Category: Youth String Ensemble

The United Strings of Color Shine at African American Cultural Festival

The African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County took place over the Labor Day weekend after a 2-year hiatus, and what a cultural celebration it was! Vendors lined Fayetteville Street selling beautiful art, clothing, food, jewelry, and more. Triangle participants were more than happy to come out and support local Black businesses and artists on this very hot 94-degree Sunday afternoon.

I found the tented concert stage by following the soulful voices of the recently-formed Deep River Singers as they began their set of African American Spirituals. Under the direction of Paul Anderson II this excellent group of well-blended voices “strives excellence and education while spreading the message of the Spirituals.” Anderson is a scholar on the art form and it really shows in the depth and first-rate work of the ensemble. Check out their podcast and don’t miss an opportunity to hear this group if you get the chance!

The spirited dancing of the South Garner Titan Dance Directive followed. These young women from various dance classes at South Garner High were a delight to watch. Kudos to their teacher, Jasmine B. Knight and the arts leadership at South Garner!

The United Strings of Color was formed by Margaret Partridge in 2018 as a project to address racial disparity in classical music through music education and community engagement. USC is comprised of a quartet of outstanding young string musicians of color who select and play music that represents both historic Black classical composers as well as contemporary music by prominent living composers of the African diaspora.

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United Strings of Color Offers Vigil with Poetry and Music

String Quartet ends performance with a smile It’s been nearly 20 years since 9/11, in the wake of which there were memorial performances of Mozart’s Requiem literally around the world. And yet the slaughter on our own streets, in our own communities, and often at the hands of law enforcement officials, sworn to protect and defend us, has continued virtually unabated. Enter Margaret Partridge, former executive director of the Philharmonic Association, the umbrella organization that hosts a wide range of youth performing organizations, from beginner orchestras to full-fledged jazz bands. It was her idea, sparked by the death of violinist Elijah McClain in 2019, to create a program called United Strings of Color to offer enhanced opportunities to young musicians of color….

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