Composer-conductor Roland M. Carter, known as “The Dean of Choirs,” and a member and supporter of the CSO’s African American Network, will be in Chicago for “In the Bright Mansions Above,” a celebration July 16 of his life, legacy and music. The free concert, which begins at 5 p.m. at the First Church of Deliverance, 4315 S. Wabash, features the Wooten Chorale Ensemble, which marks its 68th anniversary this year, and the Celebration Choir of Chicago, in works written and arranged by Carter.
Carter is known for his arrangement of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” widely regarded as the Black National Anthem. For the CSO’s community concert in October at the Apostolic Church of God, Riccardo Muti, CSO music director, and the orchestra performed Carter’s arrangement. In 1991, when Muti was music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he also performed Carter’s arrangement of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” for a holiday concert honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ahead of the concert, Muti sent a greeting, which will be read at the event: “Welcome to Chicago, Dr. Roland Carter. I am very happy to have had the honor of conducting your orchestral/choral arrangement of ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.’ Thank you for sharing your artistry.”
Several AAN members, who sing in the Wooten Chorale Ensemble and Celebration Choir of Chicago, will participate in the concert. Established in 2016, the CSO’s African American Network is dedicated to engaging the city’s culturally rich African American community through the sharing of musical experiences while building relationships for future generations.
The founder and CEO of MAR-VEL, a publisher specializing in music and traditions of African American composers, Carter is a professor emeritus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he was the Ruth S. Holmberg Professor of American Music in UTC’s department of music.