On this episode of the podcast, I have a fascinating conversation with musician and archivist Dr. Louise Toppin about The African Diaspora Music Project – a database she created to help singers and orchestras to diversify their repertoire of works by African Diaspora composers. We talk about the inspiration behind the project, its future, and its present. I’m so excited for you to hear this conversation, along with two magnificent recordings of Dr. Toppin in performance. Listen at the link below or in your favorite podcast directory!
Louise Toppin is a noted performer, scholar and professor who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers. In the span of her career, more than 30 songs and 2 operas have been written expressly for her voice. In addition, she has sung the world premiere of 30 more songs and arias of contemporary composers. As the administrator of the George Shirley Vocal Competition for the past nine years and Videmus (a non-profit organization that promotes the concert repertoire of African American and women composers) for more than twenty-five years, she encourages the performance and scholarship of African American compositions by students and scholars through recordings, conference presentation, live performances, and lectures.
As a performer she has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral, and oratorio performances throughout the United States, Czech Republic, Scotland, Japan, China, Uruguay, Colombia, Cuba, Sweden, the Caribbean, Bermuda, New Zealand, England, and Spain in such halls as Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall and Carnegie Hall (New York), Weill Recital Hall (New York), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), the Gran Teatre del Licieu (Barcelona), the Beijing Concert Hall, and the Shanghai Opera House and the International Albeniz Festival in Camprodon, Spain.
Hold Fast to Dreams (Florence Price) – Louise Toppin
Songs of the Season: II. Poeme d’Automne (Margaret Bonds) – Louise Toppin
Both selections from the album Ah! Love, But a Day
This podcast is powered by my subscribers on Patreon who, in addition to the warm feeling they get from co-creating with me, get lots of sweet perks including bonus podcast episodes, free downloads, zines, and more! This week’s bonus podcast will be an extended extended conversation with Dr. T! Learn more right here!
If you’d like to check out my other work, order The Animal Book directly from me here and get a free download of the album!
Here are some other places you can find the book.
Find The Animal Album streaming and downloadable here.
Here’s some more merch and music.
Thinking of starting your own podcast? Do it! I’m a big fan of Blubrry for podcast distribution and you can get a month free by signing up for Blubrry Podcast Hosting here, or Blubrry Professional Statistics here. Use the code “mikeypod” with your order for your free month!