by Stephanie Manning
At first glance, the sheer number of pieces on the program for “Our Song, Our Story” looked a little intimidating. The concert, which was presented by Tuesday Musical and traced the musical output of Black Americans, offered listeners all kinds of categories: spiritual songs, opera, and lieder, just to name a few. But on February 2, what was printed on the paper was more of a guide for the performers to pick-and-choose, letting them present their songs, their way.
At the center of the program was composer and pianist Damien Sneed, who accompanied the small set of performers while also presenting some of his own works. Talkative and affable towards the audience in E.J. Thomas Hall, Sneed provided both personal and compositional context throughout the evening. He also explained a crucial last-minute change: originally-scheduled soprano Brandie Inez Sutton had just been called up for an opportunity at the Met, leaving Jacqueline Echols to step in on very short notice.