Gerald R. Knight Invited Lecturer and Adjudicator
Assistant Professor Gerald R. Knight in the Department of Music recently gave a lecture presentation titled “The Sacred Works of Margaret Bonds” at the national conference “A Symposium of Celebration: Margaret Allison Bonds and the Women of Chicago”.
The organizers of the conference invited Knight to make the presentation.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Videmus sponsored the two-day symposium, which convened on the campuses of UNCCH and North Carolina Central University. The internationally recognized Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago, which curates a significant collection of manuscripts, correspondence, and other cultural artifacts by Bonds (Helen Walker-Hill Collection), granted Knight unprecedented access and provided copies of rare and unpublished scores by the composer that are still in manuscript (handwritten) form.
The scores were secured through the CBMR for the conference and provided invaluable information for the lecture on the music. In addition, Knight conducted the audience, which consisted of historians, performers, and teachers, in the reading of two of the scores, which were projected onto a screen. One of the works had not been performed since it was premiered more than 50 years ago.
Margaret Bonds, a gifted teacher and composer, was also a concert pianist and the first African American to play with the Chicago Symphony, which she did while still an undergraduate student.
As a judge, Knight recently adjudicated the “Graduate Male” category for the National Association of The Teachers of Singing at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. In February, Knight adjudicated high school singers competing for the Grady-Rayam Prize in Sacred Music.
The “National Spiritual” Scholarship Foundation sponsored the competition. UNC-Chapel Hill hosted this competition for solo voice.