The annual Black History Month concert was held in the Brady Auditorium on February 7 by the MacArthur Choir, Orchestra, and Jazz Combo. The theme was celebrating black women in American culture and history. The introduction for each piece of music was done by members of MacArthur Theater Productions, Rebekah Caldera and Justin Wilson, both seniors.
The performance was excellent, but there was the slight conflict with the theme in the selection. In order, the songs performed that night were Nkosi Sikelil Afrika (God Bless Africa) by Enoch Sontonga, In Walked Bud by Thelonius Monk, Valse Bohemienne by Samuel Cileridge-Taylor, the traditional song Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning, Chameleon by Herbie Hancock, Paragon Rag by Scott Joplin, and Hard Times Come Again No More, by Stephen Foster. None of the song writers on that list are black women, a very odd choice. In fact no attempt was made to fit the music to the theme. The only mention of the theme during the concert was in the slide show and the readings done by the hosts. The same songs were performed before by Orchestra, Choir, and Band the previous year. The argument could be made that this is an attempt to save time spent learning a new songs every year, but the themes are announced by ASALH (Association for the Study of African-American Life and History) years in advance. If they’re going to do the same songs every year, why act like they’re following a theme?
I appreciate the fact that the school takes time to put together this concert, but it could use some work.