As part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, we are delighted to announce that Castle of our Skins has been awarded a HCP Visiting Fellowship.
Castle of our Skins is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, Castle of our Skins invites explorations into Black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present. The series has been hailed in the New York Times and Boston Globe as a beacon for diversity in the arts. Ashleigh Gordon is the co-founder, Artistic/Executive Director, and violist of Castle of our Skins.
Castle of our Skins will be performing Safika. "Safika” presents chamber music by the South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen (b. 1975) and African American composers Florence B. Price (1887-1953), Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989), and Frederick C. Tillis (1930-2020).
This visiting fellowship will include concerts and talks, as well as CD recording sessions. The application is led by Dr Samantha Ege who says: "Given the underrepresentation of minoritized and marginalized ethnicities in classical music, Castle of our Skins and I acknowledge the power of our representation, both as ethnically diverse practitioners and as performers of music by Black composers. Through this fellowship, we aim to educate, inspire, and empower the younger generations for whom classical music can, at times, appear so inaccessible and detached from the multicultural society we live in."
Ashleigh Gordon, the co-founder of Castle of our Skins, explains "As a US-based concert and education series committed to sharing the stories, accomplishments, and artistic excellence of African diasporic composers, I am especially excited to bring this project to life. While we have dedicated the past eight seasons to performing and educating youth from elementary age through college; engaging in multi-day residencies across the United States; performing throughout the east coast; and serving as thought leaders on national panels; and conferences, we have not carried our work and advocacy to the UK. As we find ourselves in a critical moment of international racial reckoning and re-evaluation of colonial systems within classical music, "Safika" provides a timely and needed expansion of current discourse through the unique perspectives it offers. We have the potential of effecting long-term impact on an international scale, offering a much-needed critical lens in the long overdue search for equity in the arts."
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