Soprano Angela Brown & veteran film actor, Pittsburgh native Bill Nunn featured

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) presents its fifth annual “Tribute” Concert: A Symphonic Celebration of African American Culture, in association with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture and the Hill House Association.

This celebratory performance at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 18, at Heinz Hall, showcases a fusion of musical styles that reflect the diversity of music. The concert will be hosted from stage by veteran screen and stage actor and Pittsburgh native Bill Nunn. Tickets, priced at $10, $15 & $25, can be purchased by calling 412.392.4900 or online at

Assistant Conductor Thomas Hong will lead the concert featuring Angela Brown, soprano soloist, and the Majestic Praise Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Mass Choir, under the direction of Minister of Music Dwayne Fulton and Minister of Worship Trini L. Massie.

Brown will perform selections from A Woman’s Life — a compelling composition based on the poems of one of the great voices in contemporary literature, Maya Angelou. The PSO premiere of acclaimed composer Michael Abels’ Global Warming will also be featured. To close the concert, the Majestic Praise Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Mass Choir will join the PSO on stage to perform gospel and spiritual works, and will lead the entire audience in Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing for the grand finale.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. before the concert and, again, following the concert, a group of Pittsburgh jazz musicians will turn the Heinz Hall Grand Lobby into a jazz club. “Live at the Hurricane” is presented by the Hill House Association.

The PSO is proud to once again present the 2011 “Tribute” Concert in association with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture and the Hill House Association. Presented by the PSO, the annual “Tribute” Concert celebrates African American culture and influence in the form of a symphony orchestra performance designed for the community. The program’s intent is to create an orchestral concert which reflects the music of the African American community and celebrates the cultural contributions of that community. The concert endeavors to engage a diverse array of concertgoers regardless of the extent or type of their musical experiences for this event at Heinz Hall.

Thomas Hong is presently the Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony.  Previously, he was Assistant Conductor of Orchestre National de France and also Associate Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Orchestras that Hong has conducted in the past include Spokane, Richmond, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras as well as the Seoul, Buffalo and Lutosławski Philharmonic Orchestras.

Angela Brown enjoyed a highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in 2004, causing CBS Evening News to state: “the future of opera has arrived.” In fall 2009, Brown received the Governor’s Arts Award from the Governor of Indiana, a Spirit of the Prairie Award from Conner Prairie in Indiana, and was inducted into the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame. Recent performances include Madison Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, The Trumpet Awards and Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

Bill Nunn made his feature film debut in Spike Lee’s School Daze (1988) and then created one of film’s most indelible characters when he played Radio Raheem in Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). In addition to appearing in two other Spike Lee films – Mo’ Better Blues and He Got Game – Nunn has starred in more than 60 feature films, including  all three blockbuster Spider-Man films, Sister Act, Runaway Jury, Firehouse Dog, and Kiss the Girls. Nunn appeared on Broadway in the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun and, in March 2008, appeared in the milestone production of August Wilson’s 20th Century at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He started the Bill Nunn Theatre Outreach Project to prepare and coach students from local high schools for the August Wilson Monologue Competition.

Under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dr. William H Curtis, and the musical tutelage of Minister of Music Dwayne Fulton, and Minister of Worship Trini L Massie, Majestic Praise is the “anchor” of the music ministry of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. The choir combines members from each of the singing aggregations of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. “One Church, One Sound, One Voice” is the ministry’s mode of operation. The music ministry of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church is currently promoting our latest CD project entitled Only Jesus.

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