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Marine Chamber Orchestra Concert - June 19, 8 pm, Schlesinger Concert Hall, Alexandria, VA

Photo by GySgt Brian Rust

Marine Chamber Orchestra Juneteenth Concert

17 Jun 2021 | GySgt Rachel Ghadiali United States Marine Band

In recognition of Juneteenth, the Marine Chamber Orchestra will perform a concert featuring music by prominent composers of color at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 19. Conducted by Capt. Bryan P. Sherlock, the concert will highlight works by Scott Joplin, Jessie Montgomery, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and the “Dean of African American Composers” William Grant Still.

The program will include the sounds of Latin music in Still’s Danzas de Panama; elements of folk songs and spirituals in Joplin’s Five Scenes from Treemonisha; Montgomery’s Source Code, which centers on a melody based on syntax derived from Black spirituals; and Coleridge-Taylor’s Four Novelletten, Opus 52, which displays his masterful command of harmonic devices and clever use of orchestration with the tasteful inclusion of tambourine and triangle.

“I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to highlight some composers of African descent and William Grant Still came to mind immediately, followed by Scott Joplin and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor,” Sherlock said. “They were actively composing at the turn of the 20th century, and their musical styles reflect those sensibilities. One neat thing about Still’s composition—the musicians are asked to “drum” on the body of their instruments for an effect. And the Coleridge-Taylor piece calls for a percussionist as well as strings, so I like the combination that provides. I also wanted to offer music by a living African American composer and was familiar with Jessie Montgomery’s music. She is a modern composer and an accomplished string player herself, so her style lends itself very well to the instruments and players.”

Sherlock continued: “Their music is very accessible, and hopefully fresh to our audience. I hope this concert might cause some reflection on the importance of the day to our history and culture.”

The concert is free; no tickets are required. Currently the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center requires masks for those unvaccinated. Free parking is available in the adjacent garage. For detailed directions and parking information visit