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Pearls & Pianos: A Dedication to Helen E. Hagan

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Saturday • May 6, 2023 • 12:00 pm
BLOOM 794 Edgewood Ave
New Haven, Connecticut 06515

RADIANT VOICES: New Haven Celebrates Composers Florence Price, Margaret Bonds & Helen Hagan

New Haven celebrates the musical brilliance and social impact of three exemplary Black, American women composers of the 20th Century: Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, and New Haven’s own Helen Hagan. Experience and learn more about their stories, music, and impact at free events around New Haven, all culminating with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Friday, May 12 at Southern CT State University. 

Pearls & Pianos: A Dedication to Helen E. Hagan

You’re invited an exciting afternoon of networking & entertainment! Presented in partnership with BLOOM, the NAACP of New Haven, and Alpha Kappa Alpha, this gathering will celebrate the life and legacy of New Haven’s own historic musical icon, Helen Eugenia Hagan. This event is free admission.

Exceptional composer, pianist, and teacher Helen Hagan premiered her stirring Piano Concerto with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in 1912. In that same year, she became the first Black woman to graduate from Yale when she received a degree from the Yale School of Music. She went on to an international solo performance career, including service as a performer entertaining troops in WWI,  as well as leadership roles in the music departments at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College and Bishop College.

Soprano and scholar Dr. Lisa Williamson partners with New Haven Symphony Orchestra musicians Tiffany Wee, Marika Basagoitia, Jennifer Quián-López, Rebecca Patterson, and William Braun to perform and discuss Helen Hagan’s newly discovered song titled “Eternity,” as well as music by Hagan’s contemporaries, Margaret Bonds and Florence Price. Catering will provided by Orchid Café.

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