WVSU had the honor watching violinist Tami Lee Hughes and pianist Ellen R. Sommer on Feb. 11 in the Davis Arts Center.
“The Legacy Show” was filled with beautiful, fun and dramatic music. During each set, an inspirational slideshow depicted African-Americans. Each set started with a poem.
The show started with “S.L.I.C.E,” which was written for Hughes by her husband, Chad Hughes.
Hughes said “The Legacy Show” was food for the soul. After the first poem by James Weldon Johnson, “The Gift to Sing,” they played “Bingham’s Cotillion” by Francis Johnson.
“Johnson was the Michael Jackson of our time,” Hughes said.
The heart of the show started with a poem, “Harriet Tubman AKA Moses” by Samuel Allen. The intense set involved music by George Morrison, “Some Time I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” “Steal Away, Steal Away to Jesus” and “Every Time I Feel the Spirit.”
The slideshow depicted the slavery era, including men being whipped, pickers in a cotton field and slaves at auction.
The passion that Hughes and Sommer played with was truly amazing. The music interpreted perfectly the pain of individual African-Americans in the photos. Every so often, Hughes would let out a powerful breath. Was she holding her breath while she played, or was she keeping her composure? Whatever the reason, it was beautiful.
Hughes and Sommer ended on a strong note, playing a set by Kerwin Young.
“Phenomenal Women” by Maya Angelou was the last poem of the night, inspiring all African-American women to become their best.
The strife and heartache that African-Americans have endured proves nothing will keep them from rising to success.