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Safety Measures at Symphony Space

We are thrilled to be welcoming you to Symphony Space!

Masks are required: everyone 2 years of age and older (except artists while performing) must wear a mask at all times while in the building.

Proof of full vaccination is required for certain events. Be sure to check the individual event pages for all shows you plan to attend.

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European and African Influences on American Music

  • Culture | Africa, Cross Culture, American History
  • Format | School Assembly
  • Discipline | Music, Storytelling
  • Level | Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12

The performers trace the history of the United States through music, highlighting the universality of music in cultures around the world, as well as pinpointing the origins of certain aspects of our music that were unique to the early Americans from Africa and Great Britain. Audience participation is woven throughout this presentation.


Linda Russell
Education Artists Linda Russell

Linda Russell uses voice, and mountain and hammered dulcimer to explore history through music. She has appeared in schools and festivals nationwide including Lincoln Center and the Carnegie Hall Folk Festival with Tom Paxton and Mike Seeger. Having been the official balladeer at Federal hall National Memorial for 16 years, she has recorded eight albums of traditional and popular music of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Marsha Perry Starkes
Education Artists Marsha Perry Starkes

Marsha Perry Starkes is a multifaceted musician who combines traditional African instruments and musical forms with contemporary influences. Her recordings include Bird Lives! Through the Neo Bass Ensemble, Hit It!, and Bebop meets Bass. She sings and plays the music of Africa, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. Marsha holds a B.S. in Theatre Arts from Marygrove College in Detroit, MI.

Vickie Tanner
Education Artists Vickie Tanner

Vickie Tanner is a writer and actress of stage and screen. Vickie is part of the original American cast of the critically-acclaimed STOMP, in addition to joining the National and European tours of the production. She acted in the world premiere of TANTALUS, written by John Barton and directed by Ed Hall and Sir Peter Hall. She holds a B.F.A in Theatre from the California State University at Long Beach, and studied the Meisner technique with Maggie Flanigan in New York City.

Abby Newton
Education Artists Abby Newton

Abby Newton, a fiddle player and cellist, has been teaching in Symphony Space's CAP program since it began in 1980. Abby has recorded two CDs featuring the cello as a solo instrument in traditional music and has produced and performed on over one hundred folk recordings. She has toured and taught throughout the U.S. and Scotland and has been featured on A Prairie Home Companion and Thistle and Shamrock on National Public Radio.

Juanita Faulkner
Education Artists Juanita Faulkner

Juanita Faulkner is a classically trained soprano who has studied with renowned performers from the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. Numerous awards include the Frank Colasanto and Grace E. Long award, the Connecticut Opera Award, the Baltimore and Metropolitan Award. She has performed extensively in recitals, musical theater, operas and church services in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and Canada.

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