Furious Flower

Lineage: The Margaret Walker Song Cycle

Sat, 27 Feb 2010 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Lineage is a new musical work that incorporates the poetry of Margaret Walker, the music of composer Randy Klein, the vocal talents of Broadway singer Aurelia Williams, and a photographic montage of African American history.

Lineage was performed in James Madison University’s Festival Highlands room.  Vocalist Aurelia Williams was accompanied by the JMU Chorale under the direction of Dr. Patrick Walders.  The piece ended with an original musical composition by former JMU student James Ballard.

Image of Margaret Walker

Margaret Walker was a poet, novelist, and educator.  Born in 1915 in the Deep South, the granddaughter of slaves and the child of a minister, she writes poetry that gives a sweeping view of African American history.  In her works, Ms. Walker recounts the hardships of slavery, the turmoil of reconstruction and the inequity of the sharecropping era.  She confronts lynching and murders, chronicles sit-ins and civil rights marches, and illuminates the pain and beauty of African Americans’ everyday lives.  To learn more about Margaret Walker, click here.

Randy Klein is an accomplished pianist, composer, record producer and the president of Jazzheads, an independent record label featuring improvised jazz.  He is the winner of four Southern Regional Emmy Awards. To view his website, click here.

Aurelia Williams began her professional singing career on a European Tour with the Harlem Gospel Singers.  Since then, she has performed with many Broadway shows, including Dreamgirls, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Smokey Joe’s Café and All Shook Up.

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