For the first time ever, the Color of Music Festival is bringing its showcase to the West Coast and Sacramento has been selected as the primary destination for its November 10-13 debut.
The Showcase is a composition of classical masterpieces performed by an all-black cast of professional classical musicians, composers and performers presenting classical masterpieces, chamber performances, vocal, piano and literary presentation.
Lee Pringle, founder and artistic director, said his intention to bring the festival to Sacramento, and Oak Park in particular, was due to the self-sufficiency of black communities and businesses in Sacramento.
“This city is becoming a role model for others to follow, and I’m delighted that we can be a part of it,” said Pringle.
The shows will take place at various venues in Sacramento and the surrounding area, including the Guild Theater in Oak Park, the Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento, and the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Theater at UC Davis.
Tickets are available for purchase online here, or by visiting www.colourofmusic.org.
The upcoming festival in Sacramento had been in the works for two years. It was due to arrive in 2020, but it has been postponed due to COVID-19 closures caused by the pandemic.
Sacramento City Council member Rick Jennings, along with former council members Larry Carr and Allen Warren were instrumental in organizing the event in the city.
Carr took the festival investigation to Testa and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg because he learned from his experience on city council that art is what brings people together, especially in Sacramento.
“Sacramento is a very diverse city, it’s made up of many different cultures, many different ethnicities,” Carr said. “The color of the music occupies an important niche because we have not seen a classical orchestra, performed by all the black members. ”
For former board member Carr, it was a chance for young people to see all the black shows.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg proudly hosts the Color of Music Festival in Sacramento and says it will become a tradition in the city.
Pringle said this was an opportunity to advance the conversation about the inequalities black musicians face in the accessibility and funding of classical music and music education. For some musicians, the showcase is the first platform where they can showcase their talents and musical knowledge.
The Color of Music Festival was established in 2013, originally from Charleston, South Carolina. The festival took place in cities such as Houston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Richmond and of course Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina.
“We come from all over the place,” Pringle said. “Tall, tall, round, plump, lean, light brown, dark, almost white and that’s what I love about who we are as a people.”
Pringle says he wanted to showcase the contributions black people have made to classical music, dating back to before Mozart. He intentionally spelled “color” in a traditional European style because he always envisioned a “mosaic of different hues”.
The audience will have the opportunity to experience and learn about the impact and importance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture.
The Color of Music festival will present various performances over four days.
Performances will include: an all-female chamber orchestra of virtuosos, a series of matinee piano and voice recitals, an octet and much more.
The goal is for the event to become annual. Like Carr and Mayor Steinberg, Pringle wants to send a message to young people of color that art and music can be their future.
“With Color of Music showing black excellence at its peak, I hope it inspires young children to use music and music education as a path for academic success,” said Pringle.
Tickets will be made available in each venue one hour before the start of the performance. You can also call the location of your choice. For the Mondavi Center in Davis, call 530-285-0992. For the Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento, call 916-808-5181. For the Guild Theater in Oak Park, call 843-608-8470.