23 Oct 2019
THE DESSOFF CHOIRS AND CONDUCTOR MALCOLM J. MERRIWEATHER RELEASE WORLD-PREMIERE RECORDING OF MARGARET BONDS’ “THE BALLAD OF THE BROWN KING”
Release of Bonds’ Holiday Cantata Coincides with a Live Performance at St. Philip’s Church in Harlem and
Celebrates The Dessoff Choirs 95th Anniversary Season
On November 1, 2019, New York City-based The Dessoff Choirs and their conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather will release the world-premiere recording of The Ballad of the Brown King by African-American composer Margaret Bonds. Considered Bonds’ crowning achievement, the libretto for this Christmas cantata was written expressly by her friend, the poet Langston Hughes. The recording, the ensemble’s first for AVIE Records, unites The Dessoff Choirs with full orchestra and features a first-class line-up of soloists – soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, tenor Noah Stewart, and Bonds authority Dr. Ashley Jackson on harp. Rounding out the album is a selection of specially arranged songs by Margaret Bonds, featuring baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather with harpist Ashley Jackson.