Introduction to Black Classical Composers & Musicians

In celebration of Black History month, MYS is pleased to present Introduction to Black Classical Composers & Musicians taught by violinist and educator, Chenoa Murphy.

Class description: “What do a champion fencer, an autistic savant, a nun and a sailor have in common? They are all classical music composers and musicians who contributed greatly in this field during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. They also happen to be of African descent. This class will highlight 8 of them!  Due to the time periods covered, information such as racism, slavery and segregation will be discussed as it relates to the musician’s life.  By the end of the class, however, you will be inspired by the strength, courage, giftedness and outstanding contributions and achievements of these amazing human beings!”

This interactive class will run Sundays, January 30 – February 20th, 3-4 pm, via Zoom. Please register to participate by filling out the form below. A Zoom link will be emailed to each registered participant automatically once the registration is submitted.  Registration is open to MYS students and their families. Participation is free through a generous grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Chenoa Murphy

Chenoa Murphy was born and raised in Memphis, TN. At the age of two, Chenoa attended her first classical music concert given by the Japanese violin students of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. This sparked her interest in music, and she was enrolled in the Suzuki Violin Method a year later.

Following her love and enthusiasm for music, Chenoa continued to develop her natural ability and trained in violin and vocal studies throughout her childhood and teenage years. She attended the Overton High School of Performing Arts and summer music camps such as Aspen Music Festival, Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, Sewanee Music Center, the Governor’s School of Performing Arts, and the Colour of Music Festival. She has achieved both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as well as 4 years of Doctoral studies at the University of Iowa. Her principal teachers during these formal years of study were Yuko Honda, Pak-Chung Cheng, Katherine Wolfe, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Dorothy Delay, and Dr. Won-Bin Yim.

Besides being a former private violin and viola teacher, Chenoa is also a highly sought-after educator, guest lecturer and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion facilitator for music organizations and colleges. Her online courses: Introduction to Black Classical Composers and Musicians and Black Classical Musicians: The Journey Onward highlight the contributions and achievements of classical music composers of African descent. Her article “Black Representation in Classical Music Matters” was featured in the Summer 2020 edition of the American Suzuki Journal. 

Chenoa currently resides in Springfield, IL where she is a member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the mother of two beautiful children, Victoria, and Jonathan. Chenoa is married to the love of her life, Victor who resides in Glasgow, Scotland. Chenoa has been interviewed by CNN, NPR Illinois, and Huffington Post. Her podcast, “Black, White & In Color,” can be heard on all platforms.

If you have any questions about this class, please email Sarah McLain or call the MYS office at 503-239-4566