BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University’s Division of Arts and Humanities welcomes guest artists Dr. Mary J. Trotter (piano) and Mikalia Bradberry (mezzo-soprano), along with Dr. Sarah Howes, soprano and SBU assistant professor of music, in a recital, lecture and post-recital discussion at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 28 in Meyer Recital Hall on the Bolivar campus.
The program, which is based on the relationship between composer Margaret Bonds and poet Langston Hughes, is free and open to the public with masks and social distancing observed by all in attendance.
During her time as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, pianist-composer Margaret Bonds (1913-1972) stumbled across a book of poetry by Langston Hughes (1902-1967). It was in that book she first read, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Hughes’ first published poem – written at the age of 17 and published at the age of 19. Several years later, Bonds and Hughes met in person, and it was the beginning of a friendship and artistic collaboration that would span 30 years.
The two respected and encouraged each other’s artistic pursuits and shared a passion for celebrating their African-American identity and elevating the work of African-American artists. Bonds’ musical settings of Hughes’ texts were performed frequently during their lifetimes and received international acclaim.
This lecture-recital traces the story of their friendship, chronicled in the hundreds of letters the two exchanged over three decades and will include performances of Bonds’ settings of Hughes’ texts, including: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Dream Portraits,” and “Songs of the Seasons.”
For more information about the event, please contact the SBU Music Office at (417) 328-1644.