NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Ellabelle Davis, one of the first African-American women to perform in the world’s greatest concert halls, will be celebrated in a special musical program on Sunday, March 20 at 4:00 pm in the Ossie Davis Theater of the New Rochelle Public Library. The concert will include a program performed by acclaimed soprano Audrey DuBois Harris, who will feature some of the songs from the repertoire of Ms. Davis, spirituals, and selections from the original opera, The Gentle Lark of New Rochelle, which was written by local historian Karen S. Allen. A piece by the same name will be performed by flutist Morgan Pappas.
In addition to the musical performances, City Historian Barbara Davis will present an illustrated slideshow describing the extraordinary life of Ellabelle Davis. The slideshow will be based on a new, soon-to-be-released biography of Ms. Davis that was also written by Karen S. Allen. A reception will follow the tribute concert. The afternoon event is made possible by the Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library, with additional support from Tutti Bravi Productions, Inc. A donation of $2.00 is suggested at the door.
Born in New Rochelle on March 17, 1907. Ellabelle Davis would become an international sensation as she toured the world, enchanting audiences in Mexico, South America, Europe and throughout America. In 1946 she was voted “Most Outstanding Singer of the Year” by the American League of Composers. She continued to also perform benefits concerts in her hometown until her untimely death in 1960.
American soprano, Audrey DuBois Harris is praised by critics for possessing a majestic voice of rich splendor, extraordinary beauty and exquisite artistry of great dramatic intensity. She has graced the world's stages in opera, oratorio, recital, concert, sacred and inspirational music.
Most recently, Ms. Harris performed at The White House in a White House hosted event called "Christmas at the White House". In addition, she sang as the 'President's Soloist', singing The National Anthem for President Barack Obama's address at the 2014 NAN Convention in NYC.
Ms. DuBois Harris has performed with leading opera companies and at the most prestigious concert halls around the world. She has won numerous competitions and vocal awards, and has shared her music extensively with younger generations through numerous outreach appearances, masterclasses, programs, and concerts. No matter the venue, critics and audiences have hailed her for her luminous voice, passion and artistry. A native of Miami, Florida, Ms. DuBois Harris is a graduate of both the New World School of the Arts and The Juilliard School in NYC.
A native of New Rochelle, Morgan Pappas is a versatile flutist, chamber musician, and music educator. She has performed with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles at venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Space. Ms. Pappas graduated with a Bachelors of Music from New York University, and will be receiving her Masters in Music Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music this May.