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Dordt College performance celebrates Black History Month

In February, the national touring group, Core Ensemble, presented "Of Ebony Embers," a musical play celebrating the music and poetry of African Americans in New York City during the 1920s. It explores the life and times of those who helped shape the Harlem Renaissance, featuring the lives of three well-known but very different African American poets: Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay, as seen through the eyes of the painter and muralist Aaron Douglas.

The Core Ensemble performed music by African American composers ranging from jazz greats Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Mingus to concert music composers Jeffrey Mumford and George Walker. The ensemble has garnered national recognition for its efforts to commission new chamber and multi-genre works.

While on campus, the ensemble gave lecture/demonstrations on poetry to an Ethnic American Literature class, on major African American playwrights to a theatre class, and on the influence of major composers of the Harlem Renaissance on American music to music majors.