Melanated Moments in Classical Music, the award-winning podcast from Classical Music Indy, shines a spotlight on musical works composed by, for, and about Black people. Melanated Moments is hosted by international opera soprano Angela Brown and music sociologist Joshua Thompson. Angela and Joshua’s chemistry is electric, balancing fun, lively commentary with no-nonsense straight talk. Telling history like it is, Angela and Joshua share a deep commitment to be a voice for Black artists, as Black artists.
Melanated Moments in Classical Music was named Best Music Podcast by the 2020 Black Podcasting Awards.
CAAPA, the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts and Morning Brown, Inc., continue as the podcast’s official promotional partners. Season Two of Melanated Moments in Classical Music was made possible by The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate.
April 28, 2021
Angela and Joshua explore the depths of the American Negro Spiritual with Dr. Everett McCorvey, noted tenor, conductor, and founder of the American Spiritual Ensemble. They explain how the American Negro Spiritual differs from gospel, its foundational relationship to American music, and how the art form transcended from the cotton fields to concert halls around the world.
April 21, 2021
Joshua introduces Robert Nathaniel Dett, a quintessential Diasporic composer who blended African-American folk music traditions with classic European musical styles to create masterful and unique compositions. A performance by William Chapman Nyaho of Robert Nathaniel Dett’s piano suite, In the Bottoms, is showcased to illustrate Robert Nathaniel Dett’s prowess as a musical scenescape painter.
April 14, 2021
Joshua and Angela welcome acclaimed and multifaceted performer Ric’key Pageot to the show. He speaks about his recent journey to explore his Haitian heritage and discovering an impressive trove of classical music inspired from a legacy of Vodou and revolution. They discuss an amazing piece by Haitian born composer Carmen Brouard, entitled Baron la Croix.
April 7, 2021
On this episode, Angela enlightens us about a performer she refers to as an “accidental activist.” Marian Anderson was an amazing and groundbreaking performer who used her talents to blaze a trail and help move our country and our world toward a more equitable future.
March 31, 2021
Angela and Joshua discuss the short but immensely impactful life of Moses Hogan and his contributions to music through making spirituals a standard part of choral repertoires.
March 24, 2021
Joshua and Angela reflect on the amazing life and music of Ignatius Sancho, who was born on a slave ship and orphaned shortly thereafter. Through dedication and application, he was able to escape the institution of slavery and make a huge contribution to the arts, including many great classical compositions.
March 17, 2021
Angela and Joshua talk about an imaginative and powerful storyteller, Laura Karpman, who has been an advocate and ally for inclusion and equality her entire career. Her Grammy- and Emmy-winning music scores span film, television, theater, interactive media and live performance.
March 10, 2021
Angela and Joshua speak with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Anthony Davis and groundbreaking clarinetist Anthony McGill about the recent performance of “You Have the Right to Remain Silent,” and the catharsis of sharing painful yet powerful experiences through music.
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December 2, 2020
In this third and final bonus episode, Joshua and Angela are joined once again by the prolific and talented Dr. Bill Banfield. He shares insights from his time serving on the Pulitzer committee for music and we listen to his arrangement titled The Cape Is Charming, whose lyrics were taken from a letter written by Langston Hughes.
November 25, 2020
On this episode, Joshua and Angela speak with Dr. Bill Banfield about his personal experience with the COVID-19 virus and how its caused him to think deeply about the deep issues of our lives and the lives of those around us. They use Dr. Banfield’s 6th Symphony as a catalyst to explore how hard times like the ones we are experiencing often precede moments of hope and joy.
November 18, 2020
On this bonus episode of the show, Angela and Joshua invite a special and renowned guest, Dr. Bill Banfield, to share insight into his amazing body of work. This episode focuses on how art can help us process tragedies and draw through lines between the struggles of the past and the hardships of the present. Through this process, we learn how artists can help foster peace and hope on both an individual and social level.
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April 15, 2020
On this episode, Angela walks us through her storied career, and shares some of her favorite performances with the help of her long-time friend, Janet Jarriel.
April 7, 2020
Our featured composer this episode, Thomas Wiggins, is one of the most talented musicians of all time…who also happened to be non-verbal, blind, and born into slavery. Joshua tells us how in his own time, Wiggins was portrayed as a circus act rather than a musical genius but is now starting to get the recognition he has long deserved.
April 1, 2020
On this episode of Melanated Moments, Angela gives us an inside look at the making of a masterpiece. She tells us how composer Richard Danielpour worked with literary legend Maya Angelou to set a number of poems for the iconic song cycle, A Woman’s Life. Angela tell us of her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in Dr. Angelou’s own home; a performance which moved her to tears.
March 25, 2020
The libretto for this week’s piece was written by poet laureate and iconic literary figure Toni Morrison. Margaret Garner is an opera that tells the story of an escaped slave who is captured but decides to kill her own children rather than see them forced back into slavery. Our own Angela Brown voiced one of the principal characters during the world premiere in Detroit, and she walks us through this powerful and thought-provoking opera.
March 19, 2020
Evelyn Simpson Curenton was born into one of the most musically gifted families of all time, and her talent still shined through. She is one of the most sought-after composers and musicians of her time. On this episode, Angela walks us through two of Curenton’s personal favorite spiritual pieces: Sinner Please Don’t Let this Harvest Pass and Oh Glory.
March 18, 2020
On our debut episode of Melanated Moments in Classical Music, Joshua introduces us to one of his favorite composers, William Grant Still. Known as the Dean of African American Composers, his Africa Suite transports the listener to the dawn of time and the cradle of civilization. Joshua and Angela discuss the piece’s second movement, Land of Romance as well as cartoons, relationships, and defying stereotypes.
March 16, 2020
Classical Music Indy invites you to subscribe to a show that takes a fresh look at classical music. Join us as we shine a spotlight on musical works composed by, for, and about people of Black people. Hosts Angela Brown and Joshua Thompson take you inside the music and tell the stories behind the pieces with a perfect blend of lively conversation and no-nonsense straight talk. Full episodes coming March 18, 2020.