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Black clarinetist to discuss work

In a soon-to-be-released episode of the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State’s “Meeting the Moment with Michael Mwenso” livestream, the performance artist-historian will talk with clarinetist Anthony McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s first African-American principal player, a news release from the center said.

The free online event, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, will be broadcast via the Zoom conference app. Questions will be taken in real time from audience members via the chat function.

Visit “Meeting the Moment” at cpa.psu.edu/events/meetingthemoment5 for more information.

Contributions from the members of the Center for the Performing Arts and a grant from the University Park Student Fee Board help make the program free of charge. Meghan R. Mason Program Endowment and Richard Robert Brown Program Endowment provide support.

The program is part of the center’s “Up Close and Virtual” 2020-21 season. In response to the death of George Floyd in May and the unrest afterward, McGill posted to Facebook a version of “America the Beautiful.” In an interview with NPR, he shared his logic on playing the “wrong” minor notes and his #TakeTwoKnees message in the struggle for justice and decency.

“Sometimes life is minor. It goes off its true melody. It goes off of that simple, beautiful melody that we all expect it to be” he said. “America has given me more opportunity and more gifts than any place I could ever imagine living. And yet, the melody can go off, and we need to acknowledge that we can hear it. We can’t pretend like it hasn’t turned to something darker.”

For more information about forthcoming “Up Close and Virtual” season events, visit www.cpa.psu.edu/events.

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