Three African Dances
Montague Ring (1866–1956) BMI
I. The Call to the Feast (3:00)
II. Luleta's Dance (3:20)
III. Dance of the Warriors (1:35)
More English and North African than South-Saharan, this suite contains many harmonic progressions that reveal its English influences and melodies and the embellishing turns that exhibit its North-African characteristics. Hale Smith's treatment of the stately, graceful, and lyrical melodies in this piece effectively enhances the essence of the work. The unison passages in the trio and the timbral contrasts throughout are tastefully handled, revealing the arranger's sensitivity to and respect for the composer's original conception. Montague Ring is the pseudonym of Amanda Aldridge (1866-1956), the daughter of the famous singer and actor Ira Aldridge. Her sister, Irene Luranah, was an opera singer. Growing up in England, following study with Jenny Lind and other prominent musicians at the Royal College of Music, Montague Ring had a successful concert career as a singer. Later, in a successful teaching career she coached Afro-Americans Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes, and Paul Robeson. Ring is one of the two most prominent black musicians active in England in the late nineteenth century, the other being the more famous and celebrated Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912).