CLASSICAL ROOTS: 20th Anniversary Concert

August 15, 2021 | 4:00 pm | Music Hall

No longer on sale

This is what joy and inspiration sound like!


JAMES WELDON JOHNSON: Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Danse négre, Op. 35, No. 4
HARRY T. BURLEIGH: Oh, Didn't It Rain
MAMIE SMITH: Crazy Blues
R. NATHANIEL DETT: Juba Dance from In the Bottoms Suite

FLORENCE PRICE: Concerto in D Minor in One Movement for Piano and Orchestra
VARIOUS: Soul Divas Medley
PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR/GEORGE WALKER: "Sympathy" set to Lyric for Strings

BILL CONTI: Theme from Rocky ("Gonna Fly Now")
JAMES BROWN: I Got You (I Feel Good)


John Morris Russell, conductor
Michelle Cann, piano
William Henry Caldwell, narrator
Members of the Nouveau Program

Members of the Classical Roots Community Choir
—Ciara Harper, soprano
—Noël Walton, alto
—Robert Lomax, tenor
—Lawrence Coleman, bass

Members of the Cincinnati Golden Gloves Boxers


Music Hall

What's Interesting

  • In 2001 the vision of Classical Roots as set forth by the CSO Multicultural Awareness Council (MAC) became a reality. A lasting collaboration among the CSO and several prominent African-American church partners produced concerts to celebrate and amplify the many contributions of Black composers, artists and musicians to the American musical landscape.
  • John Morris Russell, who was CSO Associate Conductor at the time, along with CSO staff members Kathy Jorgensen-Finley and Anne Cushing-Reid were driving forces in the establishment and growth of Classical Roots. In fact, JMR conducted the first of many Classical Roots performances and returns to the podium for this 20th anniversary concert.
  • Concert pianist, and former CSO MAC Music Innovator, Michelle Cann brings her exquisite "Liszt-like technique" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) to Florence Price's Piano Concerto in One Movement.
  • The CSO will perform during Classical Roots Celebrations at three of the original partner churches. Reservations are free and open for congregation members first, and available to the public after July 6. Scroll down for unique reservation links for each, or contact the Box Office at 513.381.3300 (M-F, 10-2).

Safety Update

The health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff remains our top priority. Due to high levels of COVID-19 transmission in Hamilton and surrounding counties, we will be requiring all guests, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask when attending Classical Roots at Music Hall on August 15. We thank you in advance for playing your part in keeping our community safe.

If you have concerns about following the mask requirement as stated above, have been diagnosed or exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are uncomfortable attending the performance, please contact our Box Office 513.381.3300. We are happy to work with our audience members to address concerns and provide a solution that works for you.

View the Program