‘The Sound of 13’ highlights black accomplishments in classical music


“Ratification of the 13th Amendment promised freedom to African Americans – at least on paper. While many people believe that these promises of freedom have not yet fully manifested, black people have still managed to tell stories of struggle, joy, and the ongoing journey to freedom. I hope you can join me in celebrating some of these musical stories on The Sound of 13.”

-Garrett McQueen
Host, The Sound of 13

If you’re looking for a classical music program that addresses racial injustice in our society through the prism of classical music, look no further. In “The sound of 13“, host Garrett McQueen opens a historic and contemporary conversation about race with classical music and the 13th amendment as a guide. This second season of the series will air on Sundays at noon on KPAC 88.3 FM, starting June 19 (June 19) and will continue until September 11.

“I’m super excited to share this program with the KPAC audience,” said TPR’s Nathan Cone. “I loved the first series, which was full of fascinating historical and musical discoveries, and also led me to consider pieces I’ve known and loved in a new way.”

List of episodes:

  • June 19: Negro Melodies – A revisit of post-Reconstruction America and the hopes cultivated at that time through the music of Dvorak, Burleigh, etc.
  • June 26: Take me to church – A recognition of the unique role of the black church during the 20th century and beyond.
  • July 3: A founding father of music – The life and times of Duke Ellington, with his orchestral suite “Three Black Kings” and other works mixing “classical” and jazz.
  • July 10: Canon Engagement – Traditional Western European works performed by Stewart Goodyear, the Isata Kanneh-Mason, etc.
  • July 17: Women of the Movement – A celebration of black women in Western classical music, with Margaret Bonds’ recently recorded ‘Montgomery Variations’ and Grammy-winning recording of Florence Price’s ‘Symphony No. 3’.
  • July 24: Films – A look at the achievements of black people in film and film music with works by Quincy Jones, Terrence Blanchard, and more.
  • July 31: Building America – Music and stories centered on the impact of black diversity in early America, including Gottschalk’s Symphony No. 1 and José White Lafitte’s Violin Concerto.
  • August 7: Dark Futurism and Imagination – A collection of 21st century works by Ozie Cargile, Jessie Montgomery, and more.
  • August 14: Homeland – A celebration of music that showcases the sights and sounds of Africa, featuring the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble and “Ennanga” by William Grant Still.
  • August 21: Classic activism – Stories and music that highlight the work of Nina Simone, Paul Robeson and Robert Shaw.
  • August 28: A Big Seed in the Big Apple – An exploration of the impact of the Harlem Renaissance on Western classical music.
  • September 4: Looking West – Musical works that offer a perspective on black accomplishments west of the Mississippi.
  • September 11: Building community and coming together – A celebration of music and performance that showcases cross-community collaboration and intersectional perspectives, with a performance by Virtuoso Sphinx alongside works by Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Ludovic Lamothe, etc.

ABOUT THE HOST: Garrett McQueen is a professional bassoonist who has performed with symphonies and in venues across the country. He is also an accomplished instructor and has performed in several Broadway musicals and television series. Garrett is a strong advocate for the diversification of classical music and the advancement of black musicians in the field. He is also the co-creator of the podcast, Trilloquy.


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