For more than 40 years, Community Music Center of Houston preservation of black music traditions especially those to which the community is seldom exposed and are being lost.
In 1990, the Houston Symphony Orchestra presented a second joint concert with conductor Ms. Lundy at Miller Outdoor Theater.
In 1991, CMCH presented the first major Juneteenth concert to be held indoors at Houston’s Wortham Theater.
In 1992, CMCH began the first out-of-state touring of its larger productions and ensembles. Also, in 1992 CMCH started the Music of Motown series at Miller Outdoor Theater. It was one of the most successful serial productions in the history of Miller Outdoor Theater. Our Music of Motown concert legacy continues at Miller Outdoor Theater under the name of Dancing in the Streets.
From 1996 to 2009, Gary Wilkins served as executive director of the Community Music Center of Houston. Gary brought a focus on Jazz performance with the former annual Jazz at the Crossroads series.
From the 1990s to the present, CMCH continues to produce shows at churches large and small, colleges and universities, senior citizens and nursing homes, neighborhood and city-wide community centers, Houston’s Miller Theater and Wortham Center, and many other venues throughout Houston.
The Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra (SJCO) is a community orchestra composed principally of African-American orchestra members. It was formed in 1983 under the umbrella of the Community Music Center of Houston, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, by its Music Director Dr. Anne Lundy for three purposes:
- To give African- American instrumentalists opportunities to perform together.
- To explore and perform music written by black composers.
- To be an example to the black community that orchestras can include people that look like them.
Since its inception, SCJO has performed mainstream works such as Handel’s Messiah and beautiful little-known music by black composers. These pieces have included African-Americans and African-French, African-English, and African-born composers, some of them world premiered by SCJO. However, most performances have taken place in black churches. SCJO has also performed in renowned venues to some of the biggest audiences. Exceptional performance experiences include the joint concerts with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Links National Conference. But chief among these special performances was accompanying pop superstar Beyoncé at Super Bowl XXXIII.
The issue of including black instrumentalists in the world of symphony orchestras remains the focus of the SCJO. The Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra evolved from Anne Lundy’s understanding that African-American musicians rarely get the opportunity to play in string orchestras. She discovered that black composers wrote many pieces for orchestras, and orchestras seldom played these pieces.
In 2013, CMCH and Dr. Anne Lundy launched a youth version of the SJCO.
In 2018, we produced the Acres Homes Music Festival in partnership with the Harris County and City of Houston “Visit My Neighborhood” initiative. A city initiative created by Mayor Turner’s Complete Community Program.
In 2019, we made our return to Miller Outdoor Theater with the first annual Family Funk Fest. CMCH also established the Youth Vocal Program, a vocal development program designed to train youth to sing in ensembles such as Destiny’s Child, Boyz II Men, En Vogue, H-Town. SWV (Sisters with Voices) Troop, etc., in partnership with the Emancipation Park Conservancy.
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