Music event programming by the Long Beach Central Area Association dramatically changed after the formation of MusicUNTOLD as event production arm of LBCAA in 2007. The previous focus was presenting so-called “Black Music” representing wholesome family entertainment with audience drawing power. Memorable performances included Kool & The Gang, Shirley Caesar, Andre Crouch, Deniece Williams, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Dazz Band, Rose Royce, Ronnie Laws, Lakeside, Low Riders(original War), and Thelma Houston.
By contrast, MusicUNTOLD committed to edu-tain through lecture/talk and performances with non-exclusive focus on neglected achievements and contributions by composers of African descent in classical music and opera.
Here are a few early examples. “Singing Her Song: The Story of Hope Foye” was created by Union Bank as the sixth in a series of compact discs honoring distinguished African Americans. MusicUNTOLD partnered with Union Bank Renaissance Branch and Union Bank corporate to present a live conversation and performance by soprano Hope Foye in honor of Women’s History Month 2008. Hope Foye was a classically trained soprano, activist and protégé of Paul Robeson when her passport was taken during the McCarthy era because she participated in a competition in East Germany. After a successful ten year career in Mexico, Hope lived and worked in Europe for fourteen more years before returning to the United States in the late 1970’s. At 86, Hope was still a remarkable talent with an inspirational spirit. MusicUNTOLD also presented performances of soprano Hope Foye at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles and Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. “Beyond the incredible life of Hope Foye, her performance of “Angelitos Negros”(Black Angels) can never be forgotten”.
In June 2008, with the help of a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach, MusicUNTOLD produced “Music Without Borders” concert at the Long Beach Museum of Latin American Art. The free concert featured chamber and vocal music of Carlos Chavez and William Grant Still performed by the Original Angeles Players(string quartet), Amber Mercomes (soprano), and Evangeline Seward(Piano). “The concert was an opportunity to heighten awareness of neglected significant contributors to the world of classical music and bring different cultures together”.