The story of an exceptional small-town artist who writes his way out of poverty and into international fame, only to die tragically at 33, could be the plot for an award-winning film or hit Broadway musical. But it’s the true story of Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of Dayton’s most famous and celebrated figures.
On May 22, the Bach Society of Dayton celebrates the 150th anniversary of Dunbar’s birth with Renewed: A Tribute to Paul Laurence Dunbar. The concert will feature Dunbar’s poetry movingly set to music, including three world premieres of new works – one commissioned from famed composer Adolphus Hailstork and the two winners of our Young Composers Competition, Gabe Ferraiuolo and Anna DiMaggio.
The performance begins at 4 p.m. and will feature the Bach Society Chorus under direction by John Neely, with accompanist R. Alan Kimbrough and soloist Minnita Daniel-Cox. A pre-concert lecture will be presented by Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin, Dayton’s prize-winning poet and performer, actor and playwright, singer and opera librettist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Dayton.
“Dunbar made waves in his time by writing about inequalities faced by people of color,” says Neely. “More than a century later, his work is just as relevant as ever as we continue to fight for equity for all. This concert is a venue to show that art crosses generations and racial divides to unite us all with the power of words and music."
This concert is generously supported by a Special Projects Grant funded by the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District and administered by Culture Works.
Tickets can be purchased online at bachsocietyofdayton.org or by calling 937-294-2224.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, the Bach Society follows the latest CDC and local guidelines and adopts appropriate concert protocols.