top of page

Lower Cape TV - A Contemporary Take on Classical - by Lower Cape News editorial staff

A Contemporary Take on Classical

A Different Look at Classical Music

Lower Cape News editorial staff

Linking Legacies brought a new slate of classical music performers to Cape Cod's Open Mic Classical, showing there's to more classical music than ancient white men.

Who creates and plays classical music?

While classical music often suffers from an image of ancient dead white men, this month music lovers had a chance to hear an alternative to that stereotype. During Open Mic Classical's February performance at the Cultural Center in Yarmouth, guest ensemble Linking Legacies from Oberlin College and Conservatory celebrated Black History month with music from Black classical composers. 

Why does classical music from Black composers resonate today?

Contemporary classical music combines the traditional form with overlays of modern sound influences. Musicologist Christoper Jenkins from Oberlin College and Conservatory says to imagine what Beethoven would compose if he were influenced by the modern soundscape. He points out that African diaspora music surrounds us, influencing current music of many varieties and that contemporary Black composers bring those "music idioms" into their work, which makes the sound more accessible to modern ears.

What is Open Mic Classical?

Open Mic Classical is a monthly open mic performance and sharing session for classical musicians of all levels. One Sunday a month, people can sign up to perform and a each program also includes a special musical guest.

Who is Linking Legacies?

The Linking Legacy project came from Oberlin College and Conservatory. It features Black classical musician playing the works of Black composers. They group performs across the country and was the featured performer at the February Cape Cod Open Mic Classical.

Are there Black classical composers?

Musicologist Jenkins says black classical performers have both composing and performing all along, but often struggled for recognition. The ensemble Linking Legacies, with which Jenkins play viola, focuses on composers with a connection to Oberlin College and Conservatory, which has long tradition of nurturing both classical and Black composers, including Nathaniel Dett, Hale Smith, Dolores White, H. Leslie Adams, George Walker, and more.

Scroll up to watch the short new feature video about Open Mic Classical's  or click directly here.

More information about this topic


Featured Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic


Open Mic



aka the mic-less open mic

bottom of page