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Titus Underwood, Artina McCain, and the IMI Chamber Players (Feb. 20 @ 3 p.m.)

Titus Underwood, oboe

Artina McCain, piano

and the IMI Chamber Players

Sunday, February 20, 2022 • 3:00 p.m.

Maryville University Auditorium

Free admission • Donations gratefully accepted

Campus guests must:

  • Complete Maryville’s online health screening on the day of your campus visit.
  • Wear a mask at all times, while indoors on campus.
  • Sign in on paper when entering the Maryville University Auditorium, providing your name, phone number, and email address.

Click here to register for the realtime-only livestream of this concert

IMI — Music at Maryville, February 2022

The Intercultural Music Initiative (IMI) is collaborating with Maryville University to present a Black History Month concert of music by BIPOC composers. The concert will take place Sunday, February 20 at 3:00 p.m. in the Maryville University Auditorium, with a pre-concert Q&A at 2:30 p.m. featuring a showing of the short film, “A Tale of Two Tails.”

Guest artists include oboist Titus Underwood, pianist Artina McCain along with members of the IMI Chamber Players woodwind quintet.

Musical selections will include:

  • Passion Medley by Joseph Joubert
  • Tumbao by Tania Leon
  • I Wouldn’t Normally Say by Wallen
  • Pan Con Timba by Aldo Lopez Gavilan
  • Suite for Flute and Oboe by Ulysses Kay
  • Aires Tropicales by Paquito D’Rivera
  • Startin’ Sumthin’ by Jeff Scott
  • Six Sketches for Oboes and Piano by Fred Onovwerosuoke
  • Three Romances for Oboe and Piano by Clara Schumann

IMI has its roots in St. Louis since 1994, with a programming mission always rooted in promoting cultural diversity. The IMI Chamber Music Concert Series integrates new and unfamiliar musical works into the existing performance repertoire and partners with a growing community of interculturally minded artists and educators from around the globe. Our local ensemble, IMI Chamber Players has a mixed instrumentation for regular features on our St. Louis concert series and in performances across the U.S. and internationally. These artists are all top-notch musicians known for their passion for performing chamber music by lesser-known composers, particularly those of African descent and other racial minorities.

Titus Underwood, Principal Oboe of the Nashville Symphony, is the first Black tenured principal oboist with a major U.S. symphony, Nashville Symphony Orchestra. A renowned artist, Titus has been honored as one of three recipients of the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence awards and most recently was awarded the 2021 Midsouth Regional Emmy® for ‘We Are Nashville’. The collective of his experiences enthuses him to create content that reimagines the aesthetics and presentations of classical music. A leader in the movement for inclusion in the field of classical music, Titus is often invited to perform, as well as teach, speak, and write about change and innovation in the field. Titus also produced the viral video, “Lift Every Voice” which reached over 1 million views in one week. His latest project was a short film he directed entitled “A Tale of Two Tails”. (The story of one man navigating his existence as both a Black man and classical musician. It is a call to action for all creatives, affirming there can be innovation from disruption.)

Described as a pianist with “power and finesse” (Dallas Arts Society), “beautiful and fiery” (KMFA Austin) and having a “sense of color, balance and texture” (Austin Chamber Music Center) pianist Artina McCain has a built a three-fold career as a performer, educator and speaker also dedicated to promoting the works of Black and other underrepresented composers. Recent performance highlights include guest appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Oregon East Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, her credits include performances at the Mahidol University in Bangkok, Hatch Recital Hall in Rochester, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in Jacksonville, FL and the Desoto Arts Commission in Desoto, TX. In 2022 (February 5), she will have her debut at Wigmore Hall in London performing the works of Fred Onovwerosuoke.

The featured members of the IMI Chamber Players woodwind quintet are Wendy Hymes, flute; Carrie Smith, oboe; Mary Bryant, clarinet; Hank Skolnick, bassoon; and Tricia Jöstlein, french horn.

As Gary Scott of St. Louis Magazine remarked, “IMI [Intercultural Music Initiative] is a new series of concerts, which works to build bridges of true understanding and cooperation between cultures…” During the past two years when live concerts weren’t possible, IMI presented free virtual concerts including a 7-part concert series to celebrate the centennial of noted Ghanaian composer and musicologist J.H. Kwabena Nketia, reaching tens of thousands of audience members worldwide.

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