Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem will again serve as host of Double Treble, the dynamic duo of Roderick Demmings, Jr. and Karl Van Richards. The concert on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 4 pm is special for the piano and organ duo as it brings to a close activities in observance of Black History Month.
Van Richards and Demmings, Jr. are excited to return to New York which represents the kickoff to their 2016 nationwide tour, which includes stops in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
To commemorate Black History Month, Double Treble will present a diverse and varied program including works by African-American composers and composers of African descent. “The concert will open with DT (2) Rossini’s William Tell Overture as arranged by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, arguably one of the most outstanding pianists of color from 19th century America. We will also include Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 which many will recognize from the Tom and Jerry cartoon, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major and our interpretation of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue perhaps the most celebrated fusion of African-American blues with European classical music,” noted the duo.
The special program to celebrate Black History Month will include Demmings’ performance of the final movement of Florence Beatrice Price’s Organ Sonata. Price was an African-American composer who had the distinction of being the first black composer to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra. Van Richards will perform Margaret Bonds’ masterpiece Troubled Water based on the negro spiritual “Wade in the Water.” Bonds was an African American composer, pianist and musical director who was born in Chicago. She along with Florence Price both received first place prizes in composition — The Wanamaker Award.
Following Double Treble’s performance in New York, the duo will travel to Chicago where they will perform at the St. John AME Church in Aurora, Illinois on March 2. The duo will continue their nationwide tour in March visiting Demmings’ hometown of Dallas for a display of talent and flair at the Clarence Muse Café Theatre for two shows on Friday, March 18 & Saturday, March 19. Showtime 8 pm.
The Big Apple is becoming a popular venue for the dynamic duo Double Treble with both individuals performing last February at Convent Avenue Baptist Church, and prior to that Demmings, Jr. showcasing his superb talents at Carnegie Hall on the PBS program “From The Top” and Richards performing in musical theater projects at Pace University.
Since the group’s formation in June 2014, Double Treble has performed at the 95th convention of the National Association of Negro Musicians in Los Angeles, California; Unity Church in West Palm Beach, Florida; Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas and more recently, making their Jamaica debut at a fundraising concert at the Kingston Parish Church at the end of January.