Longfellow Chorus Announces "Kickstarter" Campaign | Arts & Culture

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Longfellow Chorus Announces "Kickstarter" Campaign
Longfellow Chorus Announces "Kickstarter" Campaign

The Longfellow Chorus announces the start of a thirty day Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its documentary, produced in Maine, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America, 1900-1912.

This unique documentary features a rare performance of a Coleridge-Taylor composition for violin and orchestra as performed in the Music Shed of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival on the centennial of its premiere, June 4, 1912, by Maine violinist Lydia Forbes.

The list of musical works by English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912) — a graduate of the Royal College of Music in London — includes over one hundred compositions written in the classical style of the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods: operas, cantatas, ballets, symphonic works, instrumental compositions, theater music and songs. In itself, such a prodigious output in such a short time — Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was only 37 when he died — makes Coleridge-Taylor a worthy subject for a documentary.

But as a celebrated, cultured person of biracial identity in the early 20th century, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor also stood out as an international figure capable of bridging racial and social divides. Nowhere was this more valued than in the United States, where people of African descent were striving to gain equal access to education and opportunity in the decades following Reconstruction. To well-meaning people of all races and classes in America, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor symbolized a bright future, in which, above all, everyone would be recognized for their accomplishments.

Due for release in March 2013, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America will explore how this remarkable English composer left an untold yet indelible mark on American society. And it will tell the deeper personal story of Coleridge-Taylor's journey to discover and honor his racial identities.

In his music, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor strove to honor his black heritage as well as his white ancestry, yet he refused to be identified solely by either one. This did not always meet the demands of his patrons, publishers, critics and public. On his deathbed, with little time remaining and many compositions left unwritten, he worried that his legacy and later fame would be limited by how others defined him.

You can help support this unique Maine project by contributing to the Kickstarter campaign before Augiust 22, 2012.

Contact: Charles Kaufmann, The Longfellow Chorus

(207) 232-8920

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