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Karen Monson and Michael Baumgartner

Ensemble. Formed in New York in 1961 by the violinist Lewis Kaplan, the Aeolian Chamber Players were the first American ensemble of mixed instruments to perform together on a permanent basis. The group, which first played at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, in October 1961 and made its New York debut shortly thereafter (Town Hall, ...

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Akwid  

Elijah Wald

Musical group formed in 2002 in Los Angeles. The most successful exponents of the Southern California style known as “banda rap” or “urban regional” music, Akwid is a duo of brothers Francisco and Sergio Gómez. Born in Michoacan and raised in Los Angeles, the Gomezes made their debut in the mid 1990s as English-language rappers Juvenile Style, then switched to Spanish and renamed themselves Akwid (a combination of their deejay pseudonyms, A.K. and Wikid) in ...

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Alabama  

David B. Pruett

Country music group. Acknowledged by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) in 1989 as the Artist of the Decade for the 1980s, Alabama is arguably the most celebrated country music group in the history of the genre. Three of the band’s members—lead vocalist Randy Owen (...

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George J., Jr. Grella

Ensemble. Originally a group of students performing in new music concerts at the Eastman School of Music, Alarm Will Sound was formed professionally by artistic director Alan Pierson and managing director Gavin Chuck in 2001. The group made its debut in May of that year at Miller Theater, Columbia University, with ...

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Deena Weinstein

Both an American Detroit-based hard rock band and the adopted name of its singer and main creative force Vincent Damon Furnier (b Detroit, MI, 4 Feb 1946). Cooper was the son of a minister and the nephew of the storyteller Damon Runyon, after whom he was named. He moved to Arizona, where he attended high school and formed the Nazz. This band eventually took the name Alice Cooper and developed an over-the-top, theatrical shock-rock style that influenced a host of other rock performers....

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Ronald D. Cohen

Singing group and political activists. In late 1940 Pete Seeger met Lee Hays, a preacher and labor organizer from Arkansas, and his New York roommate, Millard Lampell, a writer from New Jersey. By February 1941 they had launched the Almanac Singers, a loose collection of musicians devoted to performing original and traditional folksongs, many with a hard political edge. Soon joined by Bess Lomax (sister of Alan), Baldwin (“Butch”) and Peter Hawes, Josh White, Woody Guthrie, Agnes (“Sis”) Cunningham, and others, they performed before various labor and left-wing groups. Their first album of peace songs, ...

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Mark Alburger

Instrumental ensemble. Founded in 1986 in San Francisco by Stephen Schultz (principal flutist with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Musica Angelica), its members include Gonzalo X. Ruiz (oboe), Elizabeth Blumenstock (violin), Roy Whelden (viola da gamba), and Katherine Shao (harpsichord). The ensemble has performed in Europe and America, and been featured on National Public Radio. The group’s repertory includes 18th-century music and new works by American composers. American Baroque has recorded 14 CDs, beginning with quartets by Telemann—the “Paris” and Fourth Book sets (Amon Ra, ...

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E. Douglas Bomberger

Concerts consisting exclusively of works by American composers. The practice of promoting American composers by segregating their music has recurred often since the middle of the 19th century and was especially in vogue in the late 1880s, during World War II, and in the years around the Bicentennial of American independence in ...

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George J., Jr. Grella

Ensemble founded in 2004 by the cellist Clarice Jensen, the conductor Donato Cabrera, and the manager Christina Jensen. Cabrera left in 2005 for a post with the San Francisco Opera. The group made its debut on 7 November 2004, at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York. In ...

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Dee Baily

Opera company. It was founded in 1885 by Jeannette Thurber, whose policy was to engage competent, if unknown, American singers for productions of grand opera sung in English. Thurber appointed a board of eminent directors with Andrew Carnegie as president, and engaged theodore Thomas, who had his own touring orchestra, as music director. Among the fully staged operas presented by the troupe were W.A. Mozart’s ...

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Chamber ensemble formed in Philadelphia in 1925 by Ben Stad. See Early-music revival.

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Tammy L. Kernodle

Founded by Everett McCorvey in 1995, the ensemble defines its mission as the preservation of the spiritual tradition. McCorvey, a native of Montgomery, Alabama and Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at the University of Kentucky, founded the group because he felt that the arranged spiritual tradition was not being celebrated in the same manner as other forms of African American sacred music, especially gospel music. The group’s membership, which ranges from 25 to 50 performers depending on the performance requirements, consists of singers who have performed on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and concert halls throughout Europe. Although he traveled the world as a tenor soloist and has served as artist faculty at the American Institute of Musical Study in Graz, Austria, McCorvey has made a considerable contribution to the American concert tradition through the group. The group’s repertory includes not only arranged spirituals in the ensemble and art song format, but also jazz and Broadway tunes. It has traveled extensively around the world. In ...

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Organization founded in 1942 to provide artistic, financial and organizational support for American orchestras. In 1999 its members included nearly 900 symphony, chamber, youth and university orchestras. In addition to offering seminars and workshops for orchestra managers, staff and volunteers, the league sponsors an Orchestra Management Fellowship Program and provides scholarships for black American student musicians. In ...

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Lori Burns and Jada Watson

(b Newton, NC, Aug 22, 1963). American alternative-rock singer-songwriter, pianist, and record producer. She emerged in the early 1990s amid a resurgence of female singer-songwriters and has been one of the few well known alternative-rock artists to use the piano as her primary instrument. She attended the preparatory division of the prestigious Peabody Conservatory but left the school at the age of 11. She began to play her own music in nightclubs at 14, chaperoned by her father, who was a preacher. After Amos moved to Los Angeles in her late teens to pursue a recording career, her band Y Kant Tori Read released a self-titled album (Atl., ...

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Roxanne R. Reed

Gospel ensemble. The Angelic Gospel Singers, or the Angelics, were an African American female gospel quartet based in Philadelphia. Founder, lead singer, and pianist Margaret Allison (1921–2008) a native of McCormick, South Carolina, moved with her family to Philadelphia as a youth. Allison joined the Spiritual Echoes in ...

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Joanne Sheehy Hoover

Brass quintet. The group was founded in 1971 and disbanded in 1993. David Cran (trumpet) and Robert Posten (bass trombone) remained with the group for the duration through various personnel changes. It was the first American brass quintet to serve as the full-time and exclusive professional occupation of its members. The group toured extensively in the United States (New York debut, ...

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Anna E. Kijas

A cappella vocal quartet, based in New York. The quartet has been a resident ensemble at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in New York City since its formation in 1986. The founding members include New York natives, Johanna Marie Rose, Susan Hellauer, Marsha Genensky, and Ruth Cunningham. In ...

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Alexander Michael Cannon

Cambodian music ensemble. Named for the female celestial figures that adorn Angkor Wat, this music and dance ensemble has featured performances of Cambodian music for audiences in the United States since 1986. Dr. Sam-Ang Sam—a master musician who studied with court and village master musicians in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and who was named a ...

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Ryan R. McNutt

Canadian indie rock band. With captivating live performances and acclaimed recordings, the Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist group stood at the forefront of indie rock’s ascendency in the 2000s, growing from internet fanbase to festival-headlining slots over the decade. Often augmented by friends and touring members live, the core band consists of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, with Will Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld, and Jeremy Gara....

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Stephen Holden

Soul duo and songwriting and production team. Nickolas Ashford (b Fairfield, Hilton Head Island, SC, 4 May 1942; d New York, NY, 22 Aug 2011) and Valerie Simpson (b Bronx, NY, 26 Aug 1946) met in 1963; their first successful songwriting collaboration was “Let’s go get stoned” which, in a recording by Ray Charles (ABC, ...