If you take a look at the online edition of the New York Times, you’ll find a wonderful walkthrough of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The multimedia feature also tells the stories of several of the many Americans who donated items of historic value to be included in the museum’s collection.
One of these remarkable Americans featured in the article is Portland’s own Ginette Depreist, whose late husband James Depreist was the Music Director of the Oregon Symphony from 1980 to 2003, and nephew of the acclaimed singer Marion Anderson. Ginette donated the jacket and skirt worn by Anderson at her historic performance at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday of 1939, after she was prohibited from performing at hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Here is a screen capture of the section of the Times article about this gift:
What an amazing gift and remembrance. I know that next time I’m in the nation’s capital, I’ll be making a visit to this incredible museum part of my stay.
Sometimes, even we professional musicians begin to believe the sentiment that music is ‘just’ a luxury for people with too much disposable income. We forget that music is an activity that we have partaken in for as long as there have been humans (witness the ancient bone flute dating from over 35,000 years ago), and that is serves a deeply seated need to connect with something that transcends our everyday mortal existence in a way that even religion cannot even touch. Please, take a few minutes and watch this remarkable video excerpt from an upcoming documentary (opening in NYC this month) called Alive Inside:
William Crane turns 60 this month, and to celebrate, he’s playing seven one-hour recitals with many friends-collaborators lending a hand. And no wonder. Bill is one of those people who is so excited about the prospect of making and sharing music, and once he sets his mind to doing a project, look out! He becomes a force of nature, bending down any obstacles in his path to musical nirvana.
The concerts early in the evening (6 pm) are short by design, so that, as he himself puts it “so that people can come after work and still have the evening free for other activities”. So practical, so Bill.
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