The Color of Music


From October 23 to 27, Charleston will host the first Colour of Music Festival. The event, produced by Lee Pringle, president of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Spiritual Ensemble and the CSO Gospel Choir, celebrates the enormous contributions black musicians have made to the world of classical music. The offerings are wide ranging: from organ and piano recitals to by chamber ensembles, vocalists and a full orchestra.

Lowcountry audiences will be introduced to some of the world’s leading musicians. They will perform works by composers who are both familiar (Mozart, Ravel and Gershwin) and, to some, unfamiliar (Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, William Grant Still and George T. Walker—black composers whose work spans four centuries).

Marlon Daniel, a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, internationally acclaimed conductor and an expert on black music history, will lead the festival’s orchestra.

With several performances each day (noontime organ recitals, afternoon chamber music and piano recitals, and more chamber music in the evening), you’ll have no excuse to miss this historic festival. Concerts will be held in well-known venues across Charleston, among them St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the Dock Street Theatre and the Memminger Auditorium.

When the festival closes, get ready for another great season from the CSO Spiritual Ensemble and the CSO Gospel Choir. In December, the groups will ring in the holidays with a special Christmas performance, and in January they’ll offer a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They conclude their season in April with the Sixth Annual Charleston International Festival of Choirs, featuring vocal ensembles from across the country.