The South Norwood Arts Festival is running for the fortnight or so up to 14 July. On Friday, local hero Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was celebrated in a lecture by Sean Creighton, with performances of some of his work by local young violinist, William Chambers. It all took place, appropriately enough, at the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Centre on Selhurst Road.
Sean is the publisher of History & Social Action publications, and there is an overview of the talk on that link, as well as links to materials produced via the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network, so I won’t rehash it in detail here. In a clearly structured and delivered talk, Creighton was eloquent on Coleridge-Taylor’s work and legacy for people of African descent during the late colonial period, including being the youngest participant in the Pan-African Conference in London in 1900. He also set out the range and quality of SC-T’s musical connections and training. Snippets of SC-T’s music – both recorded and as played by Chambers – were another incitement to find out more about the composer.
I was reminded that (probably, as far as I can recall) the first professional musical theatre piece I ever experienced was a school trip to Hiawatha at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in the 80s.
I gather that local concert pianist Waka Hasegawa is about to release a disc of ‘Undiscovered Piano Works’ by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor on the Naxos label. Will be worth checking out – released 30 July 2013.