On Sunday afternoon, January 27th, we drove to Kulas Hall in University Circle to attend the 28th Annual Black Heritage Concert presented by the Cleveland Institute of Music featuring the talents of ensembles from the Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA) whose mission is “to provide opportunities for Cleveland students to excel in both arts and academics within a culture of compassion, support, and high expectations.”
During the course of the concert, we were treated to performances by the R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir conducted by Mr. Robert McCorvey and Mr. William Woods as well as the CSA Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Ms. Dianna Richardson.
The real treat came in the 2nd half as both ensembles joined forces to present a cantata by Ms. Linda Twine titled “Changed My Name” inspired by the courage of Ms. Sojourner Truth and Ms. Harriet Tubman. We especially admired the work of Miss Ari Bailey (Harriet Tubman), Miss Sierra Davis (Sojourner Truth), and Mr. Keith Benford (the Narrator).
Another poignant moment occurred when Mr. Woods announced that this rendition of Changed My Name would be dedicated to Ms. Sybil Jones, a longtime civil rights and community activist in Cleveland. Ms. Jones was present and received a standing ovation. After the concert, we spoke to Mr. Woods for a moment and he described Ms. Jones as a genuinely beautiful person who “always does for others, not for herself.”