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Born in 1745 on the island of Guadeloupe, son of an enslaved Senegalese woman and a wealthy French landowner, Joseph was taken to Paris as a young boy to be educated at the best schools, trained as a fencer, equestrian, dancer and, above all, violinist, composer and conductor. Through music, narration, and shadow artistry, the Chevalier Project will bring to life the music and talent of Saint-Georges, allowing young students a glimpse of the challenges he faced because of his skin color while emphasizing his strength of character, his intellectual prowess, and his exceptional gift for music.
Susan Lamb Cook (cellist), Deborah Pittman (clarinetist), and Christopher Cook (visual artist/director) collaborate to create a multimedia work narrated by vocal artist, Omari Tau in this new and imaginative work that marries fascinating historical narrative, vibrant visual art, and majestic music to tell this awe-inspiring tale.
The film and study guide will be available beginning Fall 2021 free of charge to all schools not only in the greater Sacramento and Nevada City areas but also nationwide, to enrich the classroom education of 4-6 grade students.
Susan Lamb Cook
Lecturer in cello and chamber music at the University of California, Davis, a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera and the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra, and director of the VITA Academy’s Great Composers Chamber Music Series at the Harris Center in Folsom.
Producer / Musician
Holds BS and MA degrees in music performance from the Brooklyn College Conservatory and has done doctoral studies at the Manhattan School of Music. A professor emeritus after 23 years as Professor of Clarinet and Musical Theatre at California State University, Sacramento, she continues to receive commissions to create performance pieces for the stage.
Producer / Musician
Puppeteer, designer, builder and performer, working throughout the Sacramento area. His creations have appeared with numerous community organizations and universities including the Sacramento Chorale Society and Orchestra, Sacramento Theatre Company, Barnyard Theatre, and the Pacific Rim Festival.
Director / Designer
Narrator / Saint-Geroges
Omari Tau is known primarily as a singer of styles ranging from classical, jazz, and musical theater to pop and R&B. He is currently professor of Vocal Music at Cosumnes River College, and Artistic Director of Rogue Music Project (RMP), a collective specializing in opera and classical music on the fringe.
The Chevalier Project is sponsored by
The VITA Academy
Great Composers Chamber Music Series
The City of Sacramento
Rotary Club of Sacramento Foundation
First US Community Credit Union
Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera
Music in the Mountains
Robert and Peg Rucker
Phil and Julie Angelides
Sacramento Alumni Chapter, Mu Phi Epsilon
many generous contributors through the Network for Good
with special thanks to
The Crocker Art Museum
UC Davis Department of Music
Capital Public Radio, Sacramento
"The Extraordinary Life of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges"
Available Fall 2021
Register to receive free links to video and study guide!
If you would like to support this project,
please use the link below to visit the VITA Academy
Chevalier String Quartet
Dagenais Smiley, violin
Chase Spruill, violin
Cassandra Lynne Richburg, viola
Susan Lamb Cook, cello
Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Allegro from String Quartet in C Major from Six Concertante Quartets
Sarah Brown is the Elementary Music Lead Teacher for the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento County. She holds a Bachelor’s in Music Performance and Music Education, and a Master’s in Educational Technology. She has been teaching in public schools since 2008. She has taught elementary general music, elementary band, and middle school band. She is a member of the California Music Educators Association, and she volunteers for the Richards Institute of Education and Research.