Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Celebrating Portia White as Catalyst on the 75th Anniversary of her Breakthrough Concert.

On March 13, 1944, Portia White delivered her breakthrough concert that changed her own life and many more. 75 years to the day, Portia White became the first Canadian ever to perform at the New York Town Hall. 

Hedley Rainnie’s portrait of White hangs in Government House
The concert initiated her ascent to become one of the best singers of the 20th century, a particularly incredible triumph considering the systemic racism of segregation. 

Internationally recognized in her day, Portia White is now revered as part of Canadian heritage. Her legacy represents the catalyst for the Talent Trust and its 75-year commitment to aspiring artists across the province. Since 1985, many deserving vocalists have been awarded the Talent Trust’s Portia White Award, including the 2016 winner Shanice Skinner, also a female African Nova Scotia operatic singer.

To celebrate the anniversary of this historic achievement Cecilia Concerts will bring Grammy Award-winning, African American Harolyn Blackwell to Halifax to perform in "Genius Child: Portia White at Town Hall" on Nov 9, 2019

The concert revisits some of the material Portia White sang in her milestone concert while also showcasing a collection of beautiful songs encompassing poetry by the timeless, and timely, African American writer and social activist Langston Hughes. Blackwell will be accompanied by prize-winning Texan pianist Danny Zelibor.

Read the Talent Trust editorial “Celebrate Portia White’s Legacy,” published in The Coast.

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