This preview has been provided by the Duke University Department of Music.

Dr. Louise Toppin, Professor and Area Head of Voice in the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Music, is one of the world’s leading experts in vocal music written by African American composers.  She serves as the director of Videmus, an organization founded to support the performance of minority composers. 

As a singer, Toppin has appeared in some of the leading venues in this country and abroad, including Carnegie Hall in New York City.  She is a former winner of the Munich Competition and a Regional Winner in the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Competition.

This recital will be a broad look at available repertoire by African-American composers of art songs, featuring works by one of the first black writers of art songs (HT Burleigh) as well as groups of songs by jazz pianist Valerie Capers and “Heart on the Wall,” a cycle by Robert Owens.  Toppin and Heid will perform works by Nigerian-born and American-educated composer Joshua Uzoiqwe.  The Uzoiqwe compositions are written on African folk songs and sung in the Ebo language.  Other composers featured will be William Grant Still, TJ Anderson, Florence Price, Richard Thompson and Leslie Adams. Fred Raimi, cellist of the Ciompi Quartet, will join Toppin and Heid on one piece.

David Heid comes to North Carolina after a successful career in New York City as a vocal coach/accompanist. Among the many well-known singers he has performed with are Karen Beardsley, Susan Dunn, Adria Firestone, Carolyn James and Christine Weidinger. He made his Lincoln Center debut in Alice Tully Hall in 1994. In the summer of 1997, he was heard at both the Darling Harbor Convention Center and the historic Towne Hall in Sydney, Australia. His coaching clients include past Grammy and Tony Award winners. Heid is currently a staff accompanist and teaches piano at Duke University as well as being in demand throughout the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area as a collaborative artist.


** Louise Toppin will also give a lecture on Sept. 18 and a vocal master class on Nov. 6.  Both events are free and open to the public, and take place at 5 pm in Bone Hall, Biddle Music Building, Duke University. **