Northwestern State University’s School of Creative and Performing Arts will present “Song of a People: Music of the African-American Experience” Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Current COVID safety protocols will be followed for in-person attendance.
Featured performers will be Wilfred Delphin on piano and bass-baritone Ivan Griffin with poetry by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar.
“Songs of a People’ came about from a desire to have a concert that is representative of my cultural history, while using various genres of music to do so,” said Griffin. “The inclusion of art songs spirituals, opera and poetry help chronicle the journey of the Negro in America from past to present.”
Delphin’s family is from the Cane River community. For more than 20 years, he was part of the Delphin and Romain piano duo with the late Edwin Romain Jr. The duo performed around the world and made their Carnegie Hall debut with the Symphony of the New World. They performed at the Kennedy Center and with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Chicago Symphonietta and New Orleans Philharmonic. Delphin and Romain were invited to perform in the East Room of the White House.
Delphin is professor emeritus from the Southern Illinois University – Carbondale School of Music and taught at Xavier University until his retirement in 2019.
Griffin has performed around the world earning roles in “Porgy and Bess” “Afram ou la Belle Swita,” “Minette Fontaine” with Opera Creole, “Susannah,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” “The Magic Flute,” “Madame Butterfly,” “Carmen” “Tosca” and more. He was asked to perform the National Anthem before a 2017 New Orleans Saints game at the Superdome.
Griffin has premiered several new works written for his voice and has appeared with orchestras throughout the United States and Mexico.