will be streamed live, so click here on April 28 to listen and watch.
Other April news includes: DBR’s continuing New Haven Symphony residency with on-site visits to Connecticut public schools and community concerts; a return to the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory to participate in its Musical Bridges program; the world premiere of the University of Houston commission En Masse featuring Roumain with the Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band; and the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s New York premiere of “Far But Close,” DBR’s new collaboration with choreographer John Alleyne. “Far But Close” runs for three performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.
For Oklahoma University Civic Orchestra concert details, click here.