March 1, 2023

COLLABORATIVE CREATIONS: A rehearsal of Daniel Alexander Jones’ piece “Black Light,” among the events inspired by the Toni Morrison Papers. (Photograph courtesy of the artist)

McCarter Theatre will premiere a set of commissioned performances on March 24 and 25 as part of campus-wide programming celebrating author Toni Morrison’s life and legacy.

The performances are the result of collaborations with McCarter’s Associate Artistic Director Nicole A. Watson and Autumn Womack, curator of Princeton University Library’s exhibition “Toni Morrison: Sites of Memory” and assistant professor of English and African American Studies. Multidisciplinary artists Daniel Alexander Jones and Mame Diarra Samantha Speis visited the University Library’s Toni Morrison Papers archive, a large trove of personal papers, letters, manuscripts and objects that were acquired by the University in 2014 to inspire original creations. more

MUSIC FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Maura Shawn Scanlin, left, and Conor Hearn, take a concert approach to performing Irish music. (Photo by L. Bichan)

The Princeton Folk Music Society celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a March 17, 8 p.m. concert by Rakish, a duo comprising violinist Maura Shawn Scanlin and guitarist Conor Hearn, at Christ Congregation Church, 50 Walnut Lane.

In a performance that is something more akin to concert music, Rakish explores tunes and songs from Irish and American folk traditions. The duo stretches boundaries, going beyond basic session playing. more

The exhibition and sale of paintings by artist Cliff Tisdell honoring the late Southern writer Carson McCullers has been extended through the end of March at Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street. Labyrinth owner Dorothea von Moltke and Tisdell hope to stir interest in McCullers’ work for those who might not be familiar with her.

The Delaware Valley Bead Society (DVBS) will sponsor a niobium workshop, “Resist Me If You Can,” with Marti Brown, founding member and president of the DVBS on Saturday, March 11, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (allows time for lunch – BYO or order out) at the Raritan Township Police Station, Municipal Courtroom, at One Municipal Drive, Building #2, Flemington. Pre-registration is required; the registration deadline is Saturday, March 4. more

The Princeton University Art Museum has announced the appointment of Jun Nakamura as assistant curator of prints and drawings. Nakamura joins the museum from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he was the Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. He began his appointment at Princeton on February 20.

At Princeton, Nakamura will work with the museum’s extensive collections of more than 15,000 prints and drawings, comprising European, British, Latin American, and North American works from the 15th century to the present. In addition to organizing exhibitions and gallery installations, Nakamura will initiate scholarly and public programs, grow the collections, and cultivate new supporters. more

“WOMAN AND BUTTERFLY”: This painting by Angela Arrey-Wastavino is featured in “The Women’s Caucus for Art,” on view March 14 through April 15 in the Main Gallery at Artworks Trenton. An opening reception is on Saturday, March 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.

With its upcoming exhibitions, Artworks Trenton celebrates Women’s History Month and amplifies the voices of creatives Amy Louise Lee and the members of the Women’s Caucus for Art. These two exhibitions represent the mission of the organization, which is to promote artistic diversity by fostering creativity, learning, and appreciation of the arts. From March 14 through April 15, “The Women’s Caucus for Art” will be presented in the Main Gallery alongside Amy Louise Lee’s show, “Metal Lucidity,” in the Community Gallery. An opening reception is on March 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. more

HEALTHY BENEFITS: “The hemp plant has more than 100 different chemical compounds. It can address a variety of health-related conditions. It is a natural, good, healthy way to help an array of problems.” Phil Rutman, owner of Native Ceuticals, is enthusiastic about his CBD (cannabidiol) products made from the hemp plant.

By Jean Stratton

“My goal is to educate people about the benefits of Native Ceuticals,” says Phil Rutman.

Owner of Native Ceuticals, located at 1273 Route 206 (State Road),  Montgomery Township, he looks forward to introducing people to the company’s  products, which he believes will improve health problems.

“I want to help people gain an understanding about the benefits of CBD (cannabiodiol) and these products,” he explains. “They have nothing to do with marijuana, do not cause a high, and are not addictive. There are multiple derivatives from hemp, offering a beneficial herbal alternative for treatment of many health problems. This is a growing industry. CBD has been legal since 2018.”  more

STONE AGE: Princeton University women’s basketball player Grace Stone puts up a shot in recent action. Last Friday, senior star Stone scored 13 points and had four rebounds to help Princeton rally from a 10-point halftime deficit to earn a 51-47 win over Harvard. The Tigers, now 20-5 overall and 11-2 Ivy League, play at Penn on March 3 in their regular season finale. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Grace Stone experienced some extra nerves to go with the emotions she was feeling as the Princeton University women’s basketball program held its annual Senior Night celebration last Friday when it hosted Harvard.

After each member of the team’s Class of 2023 was introduced, Tiger senior guard/forward Stone grabbed a mic and sang a duet of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with her mother Karen Stone before the crowd of 1,744 at Jadwin Gym.

“I have never really sung in front of anybody before like that,” said Stone. “She really, really wanted me to sing with her; that song means a lot to us and our family. I know it meant a lot to her so I really wanted to do it. It felt special.” more

STICKING POINT: Princeton University men’s lacrosse player Coulter Mackesy looks to elude a defender in a recent game. Last Saturday, sophomore attacker Mackesy tallied three goals but it wasn’t enough as Princeton fell 11-5 to defending national champion Maryland. The Tigers, now 2-1, will look to get back in the winning track as they host Georgetown on March 4. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For the Princeton University men’s lacrosse team, powerhouse Maryland proved to be its kryptonite last spring.

Last February, Princeton fell 15-10 to the Terps in a regular season contest. On Memorial Day weekend, the Tigers lost 13-8 to Maryland in the NCAA semis as the Terps went to win the national title to cap an undefeated campaign.

Last Saturday, when the foes met for an early season showdown at Class of 52 Stadium, the Tigers had last year’s setbacks in the rear view mirror.

“It is a very different team for us this year and for them too so there was not too much harping on those two last season,” said Princeton head coach Matt Madalon, whose squad came into the game ranked No. 3 nationally in the Inside Lacrosse media poll with Maryland at No. 9. “We were just trying to put our guys in a good position to win.” more

GETTING HER FILL: Princeton University women’s hockey player Sarah Fillier, right, goes after the puck in a game earlier this season. Last weekend, junior star Fillier totaled two goals and two assists as seventh-seeded Princeton lost a best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series to second-seeded Colgate. The Tigers topped the Raiders 3-2 on Friday in the opener but then lost 4-3 on Saturday and fell 2-1 to Colgate in a decisive game three on Sunday. The defeat left the Tigers with a 15-15-1 overall record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It may have been blackboard material for the opponents of the Princeton University women’s hockey team, but Cara Morey was on to something.

On the last regular season home weekend of the season when Princeton clinched a spot in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals, Tiger head coach Morey exuded confidence as she looked ahead to postseason action.

“Our hope is that we are really hot as we head into playoffs,” said Morey. “I think that people are generally scared of the Tigers in the playoffs and I think this year is going to be like the rest. Whoever we play and it is looking like it could be Quinnipiac or Colgate, I am sure they are wondering, shoot, I just don’t want to face the Tigers.”

Sure enough, Princeton ended up playing at Colgate last weekend in the ECACH quarters and the seventh-seeded Tigers put quite a scare into the second-seeded Raiders, who were ranked third nationally.  more

PERFECT ENDING: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Beatrice Cai displays her breaststroke form in a race this season. Last Saturday, senior star Cai placed third in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly to help third-seeded PHS defeat top-seeded Chatham 91-79 in New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group B state final. PHS ended the season with a 14-0 record as it earned the program’s first girls’ state title since 1993. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Things were quiet around the Princeton High girls’ swim team as it went on a bus ride last Saturday morning down to the Gloucester County Institute of Technology pool for a battle of unbeatens against Chatham in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group B state final.

“It was very early in the morning so it wasn’t that loud, a lot of people were still tired, getting up early,” said PHS senior star Beatrice Cai. “Our boys’ team had gone against Chatham last year in the state finals and they lost, so we kind of wanted to win this for the boys. We were all very nervous about that part.” more

BLASE OF GLORY: Princeton High wrestler Blase Mele gets ready to grapple in recent action. Last weekend, sophomore Mele took second at 132 pounds in the Region 5 tournament to earn a spot at the upcoming 2023 New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA)/Rothman Orthopaedic State Championships, beginning on March 2 in Atlantic City. He will be joined at the boys’ competition by another PHS wrestler, sophomore Cole Rose at 106. Rose’s sister, senior Ava, will also be in A.C. after qualifying at 114 for the girls’ state tournament final. (Photo provided by Daren Mele)

By Justin Feil

Blase Mele is returning to the boys state wrestling tournament a more confident wrestler than a year ago.

The Princeton High sophomore earned his second trip to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA)/Rothman Orthopaedic State Championships Atlantic City by placing second at 132 pounds in the Region 5 tournament last Saturday at Franklin High. Mele reached states last year despite overcoming a mid-season injury to become the first PHS freshman qualifier in program history. He begins to compete for a medal in states on March 2 in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City with the finals set for Sunday.

“Last year, the goal was really to make it to A.C., then I had some difficulties in the middle of the season that kind of messed up my season,” said Mele. “This year, I’m really looking to go out there and prove I can compete with the best. Last year did leave a sour taste in my mouth. I would be lying if I told you anything different because I’m a competitor. I like to compete and I train to win.” more

WILL TO WIN: Princeton Day School boys’ hockey player Will Brown streaks up the ice in a game earlier this season. Senior defenseman and assistant captain Brown tallied two goals and one assist as fifth-seeded PDS defeated 12th-seeded Morristown-Beard 5-2 last Wednesday in first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament. Last Monday, the Panthers fell 8-4 to fourth-seededGloucester Catholic in the Non-Public quarterfinals to end the season with a 7-11-3 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It was Will Brown’s last game at McGraw Rink for the Princeton Day School boys’ hockey team and he wanted to make it a special evening.

“I was excited to play and just go out and put on a good show and get a win with the team,” said PDS senior defenseman Brown, reflecting on the matchup last Thursday which pitted fifth-seeded PDS against 12th-seeded Morristown Beard in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public tournament.

“It is a great group of guys here and we just wanted to keep playing for one more. We didn’t want to have it end on our home ice.” more

TOURNAMENT RUN: Princeton Day School girls’ hockey player Emily McCann, right, goes after the puck in recent action. Last Thursday, junior forward McCann, who also stars in cross country and track, tallied a goal and an assist to help fourth-seeded PDS defeat 13th-seeded Newark East Side 8-1in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) girls’ hockey state tournament. On Monday, PDS edged fifth-seeded Summit 1-0 in the state quarterfinals. The Panthers, now 7-5-3, face top-seeded Morristown-Beard in the state semis on March 2 with the victor advancing to the title game on March 6 at the Prudential Center in Newark. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Emily McCann got things rolling for the Princeton Day school girls’ hockey team as it started play in the NJSIAA girls’ hockey state tournament by hosting Newark East Side last Thursday afternoon.

Just over four minutes into the first period, junior forward McCann poked in a rebound to give fourth-seeded PDS a 1-0 lead over 13th-seeded Newark East Side in the opening round contest.

“I was just trying to get my rebound that was there,” said McCann. “I was just trying to get things moving, especially so the rest of the team could play.” more

February 22, 2023

Gingerbread baking, quill pen writing, fun facts and quotes, reenactors, and more were featured at George Washington’s Birthday Celebration at the Johnson Ferry House on the New Jersey side of Washington Crossing State Park on Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Donald Gilpin

PPS Superintendent Carol Kelley

Seeking to bring the community together, to highlight an array of programs, and to present the Princeton Public Schools’ (PPS) new Strategic Plan, the schools are inviting the Princeton community to a State of the District celebration on Monday, February 27 at Princeton High School (PHS) from 6 to 8 p.m.

PPS Superintendent Carol Kelley urged everyone in the Princeton community to attend the event and promised many opportunities to learn more about what’s going on at the schools. Participants will have the chance “to learn how we’re championing our students and how parents and the community can contribute,” she said in a PPS press release. “I hope our parents and community will join us on Monday to help celebrate what we have accomplished and to take a look at where we want to go.”

In a David Letterman-style countdown, Kelley listed the top three reasons why people should come out for the event. “Reason No. 3 is the chance to chat with principals, administrators, supervisors, and students who will staff more than 20 expo tables highlighting PPS programs,” said Kelley.

She continued, “Reason No. 2 is that students are giving tours of the high school, including the new wing. If you are a community member or have students in our middle or elementary schools and have never been inside the high school, here is your chance.”

And Reason No. 1 is to bring the community together. “We will have cheerleaders, student presenters, refreshments, and a raffle for a basket of PPS spirit wear,“ said Kelley. “But, most importantly, it will give everyone a chance to come together in fellowship.” more

SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY : Princeton University’s 17-vehicle, free service Tiger Transit fleet will be fully electric by this summer. University representatives presented an update on their transit and mobility programs to Princeton Council last week. (Photo by Princeton University, Denise Applewhite) 

By Donald Gilpin

Emphasizing sustainability and efficiency, Princeton University’s presentation on their transit and mobility programs, delivered to the Princeton Town Council on February 13, provided an array of ideas for initiatives and collaboration.

In their report, Princeton University Director of Transportation and Parking Services Charles Tennyson and Assistant Vice President of Communications and Regional Affairs Kristin Appleget emphasized the ultimate goal of making walking and biking so appealing that few people choose transit, and motorized vehicles are mostly behind the scenes.

The Tiger Transit bus fleet has new routes as of January 30, more frequent and easier to understand, Tennyson said, and all buses will soon be electric. “We’re pleased to see that people are coming back to transit post-pandemic,” he added. “I think we’ll continue to see our new routes grow in ridership with the improved design, and we’re really excited about electrification of the system.”

The University expects to decommission the entire diesel fleet in the coming months so that by summer only electric vehicles will be operating around campus and around town. “When this work is completed the University will be among the very few operations in the country with a fully-electric fleet,” Tennyson said. more

By Anne Levin

Following a brief delay, work on PSE&G’s gas modernization project in Princeton was scheduled to get underway on Tuesday evening (after press time). The project is designed to make the delivery of gas to local residences safer, cleaner, and more reliable.

The replacement of the town’s aging cast iron gas pipes with new plastic or coated steel piping was to begin with work between Hulfish Street and Clay Street. In this area, Paul Robeson Place and Wiggins Street, as well as Witherspoon Street, are to be closed to traffic from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays as the project continues.

The project will replace 12 miles of gas mains throughout Princeton. It is part of the utility’s plan to replace more than 875 miles of pipes, along with other gas infrastructure improvements, across New Jersey. Initial work has involved testing soil and digging test holes to verify existing gas pipes. Once trenches are dug, the new gas mains will be installed block by block.

Princeton’s Assistant Municipal Engineer Jim Purcell gave an update on the project at the February 13 meeting of Princeton Council. The contractor, Ferreira Construction, is doing the work during the night to reduce noise from saw-cutting and jackhammers, he said. Work will progress north on Witherspoon Street during the day if traffic can be accommodated and the work can be coordinated with the PSE&G electric utility pole replacement project that is currently underway.

Also being taken into consideration is the ongoing work on Phase 1 of the Witherspoon Street Improvement Project, involving road, curb, and sidewalk replacement. The second phase is to include underground utility upgrades, tree removal and replacement, sidewalk removal and expansion, and roadway surface removal and replacement between Green Street and Leigh Avenue. more

THE PRISON EXPERIENCE: Reginald Dwayne Betts on the set of “Felon: An American Washi Tale,” which features “kites” (prison letters) designed by visual artist Kyoko Ibe. The show comes to McCarter Theatre Center March 2, 3, and 4 in collaboration with the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. (Photo by Barbara Johnston, courtesy of Reginald Dwayne Betts/Freedom Reads)

By Wendy Greenberg

When teenaged Reginald Dwayne Betts, incarcerated and in solitary confinement, yelled out a request for a book, a poetry book was slid under his cell door. Now, 23 years after his release from prison, Betts explores his incarceration in a solo theater show based on his own American Book Award-winning poetry collection.

Not coincidentally, Felon: An American Washi Tale, being performed at McCarter Theatre Center March 2, 3, and 4, with related community events including an ongoing art exhibit, has a mission of encouraging the availability of literature in prison.

The solo show written and performed by Betts, and developed and directed by Elise Thoron, is based on Betts’ experience of incarceration, and is a meditation on criminal justice, artmaking, and community. After his release, Betts earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College, and a juris doctor degree from Yale Law School. In 2020, he founded Freedom Reads, an organization that gives incarcerated people access to books by donating libraries to correctional facilities. In 2018 Betts received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2021 he was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in law at Yale University. more

“BURIED TREASURE”: Washington Crossing Park Association trustees, with art conservator Christyl Cusworth, third from left, assess the 15.5-foot by 9.8-foot mural, in need of restoration and repair. They are looking forward to the restoration of the mural and placing it in the new visitors center, scheduled to open in 2026.

By Wendy Greenberg

It’s a “true New Jersey story,” says the executive director of the Washington Crossing Park Association of the recent discovery of an important work of art.

A long-forgotten painting depicting George Washington crossing the Delaware River was located in a basement after more than 50 years. The crossing represents a key point in history: After crossing the Delaware on December 25, 1776, Washington embarked on a 10-day campaign that would change the course of the American Revolution, culminating at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777.

Plans call for the painting, by celebrated American combat artist George Matthews Harding, to hang in the new visitors center at Washington Crossing Park, on the Titusville side. The center is scheduled to open in 2026, the nation’s semiquincentennial (250 years).

The journey of discovery began when Ewing author Patricia Millen, a founding member of the Washington Crossing Park Association (WCPA), was doing research with co-author Robert W. Sands Jr. for their book, Washington Crossing: Images of America (April 2022), part of an Arcadia Publishing book series. Millen, whose museum administration experience includes the Thomas Clark House in Princeton, came across a mention of the 1921 Harding mural. more

TEACHING YOUNG WOMEN: Zahra Y., co-founder of the Afghan Education Student Outreach Project at the Hun School.

By Donald Gilpin

Every Thursday night from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Seth Holm, chair of the Modern Languages and Classics Department at The Hun School of Princeton, logs onto the internet to teach a class for about 30 young women who are just waking up in Afghanistan, eager for schooling that has been forbidden to them in their home country.

Holm and his team of Hun students are helping these Afghan students to learn English so they can pursue further education outside of Afghanistan. Since its inception in June of last year, this initiative at Hun, the Afghan Education Student Outreach Project, has grown rapidly. Now, in addition to the Thursday night sessions, it also includes a “phone buddy” program, with Hun students talking with Afghan counterparts once a week; a one-on-one mentoring program; collaboration with the nonprofit New Jersey-based Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund (AGFAF); and the Hun School’s offering of two scholarships for one young Afghan woman to arrive on campus this spring and another by next fall.

Hun Head of School Jon Brougham emphasized the importance of the project, praising Holm and the student initiators. “The work that our students are doing, led by Zahra, Hanan, Steven, and Dr. Holm, is incredible,” he said. “This is a passion project with real meaning for the Afghan girls they are working with, but also for them and the Hun community as a whole. The right to learn, grow, and share a human connection should be universal.” more

By Stuart Mitchner

Why end the last column in February with Carson McCullers, who had the audacity to call her first novel, written when she had barely come of age, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter? True, last Sunday was her 116th birthday. But consider the subjects usually associated with this month  — Valentine’s Day; Black History Month; the birth of James Joyce, whose Leopold Bloom “mutely craves to adore”; the death of John Keats, who “always made an awkward bow.” What about the presidents? McCullers’s magnificent title would surely have had resonance for Lincoln, who once said of Anne Rutledge, “My heart is buried in the grave with that dear girl.” And for Washington, born on this date in 1732? According to the Library of Congress (“Presidents as Poets”), of the two love poems he wrote in his teens, one begins, “Oh Ye Gods why should my Poor Resistless Heart / Stand to oppose thy might and Power” and ends “That in an enraptured Dream I may / In a soft lulling sleep and gentle repose / Possess those joys denied by Day.”

“White and Black Humanity”

After making Black history with the publication of his novel Native Son (1940), Richard Wright reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter in the August 5, 1940 New Republic. It’s a stunning notice wherein he celebrates “the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race. This cannot be accounted for stylistically or politically; it seems to stem from an attitude toward life which enables Miss McCullers to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness.”

Should Wright’s reference to “the first time in Southern fiction” bring to mind characters like Dilsey in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (1929), Wright mentions a “quality of despair” in McCullers that he finds “more natural and authentic” than the same quality in Faulkner. He also credits her for creating  characters who “live in a world more completely lost than any Sherwood Anderson ever dreamed of.” As for Ernest Hemingway, Wright praises McCullers for describing “incidents of death and attitudes of stoicism in sentences whose neutrality makes Hemingway’s terse prose seem warm and partisan by comparison.”

Wright’s eloquent appreciation, with its reference to “the violent colors of the life” depicted with “a sheen of weird tenderness,” looms above the general acclaim that greeted The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. As if he understood the potential for misreading and mischaracterizing an unknown young author’s first work, Wright closes with an advisory: “Whether you will want to read the book depends upon the extent to which you value the experience of discovering the stale and familiar terms of everyday life bathed in a rich and strange meaning, devoid of pettiness and sentimentality.” more

“ADELE OF THE PRESCHOOL CROWD”: That’s what Princeton native Laurie Berkner, who will perform at the annual New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning, has been called. Opening day is July 28.

Best-selling children’s recording artist Laurie Berkner , a native of Princeton, will headline this year’s children’s concert at the 40th annual New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning. The three-day festival at Solberg Airport in Readington begins July 28. Berkner will perform that day at 1:30 p.m.

Berkner delivered the Festival’s first-ever kids’ concert in 2017 and has become a Festival staple. With an average of more than 22 million monthly streams and millions of CDs and DVDs sold, her songs have become classics for children worldwide. Her debut DVD, which went quadruple platinum, was the first-ever indie children’s music DVD to enter Billboard’s Top Music Video chart at number one. She has released 15 best-selling albums including the recently released Another Laurie Berkner Christmas, was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr., and has authored a number of picture books based on her songs.  more

RETURNING ROCKERS: America, the classic rock band best known for “A Horse With No Name,” comes to the State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick on March 3.

State Theatre New Jersey presents classic rock band America on Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m.

Celebrating their 53rd anniversary, America was founded by Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, who quickly rose to the top of the charts with their signature song “A Horse with No Name.” America’s current members are the original leads Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, alongside touring musicians Richard Campbell, Ryland Steen, and Steve Fekete.

Signed by Warner Bros in 1971, the British American rock band released their first self-titled debut album the following year, including “A Horse With No Name” and “I Need You.” Over the next several years the band would continue to release hit songs “Muskrat Love,” “Tin Man,” “Lonely People,” and more.  more

CELEBRATING BLACK COMPOSERS: Tenor Lawrence Brownlee, left, and pianist Kevin J. Miller perform at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on March 8.

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee returns to Princeton University Concerts (PUC) to premiere a new program, “Rising,” on Wednesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Richardson Auditorium.

Alongside pianist Kevin J. Miller, Brownlee will perform newly commissioned songs by Black composers, including Jasmine Barnes, Margaret Bonds, Shawn Okpebholo, and Damien Sneed, which utilize texts drawn from Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Georgia Douglas Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, and other great Black writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

“These past years have been a trial, both for humanity as a whole, and the African American population here in the United States,” said Brownlee, “but, through all these many challenges we have faced, I have also seen moments of strength, inspiration, hope, and great beauty. It is those themes of uplift, elevation, and rebirth that we have tried to focus on with this new project ‘Rising,’ taking poems from the giants of the Harlem Renaissance, and working with some of today’s most talented African American composers, to create something that speaks not just to our struggles, but to our triumphs.” more